When creating software, what really matters? @ DevConf Johannesburg 2019

There’s no shortage of guidance around the internet on how to become a competent software developer. It’s an exciting road to travel. But, what comes after you’ve reached a level of competence? What’s beyond that horizon?

As a programmer in the late ’90s and 2000s, I focused on growing my competence in a pragmatic “what works?” sort of way, and readily adopted ideas that were useful. For a decade or so after that, as a coach and consultant, I frequently provided context-free general advice that was aligned to innovative ideas that had worked for me in the past but didn’t always have a lasting impact for the people and teams I was coaching. Today, as a technical leader working with teams of developers across the world, I’m growing a deepening understanding of what really matters when creating software.

My goals for this talk is not to convert people to my viewpoint. I’m not selling anything. I’m hoping to bring some ideas to people who’ve reached a level of competence in our field, and perhaps some reassurance to those who intuitively see that much of today’s industry dogma is just plain wrong.

You can download a copy of the slide deck I used here.

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