Complexity Theory and Software Development
Tim Berglund von der JAX London 2012
Some systems are too large to be understood entirely by any one human mind. They are composed of a diverse array of individual components capable of interacting with each other and adapting to a changing environment. As systems, they produce behavior that differs in kind from the behavior of their components. Tim Berglund discusses the emerging discipline of Complexity Theory that seeks to describe such phenomena previously encountered in biology, sociology, economics, and other disciplines. Beyond new ways of looking at ant colonies, fashion trends, and national economies, complexity theory promises powerful insights to software development. The Internet-perhaps the most valuable piece of computing infrastructure of the present day-may fit the description of a complex system. Large corporate organizations in which developers are employed have complex characteristics. In this session, we’ll explore what makes a complex system, what advantages complexity has to offer us, and how to harness these in the systems we build.