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April Wensel - Crafting Compassionate Code

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As developers, we might think we don't have to care about humans because we work on machines. However, nothing could be further from the truth. The only reason for us to build technology is to serve humans.

Therefore, practicing compassion is essential for effective software development. Though many people think of compassion as something soft or ambiguous, you'll learn how compassion provides a practical framework for making rational decisions about our code with the goal of reducing suffering for ourselves, our collaborators, and our users.

From understanding customer pain points all the way down to the level of choosing variable names, applying practical compassion can help us craft better code, improve people's lives, and ultimately find more satisfaction in our work!

Presented at NewCrafts Paris 2019 - http://ncrafts.io/

Published in: Software
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April Wensel - Crafting Compassionate Code

  1. 1. C R A F T I N G C O M PA S S I O N AT E C O D E N E W C R A F T S 2 0 1 9 C O M PA S S I O N AT E C O D I N G A P R I L W E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R @ C O M PA S S I O N C O D E @ A P R I LW E N S E L
  2. 2. S A N D I E G O @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  3. 3. @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R I L OV E T E C H
  4. 4. 10 YEARS WRITING CODE AND LEADING TEAMS
  5. 5. TEACHING CODING AND MENTORING
  6. 6. I L OV E T E C H @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  7. 7. I L OV E T E C H A N D Y E T … @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  8. 8. T E C H C U LT U R E C A N B E @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  9. 9. S T R E S S A N D B U R N O U T @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  10. 10. L A C K O F D I V E R S I T Y @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  11. 11. “Are You Lost In The World Like Me?” Animation by Steve Cutts Music by Moby & The Void Pacific Choir https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VASywEuqFd8 U N E T H I C A L P R O D U C T S @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  12. 12. http://www.businessinsider.com/programmers-debate- requirements-to-behave-respectfully-ccoc-2018-5@ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  13. 13. https://medium.com/@Aprilw/suffering-on-stack-overflow-c46414a34a52 @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  14. 14. https://medium.com/@Aprilw/suffering-on-stack-overflow-c46414a34a52 “I’ve really been struggling…this week. I’ve been in tears for most of it, and now I just got a snarky response on Stackoverflow telling me how easy the solution is and that I need to learn how to debug my own code. I’m ready to throw the towel in.” @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  15. 15. T H E R E I S A L OT O F S U F F E R I N G I N A N D A R O U N D T E C H @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  16. 16. T H E R O OT C A U S E ? @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  17. 17. P R O G R A M M E R S D O N ’ T L I K E P E O P L E @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  18. 18. “Programmers are crazy about puzzles, tend to like research applications and risk- taking, and don’t like people.” Cannon & Perry. A vocational interest scale for computer programmers. 1966. @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  19. 19. C O D E = C O M F O RT @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  20. 20. @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  21. 21. p r i n t f ( " H e l l o , W o r l d ! " ) ; @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  22. 22. “ H A R D ” S K I L L S > “ S O F T ” S K I L L S @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  23. 23. “ H A R D ” S K I L L S > “ S O F T ” S K I L L S ? ? ? @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  24. 24. W H Y D O P R O J E C T S FA I L ? @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  25. 25. @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R W H Y S O F T WA R E P R O J E C T S FA I L https://www.developersalliance.org/developer-insights-report-2015/ CHANGING OR POORLY DOCUMENTED REQUIREMENTS UNDERFUNDING OR UNDER-RESOURCING POOR TEAM OR ORGANIZATIONAL MANAGEMENT INSUFFICIENT TIME ALLOCATED TO TESTING DEVELOPER CHURN AND LOSS OF KEY TALENT MISSED DELIVERY TIMELINE EXPECTATIONS TIME CONSTRAINTS AND PRE-MATURE SOFTWARE RELEASE IMMATURE DEV TOOLS & APPLICATION PLATFORMS17% 21% 22% 23% 32% 37% 40% 48%
  26. 26. @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R W H Y S O F T WA R E P R O J E C T S FA I L https://www.developersalliance.org/developer-insights-report-2015/ CHANGING OR POORLY DOCUMENTED REQUIREMENTS UNDERFUNDING OR UNDER-RESOURCING POOR TEAM OR ORGANIZATIONAL MANAGEMENT INSUFFICIENT TIME ALLOCATED TO TESTING DEVELOPER CHURN AND LOSS OF KEY TALENT MISSED DELIVERY TIMELINE EXPECTATIONS TIME CONSTRAINTS AND PRE-MATURE SOFTWARE RELEASE IMMATURE DEV TOOLS & APPLICATION PLATFORMS17% 21% 22% 23% 32% 37% 40% 48% HumanProblems
  27. 27. @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R W H Y S O F T WA R E P R O J E C T S FA I L https://www.developersalliance.org/developer-insights-report-2015/ CHANGING OR POORLY DOCUMENTED REQUIREMENTS UNDERFUNDING OR UNDER-RESOURCING POOR TEAM OR ORGANIZATIONAL MANAGEMENT INSUFFICIENT TIME ALLOCATED TO TESTING DEVELOPER CHURN AND LOSS OF KEY TALENT MISSED DELIVERY TIMELINE EXPECTATIONS TIME CONSTRAINTS AND PRE-MATURE SOFTWARE RELEASE IMMATURE DEV TOOLS & APPLICATION PLATFORMS17% 21% 22% 23% 32% 37% 40% 48% HumanProblems
  28. 28. A L L S O F T WA R E P R O B L E M S A R E A C T UA L LY H U M A N P R O B L E M S @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  29. 29. W H AT C A N W E D O ? @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  30. 30. C A R E M O R E A B O U T P E O P L E @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  31. 31. C O M PA S S I O N @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  32. 32. C O M PA S S I O N ! = B E I N G FA K E N I C E @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  33. 33. C O M PA S S I O N ! = I G N O R I N G L O G I C @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  34. 34. C O M PA S S I O N ! = “ S U G A R C OAT I N G ” @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  35. 35. C O M PA S S I O N ! = P I T Y @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  36. 36. W H AT I S C O M PA S S I O N ? @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  37. 37. I L E A R N E D A B O U T C O M PA S S I O N F R O M G O I N G V E G A N @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  38. 38. B E I N G V E G A N I S A B O U T H AV I N G C O M PA S S I O N F O R A L L L I F E V E G A N P I Z Z A F R O M PA R I S D O M I N O ’ S @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  39. 39. “ T H E F E E L I N G T H AT A R I S E S W H E N Y O U A R E C O N F R O N T E D W I T H A N OT H E R ’ S S U F F E R I N G A N D F E E L M OT I VAT E D TO R E L I E V E T H AT S U F F E R I N G … ” C O M PA S S I O N https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/topic/compassion/definition@ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  40. 40. C O M PA S S I O N = E M PAT H Y + A C T I O N @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  41. 41. A N E W A P P R OA C H TO S O F T WA R E D E V E L O P M E N T T H AT S E E K S TO M I N I M I Z E S U F F E R I N G F O R T E C H N O L O G I S T S , U S E R S , A N D T H E G L O BA L C O M M U N I T Y B Y A P P LY I N G E M OT I O N A L I N T E L L I G E N C E A N D E T H I C S COMPASSIONATE CODING M Y C O M PA N Y, F O U N D E D 2 0 1 6 @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  42. 42. C O M PA S S I O N AT E B U S I N E S S U N I T S “ E X H I B I T E D B E T T E R F I N A N C I A L P E R F O R M A N C E … A N D T H E S E U N I T S R E A L I Z E D H I G H E R E M P L OY E E A N D C U S TO M E R R E T E N T I O N … ” Awakening Compassion at Work, Monica Worline & Jane Dutton@ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  43. 43. C O M PA S S I O N A F F E C T S H OW W E C O D E W H AT W E C O D E W H Y W E C O D E @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  44. 44. — 1 H OW W E C O D E @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  45. 45. @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  46. 46. @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  47. 47. G O O D VA R I A B L E N A M I N G R E Q U I R E S C O M PA S S I O N @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  48. 48. R E FA C TO R I N G , A P I D E S I G N , TO O L S E L E C T I O N , A R C H I T E C T U R E D E S I G N … @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  49. 49. I N S T E A D O F J U S T F O L L OW I N G “ B E S T P R A C T I C E S , ” T H I N K A B O U T M I N I M I Z I N G S U F F E R I N G @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  50. 50. @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  51. 51. “ I ’ M S U C H A N I D I OT ! ” “ I T ’ S A L L M Y FA U LT. ” “ I ’ M A H O R R I B L E P E R S O N . ” @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  52. 52. @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  53. 53. S E L F - C O M PA S S I O N @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  54. 54. C O L L A B O R AT I O N A N D M E N TO R I N G @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  55. 55. https://compassionatecoding.com/blog/2019/4/17/its-time-to-retire-rtfm @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  56. 56. — 2 W H AT W E C O D E @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  57. 57. F E AT U R E P R I O R I T I Z AT I O N @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  58. 58. C A N Y O U E M PAT H I Z E W I T H B U S I N E S S P E O P L E ? P R O D U C T M A N A G E R S ? @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  59. 59. O R D O Y O U D I S M I S S T H E M A S “ N O N - T E C H N I C A L” @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R https://compassionatecoding.com/blog/2019/4/17/if-you-can-use-a-fork-youre-technical
  60. 60. @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R https://compassionatecoding.com/blog/2019/4/17/if-you-can-use-a-fork-youre-technical
  61. 61. D O Y O U C A L L Y O U R U S E R S “ S T U P I D ” O R T RY TO E M PAT H I Z E ? @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  62. 62. @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  63. 63. I S Y O U R WO R K C A U S I N G S U F F E R I N G ? @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  64. 64. @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  65. 65. https://www.safehome.org/resources/hate-on-social-media/@ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  66. 66. A R E T H E R E D I V E R S E P E R S P E C T I V E S O N Y O U R T E A M ?P H O T O : W O C I N T E C H C H AT@ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  67. 67. — 3 W H Y W E C O D E @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  68. 68. W H Y D O Y O U C O D E ? @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  69. 69. “ I WA N T TO S O LV E I N T E R E S T I N G P R O B L E M S ” @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  70. 70. C A N Y O U G O D E E P E R ? @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  71. 71. T H E O N LY R E A S O N F O R T E C H N O L O G Y TO E X I S T I S TO I M P R OV E P E O P L E ’ S L I V E S @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  72. 72. I S Y O U R WO R K I M P R OV I N G P E O P L E ’ S L I V E S ? @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  73. 73. W H Y N OT ? @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  74. 74. https://www.concrn.org/ https://www.safenightapp.org/@ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  75. 75. @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  76. 76. I D E N T I F Y Y O U R C O R E VA L U E S @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  77. 77. A M I L I V I N G A N D WO R K I N G A C C O R D I N G TO M Y OW N C O R E VA L U E S ? @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  78. 78. C O M PA S S I O N A F F E C T S H OW W E C O D E W H AT W E C O D E W H Y W E C O D E @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  79. 79. W H AT ’ S T H E E F F I C I E N T C H O I C E ? @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  80. 80. W H AT ’ S T H E L E A N C H O I C E ? @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  81. 81. W H AT ’ S T H E A G I L E C H O I C E ? @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  82. 82. W H AT ’ S T H E C O M PA S S I O N AT E C H O I C E ? @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  83. 83. " I F I T I S N OT T E M P E R E D B Y C O M PA S S I O N A N D E M PAT H Y, R E A S O N C A N L E A D M E N A N D WO M E N I N TO A M O R A L V O I D . " K A R E N A R M S T R O N G Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  84. 84. C O M PA S S I O N I S N OT A “ S O F T S K I L L” @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  85. 85. C O M PA S S I O N I S A C ATA LY T I C S K I L L @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  86. 86. @ A P R I LW E N S E L # C C E U R O T O U R
  87. 87. NEWSLETTER SIGN-UP COMPASSIONATECODING.COM @COMPASSIONCODE @APRILWENSEL APRIL@COMPASSIONATECODING.COM THANK YOU!

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