Jessica Kerr

Jessica Kerr (jessitron) is a software developer, consultant, symmathecist.

Symmathecist, because the work of software development is much richer than coding. Our job is to understand the system we’re growing, and express that in code.

Developers participate in a sociotechnical system full of learning — a symmathesy. We teach computers to do more useful work. Meanwhile we learn from the operating software, from each other, and from the wider world.

Jessitron in the world


as I like to call it, “polyemployment.” Currently I’m working with WWT on DevOps and Industrial Logic on agile transformation. You can hire me next!


I am one of several hosts on Arrested DevOps and Greater Than Code.


I speak about symmathesy, products, and development as a kind of science. My favorites are internal to a company, where people are collectively building the same systems.


Always something, always many things at once and somehow they intertwine. Follow along on my newsletter. Find the sum of output on my blog. Sometimes I stream, usually with Avdi.


Keynote, RubyConf 2019

What do great innovations in music, science, art, and software have in common?
They don’t come from one person. They come from a group of people working together and separately on a common problem: a camerata.
This story starts with the origins of opera; follows Van Gogh, Joseph Priestley, and Gregory and Nora Bateson to systems thinking; and ends with an audacious definition of software development.
Read the summary, or the TL;DR, or watch the keynote.

Git Happens

Git Happens at PyCon Canada

Ever been confused by git? It’s confusing as heck until after you watch this video. I go through the underlying concepts like SHA and DAG, and then build up to interactive rebase.
This is one of the first talks I ever did, and it has helped thousands of people in their work.