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Joy of Coding
June 21, 2024 - De Doelen, Rotterdam

To loosen up, to put together

It is a difficult thing, to simply look at something, without preconceptions. To take in the colors and shapes, and nothing more. We tend to instantly interpret what we're seeing, to apply labels, categories, classifiers, identifiers; a level of symbolic interpretation. It helps us to make sense of the world, but it can also prevent us from seeing what's in front of us. Similarly, in a programming setting, we might find ourselves searching fruitlessly for the source of a bug, only to realize it was staring back at us all along. The way we categorize the world predisposes us to behave in certain ways. It defines how we approach things, as it colours our underlying mental state. But what if this capacity was a tool, much like a paint brush? A tool among many. One that could be picked up when necessary, and likewise -- when necessary, put down. This talk will explore these different modes of thinking, how they apply to arts, engineering, and how to practice perception.

Yulia Startsev

Yulia Startsev is the JavaScript language lead for the SpiderMonkey compiler at Mozilla. She served as a chair and is currently a facilitator for Ecma's TC39, the committee responsible for design and development of the JavaScript language. She initiated and runs the TC39 research group, which applies HCI research techniques to JavaScript language features. Her interests include programmer psychology, and she hopes that this talk will be interesting as a reflection on how we think and solve problems.