Systems Thinking for Dev Organizations
04-17, 14:40–15:10 (Europe/Amsterdam), The Warehouse

Systems thinking has been a hot button topic inside and outside the tech industry, as it promises a straightforward and structured approach to make sense of the world and its complexities. By looking at systems in terms of elements and their relationships, Systems Thinkers can understand and predict behaviors, as well as affect long-lasting change.
Understanding that tech organizations, dev teams and their individual members are themselves systems, following their own purposes and structures, can help us better support developers in their goals.

In this talk, we will learn about the basics and mechanisms that inform systems thinking. We will look at examples from the real world to understand why systems behave the way they do and how we can enable change. Finally, we will adapt what we learned to development organizations and discuss how systems thinking can help us improve developer efficiency and happiness.

While most developers come with engineering degrees, it is only recently that the industry as a whole has awakened to the necessity of understanding the humans behind technology, both users and collaborators.
An example of this, is the emergence of product thinking when designing and implementing developer platforms. Systems thinking takes this approach even further, by not only considering human needs, but also how unexpected or unintended behavior can emerge from a group of humans working towards a shared goal.
Educating people on the nature of systems behavior can help to direct teams in a more productive and blameless way, by not focusing on individuals, but rather the systems and institutions surrounding us.

This talk is targeted at engineers and technical stakeholders alike, really anyone who works in a team with developers.
The audience will learn how to break down systems like organizations or teams into formulas and knobs they can turn, to influence their behaviors and affect change.

Lian always wanted to save the world

After a failed attempt at becoming a lawyer, she decided to do something with computers instead. Working as a Fullstack Software Engineer, she got into attending tech events and giving talks on Machine Learning. During this time, she fell in love with the tech community and discovered her passion for building community and providing a safe and productive environment for all, which led to her co-organising the community conference ServerlessDays Amsterdam.

Currently, Lian lives in Amsterdam and works as Developer Advocate at Loft Labs, trying to make developing on Kubernetes easy and fun.