Technology has become an intermediary in nearly every part of our lives, from electronic medical records to online bill-pay systems to apps that remember which craft beers you’ve tasted. We usually think of technology as a tool, something as indifferent as a hammer or a ruler. But in a world where algorithms decide which version of the news you read, pretending our software is detached is naive—or even dangerous.

So, when so few technologists (that’s us) are creating software for use by so many (that’s nearly everyone else in the world), how can we do right by them? What responsibility do we have to use our skills for good? And how can we get this right when humans beings insist on being so varied and complicated and, well… human?


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Brian Fenton at 16:08 on 18 Mar 2017

Excellent talk. Emotional, informative, changes how you think about your job and your role in society. Exactly the type of thing a keynote should be. Several AV hiccups too, handled well.

If I had one point of constructive criticism, the light grey color for twitter handle and a few captions blends in with the background.

Ben Edmunds at 16:09 on 18 Mar 2017

Really amazing talk that is extremely important for our industry.

Nic Steenhout at 16:09 on 18 Mar 2017

Thank you for an awesome keynote. Some things were reminders of what I already knew. Others were new. Excellent use of real life anecdotes.

This is a talk I will never forget. Thank you.

Noah Bratzel at 20:07 on 18 Mar 2017

This got a little over-emotional for me. Almost preachy. I think this could have used a lot more focus on all the ways that software development could be focused on the user without such long, somewhat-depressing stories. I think I could have got the point from one or two brief anecdotes. Could have used more of a positive focused message with more actionable take-aways.

I thought this was a great talk about something I really hadn't considered much before. I do wish there were a positive message at the end of how things were moving in the right direction. It was somewhat of a down note to leave the conference in.

Aaron Quamme at 22:31 on 18 Mar 2017

Fantastic talk! It covered an important topic which all software developers need to consider on a daily basis. It was absolutely the right talk to close out the conference. The presentation was well polished, and the speaker was very engaging. I do agree with Noah that a bit more time could have been spent discussing actionable takeaways, but I disagree with his rating. This was definitely a 5 star talk from my perspective. Thank you for presenting!

Anonymous at 09:37 on 20 Mar 2017

David Lim at 10:01 on 20 Mar 2017

I'm glad you were the closing keynote to inspire us all to always keep in mind that there are real, living people using our creations. It's an honor and responsibility to love them intentionally with our products.

All around amazing talk that left me feeling thoughtful and inspired. It was a great closing to the conference as a reminder that after having spent these two days learning and feeling enabled to "do all the things" to still tread with care and to think through the potential consequences of our actions.

Emily Stamey at 18:01 on 20 Mar 2017

This talk was so wonderful! There was so much light shining on the ways that we could be better developers by showing compassion and awareness of our users. I loved this talk so much!

Becky at 20:08 on 20 Mar 2017

Despite the tech issues you ran into at the start of the talk, you kept a cool head and even joked about it. I love how you use stories to get your points across. It made me realize that even though I work on pretty straightforward sites, there are still things that I can do to to make users' experiences suck less. :)

Andy Snell at 13:30 on 21 Mar 2017

I saw this same talk at php[world] last year and was completely prepared to mentally checkout. Nope! Eryn delivered an excellent, captivating talk that somehow improved on the last time I heard it. Kudos for dealing with the technical issues and not letting it knock you off your game.