What We Talk About When We Talk About Code

Accepted Session
Short Form
Scheduled: Tuesday, June 21, 2016 from 11:00 – 11:45am in B204


Programming and open source have plenty of specific jargon to learn. How do we make sure we're not pushing away contributors with it?


After a few years in programming and open source, many otherwise-alien terms make intuitive sense. We even learn history and start referring to events good and bad within the open source world.

But to those not involved in open source, or programming at all, those referenced histories amount to noodle incidents. It becomes surprisingly easy to confuse, or even alienate, newcomers just by using the “correct” terms without explanation. As the people working within the bubble of tech jargon, we have both the opportunity and the duty to help the growing ranks of developers and OSS contributors understand just what exactly we’re on about. Doing so isn’t hard, but it does require a step back to understand the audience, as well as a bit of clever thinking.

This session takes developers over to the English department for a while, looking at how we can more thoughtfully use language and literary concepts to express what we work on in ways that almost anyone could grok. (Understand. Anyone could understand.)


language, communication, community, writing

Speaking experience

This is a repeat/refinement of my OSCON talk. I've also given talks at Refresh Portland, ACT-W, and others. (Full list/slides: http://hupfen.com/talks/)


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