The Varieties of Development Experience

Mind the Geek

Have you ever wondered why it feels like it does to write code? Have you ever stopped and thought “if this is supposed to be such an intellectual exercise, why am experiencing so many emotions, from the heights of elation, to the pits of despair?”.

I have.

Since this first occurred to me years ago I’ve pieced together a theory which I believe gives not only an explanation for such mental states, but also offers a new means of evaluating how we work with software, and perhaps even becoming better at it.

In this session I’ll explain the theory, bringing in the latest views from neuro- and cognitive science. I’ll then consider how it can be applied, not only explaining how it feels to write code, but also interrogating why each of us has such wildly different experiences. In doing so you’ll gain a far deeper understanding of this daily activity, and consequently drive significant personal improvements.

Scheduled on Tuesday from 09:00 to 09:50 in Gallery Hall

Developer Productivity
Make Code Suck Less
Human Emotions

Andrew Harmel-Law


An over-enthusiastic Tech Principal; Andrew specialises in domain-driven design, Java / JVM technologies, agile delivery, build tools and automation, and dev-org transformations. Experienced across the software development lifecycle and in many sectors including government, banking, and eCommerce, what motivates him is the production of large-scale software solutions, fulfilling complex client requirements. He understands that people, tooling, architecture and process all have key roles to play in achieving this. Andrew has a passion for open source software and its communities. He has been interested in and involved with OSS to a greater or lesser extent since his career began; as a user, contributor, expert group member, or paid advocate. Finally, Andrew enjoys sharing his experience as much as possible. This sharing is not only seen in his formal consulting engagements, but also informally through mentoring, blog posts, conferences (speaking and organising), and open sourcing his code.