Games Software People Play: Reasoning, Tactics, Biases, Fallacies

Philippe Kruchten, Kruchten Engineering Services, Ltd.

As engineers and doers, we make rational, well-thought-out decisions based on facts and figures. Or do we? Philippe Kruchten has identified not so rational strategies and tactics software people use while developing new, bold, and complex software-intensive systems. In addition to strategies such as divide-and-conquer, brainstorming, and reuse, Philippe has observed some strange tactics, biases, and reasoning fallacies. If not understood and managed, these “games”-intentional or not-can creep in and pervert the software development process. They go by simple, funny, and sometimes fancy names: anchoring, red herring, elephant in the room, argumentum verbosium, and others. Philippe shares an illustrated gallery of the games software people play and shows you how they combine to become subtle and elaborate political ploys. Many of these games have dramatic effects-rework, budget overruns, and failures-on your software endeavors. Join this fascinating look into the psychology and politics that go on all the time in the back rooms of software development. Leave with new insights on how you can identify and mitigate the games software people play.

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