Even Naming This Talk Is Hard


Writers of software and writers of documentation practice a shared art: we bestow abstractions with names. We know weve succeeded when our names illuminate concepts, elicit a-ha moments, and empower users to put our product to work. We know we've failed when the names we've chosen confuse, frustrate, misguide, or offend.

Naming things well matters. Too often, though, good names are hard to come by, and bad names are hard to change.

Using a lengthy and ever-growing list of Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad names encountered during my career as an engineer, this talk will address:

  • Why is it so hard to name things well in software?

  • Why do bad names persist?

  • What are some heuristics for assessing how good or bad a name is?

  • How has technology hampered efforts to name things well?

  • How can technology help our efforts to name things well?

  • How can documentarians and developers work together to name things better?

    • Conference: Write the Docs EU
    • Year: 2017

    About the speaker

    Ruthie BenDor