Gail Ollis

Gail Ollis

  • gollis at bournemouth dot ac dot uk
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I am a chartered IT professional with over twenty years’ experience as a software developer. I am also a psychologist.

My research interests stem from my programming career. Among programmers with similar education and experience, individuals demonstrate quite different levels of ability to produce ‘team-friendly’ work that is straightforward for their peers to work with. This is important because computer code is not simply written, deployed and forgotten, but reused and revisited many times.

I am therefore interested in the definition of ‘best practices’ from a peer perspective. These are not necessarily the same as practices which are important for reasons such as program accuracy or performance. Identifying the common practices that most help or hinder fellow programmers is just the beginning. I am working with industry partners to explore the practical applications of my research findings. I create the opportunity for a team to identify for themselves which of these practices are especially relevant to them...



Journal Articles


  • Ollis, M.G., Apeh, E. and Dickerson, S., 2020. Contextualised Cyber Security Awareness Approach for Online Romance Fraud. In: BESC 2020 5-7 November 2020 Bournemouth, UK.
  • Ashenden, D. and Ollis, M.G., 2020. Putting Security in Software Development. In: NSPW 2020 26-29 October 2020 Online.
  • Ollis, G., 2016. Folklore and fantasy in the information age. In: PyCon UK 2016 15-19 September 2016 Cardiff, UK.
  • Ollis, G., 2016. Helping programmers get what they want. In: 27th Annual Workshop of the Psychology of Programming Interest Group - PPIG 2016 7 September-10 August 2016 St. Catharine's College, University of Cambridge, UK. Psychology of Programming Interest Group (PPIG 2016).
  • Atfield-Cutts, S., Ollis, G., Coles, M. and Mayes, H., 2016. Blended Feedback II: Video feedback for individual students is the norm, on an undergraduate computer programming unit. In: 27th Annual Workshop of the Psychology of Programming Interest Group - PPIG 2016 7-10 September 2016 St. Catharine's College, University of Cambridge, UK. Psychology of Programming Interest Group (PPIG 2016).
  • Ollis, G., 2014. "What Programmers Want". In: ACCU 2014 9-12 April 2014 Bristol.
  • Ollis, G., 2012. In search of practitioner perspectives on ‘good code’. In: 24th Annual Workshop of the Psychology of Programming Interest Group - PPIG 2012 21-23 November 2012 London Metropolitan University, UK. Psychology of Programming Interest Group (PPIG).


  • Ollis, M., 2019. Helping developers to help each other: a technique to facilitate understanding among professional software developers. PhD Thesis. Bournemouth University, Faculty of Science and Technology.


  • Ollis, G., 2012. Why did they do THAT? The hidden impact of programmers' psychological differences on software development. In: BCS 8th London Hopper Colloquium.

Profile of Teaching PG

  • Cyberpsychology

Profile of Teaching UG

  • Programming (Level 4, Java)
  • Cyberpsychology (Level 4)
  • Principles of Programming (Level 4, Python)
  • Final year project supervisor

Invited Lectures

  • 19 Sep 2016 more

External Responsibilities

Public Engagement & Outreach Activities

  • PyCon UK
  • Programming, tools and processes conference
  • Organised by BCSWomen, this was a Guinness World Record attempt for the largest number of people learning to write Android smartphone applications at the same time. Over 1000 participants were taught to code an app by women teachers across 30 locations in the UK. I was one of the teachers at BU.
  • "What Programmers Want" workshops at ACCU Oxford and ACCU Bristol, 2014

Conference Presentations

  • PyCon UK 2019, Let's make a talk, 13 Sep 2019, Cardiff, UK
  • ACCU 2019, Helping Developers to Help Each Other, 09 Apr 2019, Bristol, UK
  • QCon San Francisco, Helping developers to help each other, 05 Nov 2018, Hyatt Regency San Francisco, California
  • Social and Behavioural Sciences for Cyber Security, Communicating with Software Developers, 24 Oct 2018, Romsey, UK
  • PyCon UK 2018, What's new about fake news?, 15 Sep 2018, City Hall, Cardiff, UK
  • ACCU 2018, What’s new about fake news?, 11 Apr 2018, Bristol, UK
  • National Conference for Learning and Teaching in Cyber Security, Observations and reflections on teaching psychological principles and methods to cybersecurity students, 05 Apr 2017, Liverpool
  • PPIG 2016 - 27th Annual Workshop, Helping programmers get what they want, 07 Sep 2016, Cambridge, UK
  • ACCU 2014, What Programmers Want, 08 Apr 2014, Bristol, UK
  • PPIG 2012 - 24th Annual Workshop, In search of practitioner perspectives on ‘good code’, 21 Nov 2012, London, UK
  • ACCU 2008, Santa Claus and other methodologies, 02 Apr 2008, Oxford, UK
  • ACCU 2007, Advocating Agility, 10 Apr 2007, Oxford, UK


  • BSc (Hons) in Psychology (Open University, 2011)
  • BSc (Hons) in Electronic and Electrical Engineering (University of Surrey, 1986)


  • Winning poster at BCS 8th London Hopper Colloquium (British Computer Society, 2012)


  • British Psychological Society, Member (2011-),
  • British Computer Society, Member (1995-),
The data on this page was last updated at 04:06 on October 27, 2020.