Applications of Emotional Intelligence in Program Comprehension
Software engineers may work on machines, but we are ultimately humans collaborating with humans to serve humans. There has recently been increased interest in the role of so-called “soft skills” in software development tasks, including the often emotionally demanding work of program comprehension. How do we reduce the pain experienced by developers navigating complex codebases, critical code reviews, or discouraging Stack Overflow exchanges? In this talk, I’ll share reflections from seven years of working with software engineers in diverse settings on developing emotional intelligence skills, with an emphasis on compassion. I’ll describe encouraging results, challenges, as well as opportunities for further research.
April Wensel (@aprilwensel) is a software engineer and the founder of Compassionate Coding, a conscious business that trains technologists in emotional intelligence skills and social responsibility. She has facilitated training sessions at Fortune 500 companies, startups, software agencies, and academic institutions. Prior to starting Compassionate Coding, she spent a decade in software engineering and technical leadership roles at various companies in Silicon Valley, building products in healthcare, gaming, education, and user research. She has also taught coding and mentored software engineers through community office hours. She received a B.A. in computer science from Pomona College and has collaborated with researchers at Carnegie Mellon’s HCI Institute and the Carnegie Institution for Science.
‘I’ll just put this over here with the rest of the fire’: Guidance on more than just standing upright to create safe models, software and use of data
Dr Kobi Leins (GAICD) is an Honorary Senior Fellow of King’s College, London; Advisory Board Member of the Carnegie AI and Equality Initiative; Member of Standards Australia as a technical expert on the International Standards Organisation’s work on AI Standards; Affiliate, ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society; and former Non-Resident Fellow of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research.
Leins provides strategic advice on selection, implementation and operation of technologies to drive business edge; creates systems for organisational and delegation of ownership for complex systems and data; and uses international benchmarking to analyse opportunities and risks in face of rapidly changing legal and governance landscapes and data literacy and public sentiment. Leins has previously managed programs and teams in administrative law & justice, humanitarian law, human rights law, and disarmament with the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross and worked in two different university faculties of Engineering and Computer Science. Leins is the author of New War Technologies and International Law: The Legal Limits to Weaponising Nanomaterials, Cambridge University Press (2022). Further publications can be found at kobileins.com.