Rebecca Wirfs-Brock

Rebecca Wirfs-Brock

heuristics hunter and Driven-Design meme inventor
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· Design Heuristics
· Distilling Your Personal Design Heuristics
· Elephants, Patterns, and Heuristics


I'm best known as the "design geek" who invented Responsibility-Driven Design and the xDriven meme (think TDD, BDD, DDD..). I'm keen on learning and sharing design heuristics, patterns and practices for architecting and reducing risk and improving quality on agile projects and programs. I'm a slow jogger... if anyone is interested in an early morning slow jog, it'd be fun to meet and go on a run.

Design Heuristics (Two Day Pre-conference Workshop)
by Rebecca Wirfs-Brock

This is a pre-conference workshop. Click for details.

Distilling Your Personal Design Heuristics (Hands-on Lab, Main Conference)
by Rebecca Wirfs-Brock

(This is a hands-on lab with limited capacity. You should receive an invitation to sign up for your favourite session at latest one week before the conference. Capacity of this session = 28)

How can we get better as software designers? By becoming more aware of our design heuristics and intentional as we cultivate and refine them. Heuristics aid in design, guide our use of other heuristics, and even determine our attitude and behavior. For example, agile developers value frequent feedback and decomposing larger design problems into smaller, more manageable chunks that they design and test as they go. We each have our own set of heuristics that we have acquired through reading, practice, and experience.

This session introduces simple ways to record design heuristics and share them with others. It also gives you a taste for how to hold structured conversations to tease out a set of related heuristics.

Come to this hands-on session to try out practical techniques for distilling your design heuristics (so you can explore and explain them to others); learn ways to identify competing heuristics; evaluate shiny new heuristics you read or hear about; and grow your ability to explain your heuristics to others.

Learning Outcomes:

* Understand 3 different types of design heuristics: heuristics that aid in design, determine our attitude, and guide use of other heuristics
*Learn simple techniques for recording heuristics on the fly (Question-Heuristic-Example Cards, Heuristic Gists)
*Recognize competing heuristics and how to integrate new heuristics into your existing heuristic toolkit

Elephants, Patterns, and Heuristics (Talk, Main Conference)
by Rebecca Wirfs-Brock, Christian Kohls

Elephants are an observable phenomenon, a pattern in nature. Software patterns are observable phenomena of design solutions. Many different descriptions, representations, and accounts of elephants exist. And many people claim to know what an elephant is. Yet they actually have little or limited knowledge of them. This analogy helps to understand how at the same time we both know and do not know what a thing is. This talk will explore the dilemma faced by patterns authors: What to include in a pattern and what to leave out? We also show how experienced designers unfold and generate new solutions based on pre-existing design knowhow and the central role personal design heuristics play in the design process. As this folding and unfolding of information and knowledge seems to be quite an abstract concept, we will choose to make our case by discussing elephants.

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