(Talk) Software Designers, Are You Biased?


The many standards, methodologies and processes that the software industry uses provide no guarantees of good designs. A good software design is the result of the many appropriate and well-reasoned design decisions made by the designers. So far we have not paid much attention to how proficient designers make their decisions, and how they avoid bad decision making. Research has shown that people make biased decisions, software designers may be subjected to cognitive and other biases also. In this talk, I will give an overview of how biases and reasoning failures may lead to unsound design decisions. There will be a discussion of some of the recent research findings in design reasoning techniques, which may help to overcome some of the biases. To assist self-improvements, I will briefly discuss some reflection techniques.

Speaker’s Biography

Antony Tang is a senior researcher at the VU University Amsterdam. He is also an adjunct researcher in the Faculty of Information and Communication Technologies at the Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne Australia. After working in the software industry for over 20 years in seniorpositions, Antony decided to carry out research in software engineering to understand what happened to the many design and project failures in the software industry. He completed his PhD in 2007. He has been studying software architecture design reasoning. He is interested in understanding how design decisions are made and their influences on software systems. He also studies development processes inrelation to software design knowledge management and communication.

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