As software creators, we often flirt with titles that contain words like scientist, engineer, and architect. Yet, despite the empirical sounding quality of those titles, our field is still filled with mysticism, and by-the-gut models for how we believe things work.

We can do better. The book Making Software[1] opens the door to a reasoned, proven approach to validating these beliefs. To do that, we'll start with a look at the History of the medical field. We'll compare the similarity of early science based medicine to our current situation with computer science and software engineering. Over the course of this talk we'll explore topics like:

  • 10x programmers: do they exist?
  • Conway's Law: does software mirror team structure, and can we exploit that fact?
  • Pair programming: is it worth it?
  • The Cathedral and the Bazaar: is the organization of OSS significantly different than closed source?
  • Measuring code quality: are there simple, statistically backed metrics for evaluating code quality?

We'll close the talk with a look at people and places who are continuing to do this important work. This talk is aimed at anyone who has worked in tech, and has ever been curious if any of our common ideals have been backed up by more than just a feeling.