Andy Van Slaars

Andy Van Slaars

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On Fixed Mental Models

In the course of my work, I make decisions that standardize the tools, patterns, and approaches across many teams of developers. I put a lot of thought and care into these decisions and provide a lot of written rationale, but it’s still pretty common to be met with resistance to any new decisions.

For an industry where change is a constant, it’s interesting how resistent many folks are to it. From all of these interactions and the subsequent efforts to refine my message and have conversations around these decisions, it’s become apparent that folks will inevitably form fixed mental models about all, or some aspects of their work. Once those fixed mental models are in place, change is not only difficult, but there is almost a visceral, defensive response to any change that doesn’t align with someone’s preconceived ideas.