Once upon a time, writing software felt a lot like working in a factory. A product went through an assembly-line-like series of stages where each team added their contribution. At the end of the line, the finished product was packaged up and physically shipped to a customer.
Fast forward sixty years. Both the software itself and our process for making it are radically different from this original conception. But in the absence of a newer, more appropriate model for software development, we’ve unconsciously retained many industrial-era concepts — and they’re holding us back. We need a new model for software development that captures what we do today, and prepares us to build what we need for tomorrow.
I will outline a new model for software development that places the people who do it in the center of the picture, instead of on the periphery. Applying it to our projects gives us real, immediate answers to the hardest questions of software today.
Sarah Mei is the Chief Consultant at DevMynd in San Francisco, and has been writing software since before the internet had cats. She teaches object-oriented design with Sandi Metz, is an expert pair programmer, and speaks and writes about code, architecture, and teams. Sarah is also well-known for her non-profit work, including currently with Ruby Central, RailsBridge, Bridge Foundry, Ruby Together, and Long Distance Voter. When she’s not live-tweeting action movies, Sarah works with teams to improve their processes around code and, inevitably, people.