Types and other techniques as an accessibility tool for the ADHD brain

Day 3 - Software You Can Love (Fri) • 14:00 • Duration: 45m

Programmers love claiming that certain tools and techniques are “better”, and trying to justify their objective superiority. From static type systems to test driven development we look for scientific studies to back our views while trying to win the argument about which direction is “correct”.

After more than 10 years as a developer, software architect, and trainer, Michael was diagnosed with ADHD. As he started researching what that meant, he realized that many of his own preferences directly countered the known weaknesses common to those with ADHD. He hadn’t been “following the science” of effective software development - he’d been unconsciously selecting his own accessibility tooling.

Just like any other user interface, a programming language can help or hinder its users depending on who they are. Let’s explore a very personal take on what reasonable adjustments for a common “neurospiciness” in a programming language look like, and how we can choose and shape languages for the humans using them, rather than for universal best practices.