Get better at reading code

Track: 2 (TECH TRACK) Type of session: workshop
with Live Q&A
Start Time: 13.00 Entry-level / open to all

“Research indicates that almost 60% of a programmer’s time is spent understanding code rather than writing code.” - Felienne Hermans (author of ‘The Programmer’s Brain’)

… yet when we teach and learn programming, we predominantly focus on ‘how to write code’ and hardly ever ‘how to read code’.

In programming there is an accepted paradigm of learn by copying and do by writing. We might be better off if we spent more time thinking and comprehending. Another side-effect of this copy paste / write first culture is that we often replace each other’s code rather than trying to read and understand how and why the code we are working on might have been written that way.

Katja has been running code reading clubs for a couple of years, based on activities designed in collaboration with researcher and CompSci professor Felienne Hermans.

In this session, she’ll share some techniques and examples that could help you run this club in your workplace or practice on your own. You might be surprised what you learn by hearing how your colleagues read code and talking about each other’s perspectives together.

Session takeaways

  • Why we should practice reading code
  • How to practice reading code
  • What is all about


Katja was until recently, employed as a lead developer at where she specialised in the design and implementation of digital services aiming to improve the reach of small charities. She has over 12 years experience in web app development. As a resident, she values creative collaboration. She works iteratively with clients to get as close as possible to what people need out of the products she builds.

She values community, open source, transparency, integrity, generally sharing stuff and giving everyone a voice.

Note: Speaker information is subject to change

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