A Neurobiologists’s Guide to Mind Manipulation (25 min video)

I’ve given this talk 13+ times, all over the world. It’s the most important and impactful thing I’ve ever done.

A useful-psychology double-whammy: (A) Developers are great systems thinkers. Surprise: your brain is a system too! Reframe frustration into accomplishment, and become a more effective and bubbly person using a frontal cortex feedback loop. (B) Want your team to be the happiest, most productive team around? Recent psychology research reveals one key attribute of the most successful teams, and it's within your influence.

Summary, notes, links, related videos, book:


Keeps track of who has attended an event, using their Yale ID card to swipe in. A small, simple application in Ruby on Rails. Interviewed every group on campus that had a similar system to see how this app might meet their needs. Worked with central ITS to expose [card-swipe ⇔ identity] as a web API.

YaleLDAP Gem

Greatly simplifies connection to Yale’s LDAP Server. Well documented, 4.0 on Code Climate.


Manages the loaning and reservation of equipment items. Used by ~14 groups on campus to manage 10,000’s reservations of 100’s of equipment items. A large, stable, well-tested application in Ruby on Rails.


Coordinates where and when employees work. Employees sign themselves up, swap shifts, are held accountable. Manages payment. Used by ~7 groups to manage ~400 employees. A large, difficult legacy application. Going through massive Rails 2 => Rails 3 upgrade.

Service Now Tweaks Browser Extension

Improves the experience of Service Now, is an IT ticket tracking software with an otherwise terrible interface.

Yale Wiki, Haven Free Clinic Wiki, Student Technology Collaborative Wiki (retired)

Helps people share information and collaborate, especially long-term. Editable by anyone affiliated with the group. For, >50,000 views/year by a population of <5,000. Information architecture, server administration, MediaWiki with custom plugins.

Collaboration Tips and Tricks Collection

Presentation on YouTube, Notes

Curated resources used to improve team collaboration