Different Doesn't Mean Broken: Neurodiversity in Tech

Most people never have reason to question whether the rest of the world thinks in the same way as them. Sure, others may have different opinions, experiences, and skills, but at the end of the day, their brains work pretty similarly. For those of us who are neurodivergent, however, we often feel different and alone in our experiences, and when we fail at things that seem to come easily to everyone else, we’re left to conclude that we must be broken.

We’re not alone, though, and we’re not broken. Many other people have the same struggles and experiences as we do, and many of us end up working in tech. This can bring unique challenges, both for ourselves as well as the neurotypical people who work with us. For this reason, it’s important to understand how all of us can work together, regardless of what kind of brains we have.

This talk will introduce you to some of the more common categories of neurodivergence and dispel some of the common misconceptions surrounding them, as well as discuss strategies for ensuring that everyone on your team can succeed, regardless of how their brain works.



Ryan Whitehurst

Ryan works as a software engineer at Puppet, where he has worked for four years. Whether working as a developer, sysadmin, or both, he believes that every task we have to do is just something we ...