Making Badass Developers – Kathy Sierra keynote

Amazing talk by Kathy Sierra – author of numerous authoritative texts on Java – on “how to get way better, way faster”.

Summary points:

  1. No one has infinite cognitive reserves – even though we are often treated as if we do.
  2. Cognitive reserve can be thought of as a single tank that can be depleted in various ways, leaving less for subsequent activities. Tiny leaks add up.
  3. Help thy fellow developer by being mindful of draining their cognitive resources unnecessarily.
  4. Rethink the common adage “practice makes perfect” as “practice makes permanent” instead. It makes whatever you practiced permanent – even if they were bad habits.
  5. Key message of this talk: to go from novice to expert, what’s needed is a very high quantity of high quality exposures
    • this needs to be applied to sufficiently small chunks of the overall thing being learned
    • a chunk is too big if you cannot master it in three 45-90 mins sessions, aiming for 200-300 exposures.




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