Episode 2 with Evelyn van Kelle

Episode # 2| 2020-06-24

If something is too complex to understand, it must be wrong

The guest for episode number two of Software Crafts Podcast is Evelyn van Kelle. She shared her opinion on the heuristic “If something is too complex to understand, it must be wrong” from the Xebia Essentials repository (https://essentials.xebia.com/poutsma-principle/). We navigate the waves of complexity within organisations and software, from the theory to real-life examples. She leaves her advice regarding the social practices within the complex socio-technical systems that we operate. Looking to the future, she hopes that we can reduce accidental complexity, creating more empathy organisations.

Evelyn shared the theory of:

  • Valentino Braitenberg with his book “Vehicles”, where “downhill invention, uphill analysis” is the main takeaway
  • David Woods with “every sufficiently complex system, everyone’s mental model is incomplete and out of date, in different ways”

Also, she recommends the following books:

  • “Thinking, fast and slow” from Daniel Kahneman
  • “Dynamic Reteaming” from Heidi Helfand

Evelyn van Kelle (@EvekynvanKelle) is a social scientist at heart. She is a firm believer that accidental complexity within organisations is because we are not investing enough in the social part of the socio-technical systems. She specialised in helping companies to tackle the socio-technical complexity, namely in the IT industry.

Evelyn van Kelle (@Evelynvankelle)
If something is too complex to understand, it must be wrong
Heuristic Source
Xebia Essentials


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