November 1, 2019
UX Dev Summit Notes
This October, we visited Berlin to network with other companies from the IT Services Competence Platform group. UX Dev Summit is the first internal event where UX designers and front-end developers from Sevenval, CoreValue, Solidbrain and IT Kontrakt met to share their experiences.
The main idea was to get to know each other better across the companies and exchange the expertise we have. Those were two days packed with interesting approaches and 21 presentations. We talked about UX tips, team building lifehacks, explained how our departments are structured and how we organize work to make things done. The teammates from Solidbrain showcased their projects and UX features and we shared more technical insights from the front-end perspective.
Our corevaluers made notes during their intense days at the UX Dev Summit. Vlad, Andrew, Maksym and Pavlo were speakers presenting their experience and ideas. And another Pavlo together with Lesia and Vitaliia attended as active participants.
Vlad, the speaker: That was awesome! We just sat and listened to each other’s reports in a hardcore mode, having networking chats in between.
Andrew, the speaker: It is always cool to listen to developers with really strong expertise. And it was fun to travel with the teammates and meet new people.
Vitaliia, the attendee: The arrangement of this event was high-class: cool tech equipment, very cosy, snacks and drinks for everyone to keep refreshed. I had a feeling that I am attending a big international event with global companies involved. The speakers were well prepared and it was a delight to listen to them: no one mumbled nor felt uneasy with the microphone. It’s good we have the video recordings of the presentations and can watch the ones we liked the most again.
Max, the speaker: I expected this event to be a local-scale one with a couple of not even lectures but rather short talks. However, it turned out to be a real summit! I liked that all the speakers presented in different formats and one never knew what to expect next.
Pavlo, the attendee: The atmosphere was really warm and friendly. I liked the idea of this summit: a cooperation between developers and designers can bring brilliant solutions.
Lesia, the attendee: I just got myself concentrated on every single talk. The information was really valuable, so I challenged myself to absorb as much as I could. That was certainly worth it.
Pavlo, the speaker: Typically, during conferences you meet people and communicate with them. For me, this summit was the way to find out more about our partners’ projects. I was interested in their work, activities and now I have a more complete understanding of those. As for the speeches, there were so many of them that it was sometimes hard for me to perceive all the information. The topics and their scope were really diverse: every half an hour we had to switch to something different. At some point I realized I needed more time to reflect on what I’d just discovered.
The best talks
Vlad, the speaker: Our colleagues showed a component library with their best practices for developers to use on different projects. That was absolutely impressive.
Andrew, the speaker: There were a couple of new things I learned about UX. I remember a smart house project and some tips to make communication with clients smoother.
Vitaliia, the attendee: I liked the very first lecture about how to understand what the customer wants. And there were adorable guys presenting their project for Mazda as if it were their child.
Max, the speaker: The last lecture was the best one for me as it was interactive. A provocative question if AI ever replaces UX development or designers’ work stimulated hot discussions. I liked it because we were all involved: speakers, participants and organizers.
Lesia, the attendee: The talk about CSS architecture was very helpful as I faced similar things during the project I am working on. I also liked presentations about pattern libraries, a story about the way our colleagues find people for their teams and the charity website project with SVG animation.
5 THINGS SUCH EVENTS ARE GOOD FOR
1. You learn how to present projects to the English speaking audience
Vlad, the speaker: This was my first experience presenting to the English speaking audience and it felt exciting and unusual, yet very cool. I liked it. We don’t typically do that. This differs from our presentation to the clients in English, as the client is always interested in what you are talking about. Here, you need to catch the audience’s attention, communicate your idea properly and convince people your thoughts are actually meaningful.
Pavlo, the speaker: I gave a couple of short technical talks in English before but it doesn’t count. At this summit I made two presentations and that was challenging. Because you need to translate, change, update and reshape all your jokes or even replace them with more clear ones for English speaking audience. I believe I made it, people laughed.
2. You understand you’re not alone and can see your progress
Andrew, the speaker: When working in the same area long enough, you start getting this feeling that you are doing something strange which no one understands. During such events you realise your colleagues from all over the world experience the same issues. You can talk to your co-workers, ask or advise something. It gives a sense of the job you are doing, if you are wrong or perfectly good at certain things.
3. You get motivation and become inspired
Vitaliia, the attendee: Such events give an understanding you are on the right path. I met people who adore their jobs and personally I wanted someone to be inspired by what I do in the same way. That is a huge motivation to work even harder.
Max, the speaker: I was inspired to discover things I can improve for achieving more. Even during your own presentation you analyse what can be done better, what is missing and what is more than enough. Also, you learn new things. There are numerous technologies people already use and you didn’t even know such things exist. You put some great things in your head to use those in your project decisions later.
Lesia, the attendee: Sometimes we get stuck in a routine and have some actual doubt if our profession is even a creative one. When attending such events, you get the confidence that you are working on cool things. This motivates me a lot to keep moving.
4. Networking, integration and getting to know people
Pavlo, the speaker: The events of such a kind are all about integration. You can easily google any technical information on any topic. It is much more important to discuss this topic with someone. During the summit people from all our companies got to know each other and communicated with their colleagues. That’s a great team building.
5. Sharing experience
Max, the speaker: It is useful to look at different approaches. For example, our colleagues talked about their experience of working in multicultural remote team environment. When having communication challenges inside a large team, it is more effective to hire less experienced but easier to reach person to support the task. This will result in the project’s productivity.
Also, the research stage before the actual work starts, is important. It is good to have a look at what others have already done in the sphere you are working at. Not just copy their approach, but rather find interesting solutions to combine with yours.
Lesia, the attendee: The chance to embrace someone’s project experience is unique. Our colleagues told us about things that had worked for them and things that hadn’t. For example, for some projects it may take а year and a whole team to achieve the needed result. It is very difficult to get such an experience by yourself because you can not participate in all the interesting projects at the same time. Your resources are limited and here, people share their results and insights, so you can save your time and effort.