Recursion, instantiate, lexical scope - where do these words come from?! If you’ve ever been in conversation with other developers and thought, “I think I know what they’re talking about, but I’m not sure...”, you’re not alone. Let’s delve into the weird and wonderful parlance that computer scientists and developers have created for themselves. Whether the words are borrowed or just plain made up, I’ll uncover how they made their way into the vocabulary of the modern programmer.

In this session, you’ll learn everything from etymology to history to broader definitions, all of which can help you understand what the heck that person’s rambling about. So, the next time you’re in conversation, you’ll be the one discussing dependency injection versus inversion of control with ease.


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A very entertaining talk, well presented. Perhaps the balance of the talk could shift slightly to have a little more time on the 'moral of the story', maybe look at how we can better share this knowledge around, but a minor point on a really strong talk.

This could have been so much more if the initial definitions had been used a hook into a wider topic.

Chris Sherry at 10:16 on 17 Feb 2017

It was great to have someone stand up and give a talk about how confusing many of these terms really are - I think it's important to share that as it's easy to feel isolated when you think you are the only one who doesn't know these words.

It's also nice to see that I'm not the only one that has trouble finding a definition that makes sense.

A couple of the gifs / images were used to good effect, such as the one to describe encapsulation using cats but there are not many examples of this. I think Jennifer could have used imagery and diagrams more to explain visually what these definitions are as the talk was very wordy. The code examples that were in the talk went quickly and were quite small - I didn't find they helped with my understanding.

Lots of potential here and I think this is a talk that Jennifer should definitely build apon because the underlying point of the talk is one worth sharing.

David Yell at 10:20 on 17 Feb 2017

Although interesting, having someone read Wikipedia to you on stage doesn't make for a great keynote talk.

Gary Fuller at 10:27 on 17 Feb 2017

Cats, gifs and jargon, in glorious harmony. Really useful as a newbie, coming from a Psychology and basic Maths teaching background (with no higher level Computer Science qualifications), to know that the terminology is opaque to everyone at first. The talk itself was engaging, but definitely needs to be expanded to an hour long for us newbies. Jennifer is a really engaging speaker and I'm looking forward to hearing her again.

The topic has great potential, but I really expected a wider reach. Essentially fun and thought provoking, but still feels like there's way more that could be said on this topic.

Katy Ereira at 15:48 on 17 Feb 2017

Nice concept, but fell a bit flat. It was either too wordy, or not wordy enough. For example, quoting wikipedia to explain scope... not great. Using cat gifs to try and explain scope instead? Not much better either TBH. Some funny/humorous points, and the general overarching moral of helping people to understand things that experienced programmers would consider basic, but are simultaneously highly confusing to a newbie.

For some advice, I'd like to see fewer GIFs - quality rather than quantity; a few is fine for punchlines, but the amount presented here was a bit overwhelming. Was I supposed to be laughing the whole way through? That conflicted with the fact that the GIFs were interspersed with some very wordy, serious-sounding slides so the presentation ran at two extremes. Maybe reduce the wordiness and the GIFs to try and find a nice middle ground, because the topic definitely had potential.

Davo Smith at 20:16 on 17 Feb 2017

Important central idea - questioning the jargon we use: where it comes from, what it means and why we should all be a bit more open to around and explaining it to those who look confused.

But, the presentation fell a bit flat. Maybe it was too early in the morning after the social, but many of the animated gifs felt like punchlines that just didn't register.

Mattias Wirf at 23:08 on 18 Feb 2017

Entertaining, and interesting subject. However, I feel it could have some more discussion about for example the "impostor syndrome", or the communication between self-taught developers and thoose with a degree - something I have noticed . It also could have been a little longer :) But good start of the day.

I actually thought this *wasn't* going to be all that interesting - the typical "hey guys, none of us knows everything, and it's okay to admit it" impostor syndrome talk - but in the event it turned out to be just great (IMO). Perhaps it's because I come from a Latin/Greek/linguistics background so I was pretty much the ideal audience for this kind of thing, but I think it's *fascinating* to examine the terminology of our field and how, in so many cases, it seems to have been randomly plucked out of the air, in a manner highly likely to confuse an outsider. For no real reason! We could probably do a lot better at explaining what we do to outsiders, if we put our minds to the language we choose to describe it. So yeah, a really good and thought-provoking keynote, I thought.