Upside Down & Inside Out: What An Observational Perspective Can Teach Us About Tech
Thursday, July 27, 2023 - 1:30 PM UTC, for 1.5 hours.
Keynote, 90 minute presentation
Room: Mess Hall
What does elementary school teaching have to do with tech? And why would we even ask that question? Join me as I tell the story of my journey in perspective as a teacher of young children, and how my personal realizations informed my approach to software and DevRel today. We'll learn about Maria Montessori, and see how her discoveries represent a Copernican shift in classroom dynamics. Transferred to tech, her principles bear a connection to Don Norman's principles of human-centered design. We'll discuss how human-centered thought affects the design of software in particular, as well as content design for DevRel. Why was observation the foundation of Montessori's method, and why must it be ours in conversation with developers as well? What's an affordance according to Norman, and how can something like a CLI (command line interface) offer one? In the end, we'll see that a human-centered attitude is about seeking to understand the ingenuity of the individual software user, rather than asking them to conform to our preconceptions. We've all seen the memes blaming clueless users, but what if they're actually the smart ones? You'll leave this keynote refreshed and energized by this view on developer relations, software, and humans.