Invitation to Systems Thinking with Jessica Kerr and Kent Beck

  5 days


Are you frustrated with how illogical the world is and baffled by how smart people and well-written software can do wrong things?

If you long for the days when programs were correct and people believed rightly, well sorry, we can’t help you. But if you’re ready to find new ways of making sense of the world, and discovering new tools for acting in the world as it is right now, this workshop is for you.

In this online course Kent Beck and Jessica Kerr will guide you through an introduction to systems thinking. Using examples from software and from life, and concepts like feedback loops, leverage points and propensities, we will step through the basics of seeing and changing systems.

Come with your questions, leave with new (and maybe even better?) questions.

Online Courses - Invitation to Systems Thinking

This course is run virtually over 3 days on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Each day will consist of two 90 minutes sessions with an hour break in between.

Our virtual courses offer the same expert-led, hands-on experience we've offered since 2013 — accessible from the comfort of your own home (office).

Jessica and Kent and participants from around the globe in a virtual classroom where you'll utilise collaboration tools like Zoom and Slack to start their journey in system thinking.

Online Courses - Invitation to Systems Thinking

Learn how to:

We will resolve paradoxes like “Theseus’s Ship” and “The Chicken and The Egg”, gain insight into distributed systems and symmathesies, and answer questions like, “Why is romantic love so powerful?” and “Why does software get harder to change over time?” and “Why will your enterprise never let you self-organize?

About the Authors

Kent Beck

“For each desired change, make the change easy (warning: this may be hard), then make the easy change.”

Kent Beck hates writing biographies. Guitarist, singer, storyteller, walker, poker player, programmer, artist. Original signer of the Agile Manifesto, author of the Extreme Programming book series, rediscoverer of Test-Driven Development, and inspiring keynote speaker. Helps geeks feel safe in the world.

Jessica Kerr

Principal Developer Evangelist

Available dates

Dates coming soon

Can't make it on any of these dates?
Our team is happy to discuss other options with you.
Contact us at and mention ref: SYSTHINK-KB-02.
Private tuition and large-group discounts are also available. Find out more here.

Who should take this course?

This course is for people in software, from managers to architects to senior devs.


Frustration with an existing system.

Course Outline

The course covers:
  • Examples of systems thinking in software, software teams, and life
  • How to draw systems with Gerald Weinberg's Diagrams of Effect
  • Natural vs deliberate effects
  • The difference between events, behaviors, and structures
  • Donella Meadows's points of leverage for changing systems
  • Intervention and perception
  • A dozen patterns of systems thinking, such as:
    • Influence instead of control
    • What do you ask-about?
    • Changing information flows
    • Spew, then edit
    • Noticing is a measure
    • “Nothing we do is working"
    • Many cheap long shots
    • Care about future-us
    • What is actually needed?

Invitation to Systems Thinking with Jessica Kerr and Kent Beck
Dates coming soon