Security problems, half-broken (or sometimes fully broken) features, bugs galore, you name it – there are a lot of technical problems plaguing most complex software. As it turns out, software is kind of hard! But are these problems truly as technical as we think? Instead of approaching everything as a tech problem, as we techies tend to do, we can also approach software as a human problem – because we techies just love people, of course.
The human factor has been long known to be one of the most complex issues when building, maintaining and using software. Nothing is fool-proof – nature will just provide a bigger fool. Users do things we never thought possible, leading to bugs at best and security problems at worst. Managers push unrealistic deadlines, salespeople overpromise, and clients make impossible demands leading to cut corners and unmaintainable code as changes are done on changes and temporary code becomes the most permanent part of a project.
This talk shows some of the ways people can cause problems both big and small – and some of the ways we as techies might factor into that, and could possibly prevent the issues that arise from dealing with humans. We will explore the impact of human interactions and mistakes on software and security, and see how we as developers and other technical people are just as much of a human risk to software as the users and managers we so often blame - and of course, the ways in which we can avoid making these mistakes, and perhaps help others do the same.