Central Iowa Software Symposium
August 5 - 7, 2011 - Des Moines, IA
View the event details here ».
Economic Games in Software Projects
The full title of this talk reveals its grand aims: Game Theory and Software Development: Explaining Brinksmanship, Irrationality, and Other Selfish Sins
Once in a while, a topic, seemingly orthogonal to software development, presents a great opportunity to showcase how engineering can benefit from knowledge of seemingly more social disciplines. In this talk, the fundamental principles of economics' Game Theory are compared to often inexplicable behaviors and decisions we frequently observe in programming projects.
Then, with a good Game Theory vocabulary under your belt, several standard games are studied in a manner that will allow you to better manipulate the inputs. These games are present in web framework choices, project planning and estimation, and even team decisions on which bug to solve first. With a good understanding of Game Theory, you'll be able to understand and influence what you previously labeled 'irrational behavior.' It turns out to be far from irrational when examined in the context of self-preservation. Once these behaviors are understood, you will be able to ethically influence the outcomes to your personal and corporate advantage.
About Matthew McCullough
Matthew McCullough is an energetic 15 year veteran of enterprise software development, open source education, and co-founder of Ambient Ideas, LLC, a Denver consultancy. Matthew currently is VP of Training at GitHub.com, author of the Git Master Class series for O'Reilly, speaker at over 30 national and international conferences, author of three of the top 10 DZone RefCards, and President of the Denver Open Source Users Group. His current topics of research center around project automation: build tools (Gradle), distributed version control (Git, GitHub), Continuous Integration (Jenkins, Travis) and Quality Metrics (Sonar). Matthew resides in Denver, Colorado with his beautiful wife and two young daughters, who are active in nearly every outdoor activity Colorado has to offer.More About Matthew »