The Hitchhiker's Guide to Meetings

Meetings, the human ritual of synchronous communication. They are considered the cornerstone activity of keeping teams aligned on their mission. As engineers, we encounter meetings routinely in order to facilitate team work in software development. While meetings are a core ritual to team work, we many times find meetings drain our efficiency of software development. As a result, we perceive meetings as a negative exercise, only hindering us from our larger goals of software creation.

In this talk, we will discuss how you can optimize the event of meetings. A brief overview will be shared on the common traps that meetings can impose on our lives. Characteristics and the mathematical properties of meetings will be discussed to provide guidance on how to better organize for these events. Styles of communication and the importance of listening for both verbal and non-verbal cues will also be examined. Lastly, tools and tactics will be shared on how to reduce the total cost of meetings by minimizing the amount of time spent.

After this talk, you will have practical approaches which can improve your participation and planning for meetings. As a result, you will feel empowered to control how meetings are operated, which will enhance your overall quality of life.