Tel Aviv 2013 - Proposal

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The devops field guide to cognitive biases


As devops practitioners we focus on improving the culture of collaboration so that others play nicely with us & we play nicely with others - but what if the biggest thing holding us back from change is our own brains?

Cognitive biases can deeply affect our behaviours towards others by herding us towards mental shortcuts that are optimised for timeliness over accuracy, at the expense of rationalising irrational behaviour.

You are probably pushing these biases onto other people every day but don't even know it. Does that idea make you feel unconfortable? You are probably experiencing the Semmelweis reflex kicking your confirmation bias right now.

Knowing is half the battle. This talk will delve into some of the well-known and less well-known biases that may be affecting your ability to work with your peers, and your team's ability to work constructively with other teams.

Attendees will leave the talk with an overview of biases they run into every day, how to hack their brains to use these biases to their advantage, and some tips on how to mitigate the effects of the limitations baked into their wetware.

We have met the enemy and he is us.


Lindsay Holmwood

Lindsay Holmwood is a engineering manager living in the Australian Blue Mountains. He is the creator of Visage & cucumber-nagios, and organises the Sydney DevOps Meetup. He runs a distributed infracoders team at Bulletproof Networks, that builds hassle free tools, and was responsible for ensuring 100% uptime for the 2010 + 2011 + 2012 Movember campaigns. In his spare time, Lindsay organises the monthly Sydney DevOps Meetups. He also won third place at the 1996 Sydney Royal Easter Show LEGO building competition.

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