Fear Driven Development -- and How to Get Rid of It

The Presentation inside:

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Slides are online h/p:/ /www.slideshare.net/rckenned/ fear-­‐driven-­‐development-­‐49842984

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This is an emoji-heavy presentation [

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I’m Ryan Kennedy Backend  Engineer  at  

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Ada Initiative Advisor

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In my past life…

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What is fear? A  feeling  of  anxiety  concerning  the   outcome  of  something  or  the  safety  and   well-­‐being  of  someone

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What causes fear? [❓]

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Specific fears develop as a result of learning [

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Certain fears are more common than others [

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Two individuals have a tendency to emotionally converge [☣emoVonal  contagion

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“observing  fearful  body  expressions   produces  increased  acVvity  in  brain   areas  narrowly  associated  with   emoVonal  processes  and  that  this   emoVon-­‐related  acVvity  occurs   together  with  acVvaVon  of  areas   linked  with  representaVon  of  acVon   and  movement”   Fear  fosters  flight:  A  mechanism  for  fear  contagion   when  perceiving  emoVon  expressed  by  a  whole  body   –Gelder  et  al.

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tl;dr fear is contagious [☣]

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Negative emotions are usually more infectious than positive ones [

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Negative emotions elicit a stronger reaction [

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This is terrifying for a large engineering organization [

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Fear is additive

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Fear compounds [

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What are humans afraid of? [

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I'm afraid of databases [

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What do developers fear? [

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Refactoring [

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Performance [⏰

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Scale [

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Upgrades [

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Deploying [

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The Unknown [❓]

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What's the downside of fear in software development?

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Fear induced loss of agility [

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Fear creates local maximums

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Compounding fears make matters worse

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Fear erects barricades around the code and systems that need the most attention

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Ways of dealing with these fears

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Exposure therapy exposure  to  the  feared  object  or   context,  without  any  danger,  in  order   to  overcome  anxiety

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Reproducible, extensive testing as a safety harness [

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Development and staging as safe zones [⚾⛳]

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Build confidence on non-critical systems [

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Double dispatch when replacing existing functionality [✌]

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Hack Day! [

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Sharing my fears Someone  else  has  probably  seen  or   done  this  or  something  like  it  before

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Decatastrophizing "If  the  feared  event  or  object   happened,  what  would  occur  then?"

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Organizational selective amnesia [let  the  new  person  do  it  

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Where are the managers, architects, leads, etc. at? [

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Are you a source of fear? [

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Make time to test [⏳]

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Make time for research [⏳]

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Make time for maintenance [⏳]

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None of this should impact anyone’s personal life [\]

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Thank you ~~~  

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