Principles of Collaborative Automation

How can we make our tools work with our team? Like a good team member, great tools keep us informed, implement our decisions, and help us understand errors. Drawing from aviation, medicine, and software, here are strategies for choosing and building tools that enhance us and do not frustrate us.

Great automation doesn’t replace humans; it enhances us. When we are choosing or building tools for our team, we want them to play like team members: keep us informed, make the easy decisions repeatably, and pass the hard decisions to the humans along with the information we need to make them.

Based on research in human-centered design, this talk enumerates principles and challenges of collaboration for programs. It lists strategies for eliminating “human error” as well as human frustration. Our tools should make us smarter, not hide knowledge from us. In aviation and medicine, this is a million-dollar investment–-but when we construct our own tools, collaborative automation is within our reach.



Jessica Kerr

Jessica Kerr is a developer of development automation. She works at Atomist, where she writes delivery automation in TypeScript on Node. She also speaks at conferences around the world; last year she ...