Gateway Software Symposium
May 13 - 15, 2011 - St. Louis, MO
Decision Making in Software Teams
Alistair Cockburn has described software development as a game in which we choose among three moves: invent, decide, and communicate. Most of our time at No Fluff is spent learning how to be better at inventing. Beyond that, we understand the importance of good communication, and take steps to improve in that capacity. Rarely, however, do we acknowledge the role of decision making in the life of software teams, what can cause it to go wrong, and how to improve it.
In this talk, we will explore decision making pathologies and their remedies in individual, team, and organizational dimensions. We'll consider how our own cognitive limitations can lead us to to make bad decisions as individuals, and what we might do to compensate for those personal weaknesses. We'll learn how a team can fall into decision-making dysfunction, and what techniques a leader might employ to healthy functioning to an afflicted group. We'll also look at how organizational structure and culture can discourage quality decision making, and what leaders to swim against the tide.
Software teams spend a great deal of time making decisions that place enormous amounts of capital on the line. Team members and leaders owe it to themselves to learn how to make them well.
About Tim Berglund
Tim is a full-stack generalist and passionate teacher who loves working with people as much as he loves to code. He believes the best developer is one who is well-informed of specifics and can also make deep connections between software development and the broader world. He has recently been exploring non-relational data stores, why professionalized product management is a global suboptimization, and of course everything related to Git. He does not really believe that it is possible to teach, but rather believes that it is his responsibility to create an environment in which people can learn.
He is also a poet, having composed and produced companion videos for Oh, The Methods You'll Compose and The Maven, with another project currently in the works. If you've been in his Git classes, you've seen some famous poems make their way into the world's best version control system.
Tim is a speaker internationally and on the No Fluff Just Stuff tour in the United States, and is co-president of the Denver Open Source User Group, author of the Gradle Liquibase Plugin, the maintainer of the Ratpack web framework, co-presenter of the best-selling O'Reilly Git Master Class, co-author of Building and Testing with Gradle, a member of the O'Reilly Expert Network, and a member of the GigOM Pro Analyst Network. He occasionally blogs at timberglund.com.
He lives in Littleton, CO, USA with the wife of his youth and their three children.More About Tim »