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I gave this talk at PyTennessee 2016 on February 7th, 2016. In it I discuss how we as developers can use empathy to improve the relationships with our coworkers and other developers.

Video (courtesy of Brian Dailey) can be found at https://youtu.be/k9nWUGP1hus


Scott Burns

February 07, 2016


  1. Empathy-as-a-Service Scott Burns PyTennessee 2016

  2. Hi Nashvillian with wife & two children Developer at Stratasan

    @scottsburns on Twitter @sburns on GitHub
  3. Story Time

  4. Story Time

  5. Story Time

  6. http://itzgeek.na1452962743.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/CentOS-7-Nginx-Default-Page.jpg

  7. Story Time

  8. Developing Software is Emotional

  9. Time to Argue! Vim—Emacs OS X—Linux—Windows Tabs—Spaces

  10. Input ↓ Decision ↓ Action

  11. Serving Coworkers

  12. Engineering is not the most important team

  13. None
  14. None
  15. In a world without Engineering→ Marketing→ Support→ Sales→

  16. Successful organizations solve the puzzle

  17. What should engineering provide?

  18. Sales What does it (not) do? What sets us apart

    us from competition?
  19. Marketing What value does the product provide? What pain does

    it alleviate?
  20. Support Why does the product do X in a particular

    way? When does the product not conform to expectations?
  21. Management When will Feature X be done? Is your work

    delivering value?
  22. Serving Developers

  23. Empathetic Code Test-Driven Development High test coverage Correct, succinct documentation

  24. Open Source Be kind when raising issues Be kind when

    responding Be kind
  25. Code reviews Review the code, not the person Why did

    they do something in a particular way Pair-review FTW!
  26. Many paths 4-year CS degree Some other degree Software schools

  27. Its all a blur Beginners Junior (???) ✨Senior✨

  28. Get out of your head

  29. Your context is but one possibility

  30. Fix problems

  31. Increase happiness ❤

  32. Thank you!