Kodsnack 361 - There's no way they're using a mainframe, with Marianne Bellotti

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Recorded at Øredev 2019, Fredrik talks to Marianne Bellotti; keynote speaker, software anthropologist and frequent modernizer of legacy systems.

We start our discussion talking about modernizing old yet mission critical systems, while they’re still being used, without breaking everything. “Legacy” might invoke ancient software, but even a young system can have a lot of legacy which has not been updated in a surprisingly long time. From there we move on to code as the new pottery shards - coming to understandsing software from a perspective of anthropology - it’s a surprisingly natural and interesting way to approach legacy systems.

We also talk about mindmapping and knowledge transfer, how to teach people to think like that amazing code reviewer instead of asking the reviewer all the time.

Finally, we talk about how and why people feel the need to back their ideas up with research, or not, and how an idea can run away from you and suddenly become truth just because you happened to package it well.

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Links Titles
  • A very simple question that’s getting progressively harder to answer
  • Legacy modernization
  • Hard to define when something becomes legacy
  • The organizational dynamics around fear
  • Code as an artifact of human thought
  • Code is the new pottery shards
  • Crap, I probably would have done it this way
  • Really good at doing what they’re doing
  • The oldest technology is government technology
  • A knack for organizing engineering teams
  • Who actually knows what the hell they’re doing?
  • Re-acclimate to the non-government world
  • Screaming into the void
  • You will find a way to apply it at some point
  • Absorb as much as you can
  • I don’t have to understand this now
  • Systems that are ungooglable
  • I just started writing it down
  • A bet we’ll never be able to settle
  • The ultimate datastore for a web application
  • There’s no way they’re using a mainframe
  • Scientific research in triplicate
  • Maslow’s hierarchy of needs for reliability

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