Words Matter

We live in a complex and fast-growing industry. While other engineering disciplines have been around for 100s of years, software engineering is still in its infancy and changing often. We are asked to share ideas to influence change, but this can be challenging in this rapidly growing field. This requires conveying thoughts to different audiences which may also vary on their technical vocabulary. It may be easy to reference a software engineering principle or law that can elegantly describe a technical scenario, but it may be ineffective when conveyed to others who are not aware of that concept. To be effective, we realize that words matter based on our audience.

In this talk, we focus on how we can improve in communicating our technical ideas across the spectrum of stakeholders in our systems. We will walk through the art of boundary spanning, where we seek to effectively communicate across different groups. This will include ways to convey ideas with different audiences and how to readjust when misunderstandings arise. We will review concise ways of sharing software engineering concepts through laws and principles, but also approaches in guiding others who may not be familiar with the term. This will revisit timeless software engineering essays whose notoriety is based on their communication effectiveness. Finally, we will go through understanding different audiences and ways to associate relatable concepts to ensure a point is well understood.

Also, here is the related Words Matter guide.