You Should Probably Have Strong Opinions 3.65


Intelligent software craftsmen and women, or at least those suffering from the Dunning-Kruger effect, pride themselves on logical and well-reasoned opinions, and sometimes express those opinions with great flair and color.

But like all things, software development is full of grey areas. High-minded logicians like us may not see it that way, but opinions are at the core of many of the choices we’ve made - especially in the Rails community. Rails is so opinionated, in fact, that a number of its developers have gained some notoriety just for holding their ground.

The byproduct of all this friction is people like me: flakes who have trouble sticking to an opinion, or what I like to call “software subjectivists.”

This Ignite talk is about the psychology of firm convictions (especially as it pertains to our industry), why we should have them, and most importantly, how to express them - reasonably or otherwise.

Comments on this Talk

Marmalade Ben Scofield, 11 Jun 01:38 PM

I enjoyed the talk, Flip! I do take issue with your story about the origins of cognitive biases, though -- I think they more often arise from useful heuristics (there's too much information out there for us to process it all rationally in the time we have) than from cognitive dissonance.

Stream.7485 Flip Sasser, 11 Jun 03:21 PM

Thanks, Ben! Regarding cognitive biases - I couldn't agree more. The slide I botched was discussing the mind's inability to view the world objectively, but c'est la vie.

I'm glad you enjoyed it, my half-assed psychology notwithstanding!

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3 Ratings: 3.65

Delivery: 3.43

Content: 3.87

Time & Location

June 6, 2010 — 06:35 PM
300 S. Charles St , Baltimore, Maryland 21201 (Map It)