Cognitive Biases in Software Development

Cognitive biases have a massive impact on software development as a whole, but we can mitigate them.

Why did all our test cases fail because of this simple bug? Nobody tried that out before? How did five people agree to implement this terrible feature? Why are our estimates always so far off?

There are many possible answers to those questions and none of them will be the whole truth. However, certain common cognitive biases might play a main role in all of the events leading to those questions. We all have them.

They help us to think faster, but they also make us less rational than we think we are. They hinder our best judgement! In this talk I'll demonstrate some of the most severe biases, explain their background, point out how they typically influence our professional decisions, and suggest some strategies to mitigate their effect.

Being able to recognize and overcome biases in us and others is a long, challenging road for anyone - you won’t be able to do that journey with this talk alone, but you’ll certainly take your first step!

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