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Your Brain on Code
 

Your Brain on Code

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From the June Girl Geek Sydney meetup.

From the June Girl Geek Sydney meetup.

@nabeelahali

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  • \n
  • So now that you know a little about me, I want to know a little about you. Some audience participation! Are you a developer? Someone that manages developer? A designer/tech writer? \n
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  • So what is this a talk about? It’s a talk about productivity in the tech world, ostensibly, but also on focus, and happiness. It’s a couple of stories knitted together. It’s a talk about code, not about the technical aspects code, but on the process of writing it. The stuff I’m talking about has a developer focus, but no matter what you do, you’ll be able to relate. \n\nIt’s a talk in three parts, the first about happiness, the second about ways to manage one’s own workload, and the third a short listing of Atlassian, and other tools, to get you there\n\nI’ll talk about some interesting research, and then explain why it will help you.\n\n
  • I want to start off with some research by Tom de Marco and Timothy Lister. From 1977 to 1986, they conducted a public productivity survey that went something like this. They ran these as a public coding competition. Basically, organisations would nominate a pair of coders (who would work individually on the tasks) that would then compete. The competition was to complete a bunch of benchmark coding and testing tasks, all the while recording time spent on the tasks and interruptions. Participants work during normal hours and at their regular workspaces. From 1984-1986, over 600 developers from 72 companies participated in the war games. \n* looking for factors that contributed to good performance in the war games\n* their findings - interesting\n\n\n
  • the best performers were ten times better than the worst\n\n* language/years of experience/salary/defects\n* if none of those have any correlation with performance, then what does? \n* they did draw one very interesting conclusion, but to explain their findings, let’s talk about this guy\n\nI won’t tell you what the big secret is.\n
  • * hungarian psychology professor whose childhood coincided with the second world war, emigrated to the US \n* while researching his doctoral thesis, with a group of artists\n* immersed in painting\n* hour after hour sculpting or painting with great concentration\n* obviously enjoyed their work immensely\n* lose interest in work after finishing\n* what was the motivation? not money or fame, nothing intrinsic\n
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  • * this is awesome because flow leads to intrinsic motivation leads to happiness. work = happiness\n\n"Ordinary programmers write code to pay the bills. Great hackers think of it as something they do for fun, and which they're delighted to find people will pay them for."\n\n
  • \n* i probably don’t need to describe the experience any further for you to know what i’m taking about - flow, in the zone, etc. it’s something that spans across artists, surgeons, programmers, writers all experience\nloss of self-consciousness\ndistortion of time\na sense of control over the activity\n\n
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  • the best performers were ten times better than the worst\n\n* language/years of experience/salary/defects\n* if none of those have any correlation with performance, then what does? \n* they did draw one very interesting conclusion, but to explain their findings, let’s talk about this guy\n
  • The correlation doesn’t necessarily indicate causation, it could just be that high performers are attracted to organisations that afford them a better workplace\n
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Your Brain on Code Your Brain on Code Presentation Transcript

  • YOUR BRAIN ON CODE@nabeelahali
  • a biographical interlude
  • eiπ +1=0
  • What hackers and painters have incommon is that theyre bothmakers. Along with composers,architects, and writers, whathackers and painters are trying todo is make good things. Paul Graham
  • from peopleware
  • Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  • “chicks send me high e”
  • intrinsicmotivation
  • `
  • Great hackers think of programmingas something they do for fun, andwhich they’re delighted to findpeople will pay them for. Paul Graham
  • cleargoals
  • immediate feedback
  • a balance betweenchallenge & skill a balance between challenge & skill
  • focusedattention
  • coding war games
  • from peopleware
  • The top performer’s space is quieter,more private, better protected frominterruption, and there is more of it.
  • programmers are makers,and making makes us happy
  • thanks@nabeelahali