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Rocky Mountain Ruby 2013 Programming with that Disreputable Part of your Brain

by Brian Marrick

When smoothing wood with a hand plane, you should always work with the grain rather than against the grain.

It's becoming increasingly clear that what we normally think of as rationality is fairly rare. Much of what we do is governed by our brain operating on autopilot. Reasoning is the expensive stop-gap our brain uses (sometimes!) when the cheaper solution isn't working right.

Programming is typically seen as an occupation that requires thoughtful precision and rationality: we will work against the grain of our brain. The resulting nicks and chips are only evidence that we should try harder!

What if we try to work with the automatic part of the brain, rather than against it? In this talk, Brian Marick will discuss how he tries to do just that.