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Shaving the Golden Yak

YOW! 2018 Brisbane

Programming is a series of frustrations. Everything we do, we could do better or faster if we only had our tools set up just so. If our error messages were a little better, our code a little cleaner, our tests a lot wider. When we spend time on this, it's known as "yak shaving," and it can get messy.

How do you balance the work you’re supposed to be doing with the work that makes your work, work? Dive into the yak stack with me. We'll see five different species of yak, and discuss how and when to tackle each one. At the bottom of the yak stack, we might find the Golden Yak, with secret wisdom engraved on its skin.

This session will give you reasons to spend time smoothing your development experience, and clues for where to spend that time in ways that help your whole team.

Jessica Kerr

Developer, Keynote Speaker, Symmathecist


United States

Jessica Kerr is a developer of development systems. She works remotely from St. Louis, for Atomist, where she writes automations and automation infrastructure in TypeScript, Clojure, and whatever else is needed. She is a back-end developer who believes the front-end is most crucial. Jessica speaks at conferences in the US and Europe; find her on the >Code podcast (