Open Source and Feelings Open Source & Feelings

Taylor Dewey

Taylor Dewey

A cry for help: What Answering 911 Teaches Us About Building Better Software

"911, what is your emergency?" is the question that starts every call. My job, for three years, was to negotiate the caller's emotional minefield to gain life-saving information and insight.

In this story-centric talk, I show how working in software and with open source communities is similar to emergency services.

Participants will hear stories that reveal human nature and understand some of the system and training that creates order from emotional chaos. UX designers and software developers can use these same techniques to uncover their users' needs, manage volunteers, communicate effectively, and prioritize development.

Trigger warning: in this talk I plan on telling stories from my 911 calltaker perspective of real or attempted missing persons, homicide, and suicide calls. Weapons are mentioned.