Workshop: Human-Centered Software Development




9:00am - 12:00pm



"Want to be a great coder? Develop a painfully deep sense of empathy. Everything else derives from that." - Phil Haack

While empathy may sound soft and fuzzy, we believe that great software is built by being able to ask open ended questions, understand root cause/user needs, defer judgement and see the world through the perspective of others.

The World Economic forum agrees- collaboration and emotional intelligence are rated as the 5th and 6th most critical skills for the workforce by 2020. This highly experiential workshop will explore how empathy and learning to see the world from the perspective of others can help software teams collaborate more effectively and build better human centered products, through a series of practical tools and frameworks.

Key takeaways:

  • Explore how design thinking and human-centered design principles apply to software development
  • Help your team become "customer obsessed" and learn how empathy can lead to writing code that solves the right problems
  • Consider new approaches to collaborating and communicating with colleagues

Speaker: Zachary Smith

Co-founder @Catalyz

Zach is a technology, design thinking, and innovation leader with more than 19 years of product development and client services experiences, serving a wide range of industries and organizations including startups, Wall Street banks, automotive manufacturers, enterprise software platform providers, creative studios, and consulting agencies. Zach is Co-Founder with Ben of the Seattle Design Thinking and Innovation Collective.

Find Zachary Smith at

Speaker: Ben Grossman-Kahn

Leadership Transformation, Co-Founder Catalyz, previously Director of @Nordstorm Technology People Lab

Ben has an M.ED in Learning, Design and Technology from Stanford, and is a graduate and former lecturer and coach at the Stanford d.School. Ben has 8 years of experience consulting, facilitating, and leading innovation engagements, programs and teams at Fortune 500 firms, nonprofits and educational institutions. Ben was an early member of the Nordstrom Innovation Lab, Director of the Nordstrom People Lab where he founded Nordstrom’s Innovation Bootcamp program, and Co-Founder with Zachary of the Seattle Design Thinking and Innovation Collective.

Find Ben Grossman-Kahn at



Monday Nov 7

Tuesday Nov 8

Wednesday Nov 9