What Can Software Teams Learn from Square Dancing?

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Proposal
Short Form
Intermediate

Excerpt

In this talk, I’ll demonstrate things I've learned from square dancing that I’ve found applicable to software development, sometimes in surprising ways. These lessons can help us all write better software and have a better time doing it!

Description

I’ve been square dancing for 17 years, and it’s taught me a lot about teamwork and collaboration. Many of the lessons learned from square dancing can be applied to programming.

For instance, doubting your own abilities can make you less able to contribute to the success of the team. Worrying means you can’t bring all of your focus and concentration to the activity at hand. Likewise, knowing someone else is doubting your abilities can cause you to withdraw, and the group will lose your contributions.

In this talk, I’ll demonstrate things I’ve learned from square dancing that I’ve found applicable to software development, sometimes in surprising ways. These lessons can help us all write better software and have a better time doing it!

Speaking experience

I spoke at Agile2010 and Agile2012, co-presenting with Moss Collum both times. I've occasionally spoken solo for things like presentations at work, usually on technical topics, to 5-35 people.
Slides from 2012: http://conferences.agilealliance.org/sessions/14630

Speaker

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    Biography

    Dean is a programmer who moved from the East Coast to San Francisco, tried bouncing back and forth for a while, then gave up and accepted the idea of living in just one place (at a time) and returning to non-remote teamwork. They like to square dance and pick up new functional languages, and explain how the two are very much related.

    Sessions