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How to Read Complex Code without Getting a Headache

YOW! 2020 Sydney

Research shows that on average developers spend about 58 percent of their time on reading code! However, we are not explicitly taught reading code in school or in boot camps, and we rarely practice code reading too.  

Maybe you have never thought about it, but reading code can be confusing in many ways. Code in which you do not understand the variable names causes a different type of confusion from code that is very coupled to other code. In this talk, Felienne Hermans, associate professor at Leiden University, will firstly dive into the cognitive processes that play a role when reading code. She will then show you theories for reading code, and close the talk with some hands-on techniques that can be used to read to any piece of code with more ease and fewer headaches!

Felienne Hermans

Associate Professor Programming Education

Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science

Netherlands

Felienne is associate professor at the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science at Leiden University, where she heads the PERL research group, focused on programming education. She also works at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam for one day a week, where she teaches prospective computer science teachers.

Felienne is the creator of the Hedy programming language, and was one of the founders of the Joy of Coding conference. Since 2016, she has been a host at SE radio, one of the most popular software engineering podcasts on the web.

Felienne is a member the board of I&I, the Dutch association of high-school computer science teachers, and of TC39, the committee that designs JavaScript.