Tech4Africa slides: Breaking down silos

I was privileged to speak at Tech4Africa 2011 about a topic that I care about a great deal: how our environments and the way we work impact the quality of the software we produce. The talk came out of a question I keep asking myself over and over: why, despite our best efforts, do we still too often produce low quality software? Here’s the talk summary:

Why do we see so many web applications with inferior user experiences? Why do UX designers often get stuck being asked to “make the design pop a little more,” with no room or incentive to innovate? Why do some web developers feel demotivated and unable to break out of doing things the way they’ve always been done?

In this talk I explore some of the main causes of ineffective software development, and discuss practical recommendations on how to improve team structures and development processes to build high quality software that users care about, want to use, and that therefore makes more money for the business.

I discuss how designers and developers can work better together, how to ensure everyone gets input into the roadmap without it becoming chaos, and how to make sure that the business benefits are clearly articulated and communicated.

So here are the slides from my talk – I hope you find it useful. If you’d like to read more about this topic, you can check out a two-part series of articles that I wrote for Smashing Magazine.