We all know that naming functions, variables, classes and services correctly makes for a much more readable codebase, but it’s often a struggle to come up a good name that encapsulates what you’re doing without being AnObnoxiouslyLongAndBoringNameToType.

So why is naming things in computer science so difficult and what can we do to get better at it? Maybe the answer lies in exploring the English language. In this talk, I will delve into the world of grammar and linguistics to find some answers these two questions.


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Simon R Jones at 11:47 on 8 Apr 2017

Good talk, nice overview of the background to language & naming things and a great bunch of practical rules. Found it a little fast at times, but otherwise excellent and very useful. Will be passing these tips on to my team when I get back!

Like the content, lots of practical advice and enjoyed the continual theme thoughout

Mark Railton at 12:21 on 8 Apr 2017

Really good talk that highlighted to me some of the issues that can be caused when choosing poor names for variables etc. Talk felt a bit rushed and Nicola seemed very nervous and unsure about the talk at times.

Great talk about conveying purpose behind naming and as the saying goes: every well documented piece of code is a poem to your future self.

Ishani Vardhan at 12:33 on 8 Apr 2017

Quite a many valid points raised and talked about but seemed a bit rushed at times instead of presenter being more free flowing with her content, but all in all the worth sitting!

Vicky at 13:19 on 8 Apr 2017

Thoroughly enjoyed and took a lot away from this talk. Will definitely be looking at my code and making changes to make it easier to understand

Gregory at 14:33 on 8 Apr 2017

Presented in a very approachable way, so we joined you on the journey. Important topic.

Elliot Ward at 09:07 on 9 Apr 2017

This talk was enjoyable, instructive and very well structured - the device of suggesting a set of names, and then eliminating them one by one after introducing individual pieces of good practice worked excellently. The slides were excellent - I suggest lingering slightly longer on the misappropriated quotes - it was difficult to actually read them before you moved on. The delivery was slightly rushed, but due to the topic being relatively soft this in no way caused it to become difficult to follow or understand. This could be a problem with a more technical topic.

Alex Pott at 09:46 on 9 Apr 2017

I really enjoy the talk. I struggle with naming things on a daily basis. I took a photo of your 10 top tips and hope to use this to help... there definitely are far too many managers in my codebase :)

I agree with the other comments about the speed of delivery and also lingering of the quotes as they were great but fleeting.

Drew McLellan at 12:16 on 9 Apr 2017

Really great talk that gave me loads to think about and apply to my work. The format of showing possible naming options and eliminating with rules was really clear and helpful. The nerves drop away with experience, so keep at it - this talk is definitely worth submitting to more conferences.

Dave Liddament at 15:03 on 9 Apr 2017

Great talk. Every developer should see it. Lot of good advice.

Rafael Dohms at 18:43 on 9 Apr 2017

This was a great talk, really enjoyed the content and the structure, made it very easy to follow the story and come to the same conclusions.

The speaker spoke clearly and in a good pace, overcoming nerves and settling into the talk quickly and seemed comfortable on stage by the end. As a first time speaker this was truly an amazing job and conquering more stages will improve this quickly.

Nicola, thanks for taking the leap to come share this with us, I hope to see you at more events sharing more interesting thoughts.

John Hughes at 09:15 on 10 Apr 2017

Best talk of the day for me. Loved the comparison with prose and and the simple, practical, why-didn't-I-think-of-that-before rules for good names. I've come away with a good reading list and sudden urge to rewrite all my code.

Shaun Walker at 10:52 on 10 Apr 2017

Brilliant topic that I'm surprised hasnt had more attention in the past.
The speaker seemed nervous which I think caused her to rush when speaking a bit too much. The speaker just needs to relax a bit more with it, the content was great and I would recommend that everyone see this talk, whatever your level.

Brilliant talk. Went surprisingly in depth into a topic I never previously saw as being as complex of an issue. I learned a lot! To offer feedback, some of the joke-y slides and lines went a bit over my uneducated noggin, but other than that, spot on!

This was awesome.
Coming into a new company and finding variables named $fp or even worse names that mean one thing in one file but another thing in another.

Bogdan Leonte at 16:06 on 14 Apr 2017

The topic might seem trivial at first, but this delved wisely into the structure of names to provide a (pleasingly) pedantic, practical and thought-provoking talk. Some of it will have seemed common sense, but there were plenty of things to take into day-to-day work and reconsider some old habits.

Full marks for overcoming some presentation nerves and never breaking stride through the talk. Where it was lacking in audience engagement, this more than made up for with a great structure, a bit of humour, and great enunciation throughout. A very enjoyable presentation.

Rich Sage at 08:41 on 21 Apr 2017

I really enjoyed this. I think you may have been a bit nervous and this came across at points in terms of your pace/speech, but the content was spot on and I've referenced it lots in the days since the conference, both with myself & colleagues.