Julia Hayward is a Lead Software Engineer at Redgate Software. After many years of development experience in the .NET and SQL Server worlds in fields as diverse as online cartography, factory scheduling and social media analytics, in 2016 she set out on a new journey leading the agile team that looks after the award-winning SQL Toolbelt and other productivity tools. That led in turn to taking on Flyway, a Java-based open-source database migrations framework, and turning it into an enterprise offering. She is a passionate believer in lifelong learning, mentors junior engineers in both gaining new skills and charting their career paths, and supports aspiring engineers of the future via Anglia Ruskin University’s computing courses. When away from the keyboard, Julia can usually be found behind a backgammon or chess board; she chairs the UK Backgammon Federation, is a trustee of several local charities and is an arbiter for the Mind Sports Olympiad.
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Embedded cultural assumptions – how to annoy and insult your users in one easy step
We’ve all experienced that moment - we ask an application to perform what seems a trivial task, but it produces an error message or a strange behaviour to which our instinctive reaction is “Stupid computer!”. Some of us experience that moment far more often than others! Imagine that the application is implicitly saying there is something wrong with you, not just your inputs; some detail of your life puts you into an edge case that simply isn’t handled or cared about. An application that doesn’t allow you to be yourself will cause lasting annoyance and resentment. Unfortunately, that behaviour tends to become established in early, seemingly innocuous, design decisions anywhere from the UI right down to the database, and when the time comes to do a release, it is firmly embedded in the system. Avoiding making assumptions about your users, the way they interact with your application and the data you hold about them, will help make it more appealing to a wider audience - especially if you have ambitions to extend across the world's borders.
Attendees should leave the session with a lot more insight into - dispelling the myths we hold around culture and personal data, - why we should care about being culturally inclusive in our software design, - good practice in database design - what to store, and how to store it - good practice in application design - how to respect your users' identities