Two days full of design and development: Review of the UX_Dev Summit 2019

written by Jonas Taedcke

On October 10 and 11, 2019, the UX_Dev Summit took place for the first time at the Berlin Office. The event brought together colleagues from all European countries where Avenga is represented. Twenty-one talks – also held by colleagues – provided a lot of professional input. Here Berlin-based Web Developer, Jonas, describes his impressions.

 

I’d been working at Avenga for a month and the summit was the first major event I attended in my new job. Naturally, I wanted to see many of the presentations and exchange views on the topics presented. The breaks during the summit were also a great opportunity to get in touch with my new colleagues and get to know them better.

 

PREPARATION

To create the necessary space for the event, the desks on the second floor of our Berlin Office were cleared away in order to set up a stage instead. This included seating and various opportunities for informal gatherings. In the kitchen, we made space for the buffet. Within half a day, the room was prepared and appropriately decorated – around 70 guests were expected. Those who wanted to work during the summit could do so on the other floor of the Berlin Office – this worked surprisingly well, despite the extra number of colleagues in the room.

 

TWO DAYS OF TALKS

The presentations had a variety of topics and formats. They dealt with best practices from everyday work, extending and using frameworks, and dealing with colleagues and customers. Of course, I can’t cover all the talks here. Instead, I have selected three I remember in particular.

The first one was a talk aimed at sharpening the understanding of user needs. Digital Consultant, Julia, explained that users are rarely able to describe explicitly what they actually want from a product and what conclusions can be drawn from this for user research.

Since collegial cooperation is very important to me, I was keen on hearing the presentation “People Management @Avenga” by our Berlin Head of Software Development, Jan: Beginning with the first contact with applicants, the job interviews, the introduction to the team and regular meetings with the supervisor, he described how onboarding new colleagues at Avenga works. Added to these, there are events which promote team culture on the one hand, and sharing and broadening knowledge, on the other.

Another interesting presentation by my developer colleague, Stefan, dealt with the task of refactoring. Postponing a project over a length of time makes it unusable and unmaintainable. A quote from his lecture sums this up: “Refactoring is like cleaning up the house – if you don’t take the time to do it, it will take hours to get from the kitchen to the living room.”

 

CONCLUSION

There were talks on a wide variety of topics over the two days. I found it very exciting to listen to topics, which at a first glance seemed strange or unimportant to me, but then in the end, got me interested.

This year’s kick-off in Berlin should, hopefully, not have been the last UX_Dev summit. But where and when it will take place is not yet certain – I’m open for a surprise and look forward to being there again!

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