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Too many programmers have forgotten about the lost art of customer service. All software has users, though most developers have forgotten how to respect them, trust them, or “sell” their software to them in an exciting (but honest!) manner. This talk will focus on anecdotes and strategies for keeping software design uncomplicated, making software fast, and putting usability above programming convenience. We’ll also focus on the importance of keeping a healthy illusion of simplicity, while allowing abstractions to deliberately leak for power-users.
Ben is a member of Google’s Open Source Program Office, working on projects to promote the spread of open source software both inside and outside the company. He is a technical lead for Google Code’s open source project hosting service, available at http://code.google.com. He helped port Subversion to Google’s Bigtable technology, which now runs across numerous machines and serves over 80,000 open source repositories. Prior to Google, Ben spent five years with Collabnet as one of the original designers and founders of the Subversion project. He is still active in the Subversion community and is also a co-author of the O’Reilly book “Version Control with Subversion”. He received his B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Chicago, and enjoys speaking with Brian Fitzpatrick at various conferences on topics both serious and irreverent.