Writing as a Core Practice

At DDD conferences, we focus a lot on modeling and not on writing. But most of us working as systems designers do A LOT of communicating. Writing is a fabulous tool for thinking.

As software designers, we craft knowledge. We weave other people’s thinking and experiences into our own. We solve problems. We construct valuable recommendations and improve them through communication.

We envision what is not yet visible and bring it to life.

We also get lost in the forest of disparate opinions. We go down promising paths and discover dead ends. When we do discover a viable path … almost nobody follows us .

We are sometimes screaming into the wind.

Constructing something whole and actionable from abstract ideas requires creating conceptual integrity. Fred Brooks says "Conceptual integrity is the most important consideration in systems design." Unfortunately, we are truly terrible at creating or maintaining conceptual integrity … unless we are supported by practices.

Fortunately, writing is the practice of crafting conceptual integrity.

Writing practices can help us:
- strengthen metacognition: awareness of our own thought process.
- synthesize knowledge, experience and sound judgment into well-reasoned recommendations.
- learn.
- navigate uncertainty through inquiry.
- think well, together.

Thinking well together generates better outcomes. And makes daily life more enjoyable for everyone. When people cooperatively strengthen their thinking, and reasons for acting, they make better decisions.

In this hands-on lab, we will write. You'll try five writing practices that, when done regularly, improve your ability to think, learn and lead. Including timed free writing, systemic reasoning, modeling artifacts and structuring recommendations for varying audiences.

Fair warning: it will be a lot of fun.

Bring your favorite pen.

Diana Montalion

Mentrix: Principal

New York City, New York, United States


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