Computing That Serves

Irrational Communication and Other Good Ideas


Thursday, December 1, 2011 - 10:00am


Rob Fotheringham

LDS Church

Undergraduate Career Seminar


Eric Ringger

Software development is sometimes considered one of the few fields where rational thought still prevails. But that bias toward perceived rationality can unwittingly perpetuate miscommunication as it engenders a "my rationality beats your irrationality" mindset.  The results of several experiments are invoked to help listeners understand the fallibility of memory, sensory skills, and reasoning in general, to help promote empathetic thinking and, ultimately, a more balanced approach to the creation of software solutions.  I draw on a decade of experience in software to help listeners understand the challenges and opportunities inherent in this expansive and exciting field.


Rob Fotheringham has managed development, marketing, sales, product management, customer support, and finance functions for various software organizations over the last 10 years for several companies, including Intel, Novell, and the Church.  He has also played various roles in the retail, transportation, healthcare, and manufacturing industries.