We usually think of technology as a tool, something as indifferent as a hammer or a ruler. But in a world where algorithms decide which version of the news you read, pretending our software is detached is naive—or even dangerous. Technology has become an intermediary in nearly every part of our lives, from electronic medical records to online bill-pay systems to apps that remember which craft beers you’ve tasted.
So, when so few technologists (that’s us) are creating software for use by so many (that’s nearly everyone else in the world), how can we do right by them? What responsibility do we have to use our skills for good? And how can we get this right when humans beings insist on being so varied and complicated and, well… human?
About the speaker
Eryn O’Neil is an independent PHP developer and tech lead. Coming from the agency world, she has worked on everything from e-commerce and online promotions, to sites for rad Minnesota organizations (shoutout to NiceRide and Doomtree!), to developing a proprietary framework and CMS. Her philosophy is to build software by placing humans first: both the people who will use it and the developers who build it with you (and maintain it afterward).
Based in Minneapolis, Eryn spends most of her free time blues dancing, flying on a trapeze, and wishing it weren’t snowing.