Drawing Insights: Software Development Lessons from XKCD

XKCD is not just “A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.” XKCD comics are insights into the mind of an engineer trying to make sense of the world and live his best life. These comics have a surprising amount to teach us about building useful software and working with others. In this humorous ignite-style talk, we’ll look at how these comics can teach us important lessons about our code, our colleagues, our customers, and even ourselves.

There is a lot more to talk about than Little Bobby Tables and the importance of data sanitization. As I progressed from a junior to a senior engineer, my view of many of these comics evolved. Join me on this lighthearted adventure where we’ll explore the lessons XKCD has to offer around:

  • What makes good code?
  • How to convey information effectively
  • Dealing with imposter syndrome
  • Empathy for our colleagues and our customers
  • and much more

A few comic strips won’t solve all your problems at work, but they might make you laugh. They also might help you find the essential idea that you want to talk about, and from there, you can work with others to make a change.



Dan Cook

Dan has been described as “a nerd who makes tools to help other nerds be more productive.” He spends his days applying his developer background to the operations side of a cloud-based video production ...