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Decision Making and Heuristics

YOW! CTO Summit 2019 Melbourne

CTOs often make high-stakes architecture decisions under conditions of uncertainty, with insufficient information, and too little time. At other times it is prudent to take the time to carefully make trade-offs and weigh options. This talk will touch on different decision making models and when they are appropriate, as well as some differences between expert and non-expert decision makers. And we’ll argue that by instilling a culture where everyone is more intentional about their architecture and design heuristics that your organisation will be poised to grow future technical leaders.

Rebecca Wirfs-Brock

Consultant, Inventor of Responsibility-Driven Design & xDD

Wirfs-Brock Associates

United States

Rebecca Wirfs-Brock is an object design pioneer who invented the set of design practices known as responsibility-driven design (RDD) and by accident started the x-driven design meme. Along the way, she authored two popular object-design books that are still in print. She was the design columnist for IEEE Software. You can find her blog at and her design columns, papers, and writing at

In her work, Rebecca’s helps teams hone their design and architecture skills, manage and reduce technical debt, refactor their code, and address architecture risks.

Rebecca is program director of the Agile Alliance’s Experience Report Initiative. Another interest of hers is software patterns and design heuristics. She serves on the board of the Hillside Group and recently has written papers on architecture decision-making, essays about the relationship between patterns and heuristics, patterns on how to create and manage magic backlogs, sustainable architecture, agile QA, and adaptive systems architectures.

If you want to write about and share your agile experiences or wisdom in pattern form, Rebecca can help you turn your itch for writing into the written word.