When Saying Yes Doesn't Help: Software Development as Codependent Behavior

Lee Copeland, Software Quality Engineering

Vague requirements, undocumented design, poor code, and impossible schedules-these are the typical complaints of many developers. Whose fault is it? Of course, it is "their" fault-senior management, customers, users, etc. But, could we be part of the problem? Codependent behavior is defined as "a way of getting needs met that doesn't get needs met. We do all the wrong things for all the right reasons." When we agree to develop systems without understanding user needs, we teach others that participation in the project is not important. When we agree to absurd schedules, we teach others that our legitimate needs do not matter. In this compelling session, learn what codependency is, recognize codependent behavior in yourself and others, evaluate the negative effects of codependent behavior, and ways to respond more appropriately to unreasonable demands.

  • The meaning of codependent behavior and why it is rampant in software development
  • How codependency constrains choices and limits success
  • Break out of your codependent behavior patterns

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