All shades of iTechForum 2019
Last weekend, hundreds of iTechArters gathered for the annual iTechForum, a two-day fully interactive conference jam-packed with engaging presentations, networking, and unconventional ideas. Now that the speakers’ passions have settled and the hackathoners’ devices cooled, it’s high time to share our thoughts on the whole event.
Let’s recap the top takeaways and see what really, truly makes our biggest internal event so special.
But first, a small retrospective
From its very start back in 2015, iTechForum has given voice to 77 speakers, welcomed guests from such world-famous companies as Microsoft and Doist, produced 80 hackathon projects, and even initiated the launch of 2 corporate applications. Impressive, isn’t it? And this year was certainly no less productive.
Teach yourself. Teach others. Grow together
The conference began with honoring the company's internal trainers. These are our senior experts who — apart from their day-to-day core duties — successfully organize local meetups and peer-to-peer training activities. Some of them became proud executives of the so-called "iTechArt's Got Talent" contest, growing the next generation of developers within the Student Lab internship.
All coaches were awarded certificates for train-the-trainer programs to further improve their facilitation skills.
Ready, set, share!
The whole first day was devoted to a speaking session opened by guest presenter Vitaly Freedman. A German-based multi-hyphenate — designer, developer, founder and editor of Smashing Magazine, Vitaly delivered a fascinating talk entitled “Privacy in UX.” He demonstrated how to win your privacy back from annoying and all-knowing advertising and described ways to develop a GDPR-compliant website with the user in mind.
Vitaly Freedman, “Privacy in UX"
iTechArt’s folks shared their knowledge in Jenkins as Code, Flutter, ReactJS patterns, databases, and also answered “10 stupid questions for designers.”
Maria Kabash, “HTML letters: Dark times for developers"
It has already become a tradition to conduct a panel discussion hosted by our American business development team. This time, they divulged the cold, hard truth about the sales managers' life beyond warm and comfortable offices.
Following a true-story approach, the team elaborated on their daily responsibilities and demonstrated what it really takes to deal with you-never-know-what-to-expect situations, match candidates and projects, and juggle 100 tasks at a time.
The business development team, “What do Sales guys actually do"
Hackathon: An app a day keeps the doctor away
There is one thing that is always pretty high on each developer’s bucket list. It deprives you of sleep but enriches you with an incredible experience, makes you a 10X (that feels more like 100X) better engineer in no time. We’re talking about the hackathon.
On the second day, 20 teams — boosted by a healthy serving of bites and nerve — pitched their public health-themed works in front of a highly professional jury. The projects were evaluated based on their market fit, novelty and innovation, and technical implementation.
To sum up, the final projects were focused on the following key areas:
- Mobile apps for personal medical records helping people store and track pregnancy info, taking medications, and review health history, lab results, and other important data.
- Potentially AI-able bots aimed at depression treatment, diet adjustments, and checking suitability for military service depending on diagnosis.
- P2P systems to find and share medications and other health-related supplies, team up with fellow sportsmen, etc.
The application that makes voice recognition work for people with speech impairments and the solution enabling users to fix hunchback posture took the 3rd and the 2nd places respectively.
The 1st prize was given to the OpenAPI for ecological data that eases environmental disaster predictions, enables users to choose safer places to live, and enhances eco-tourism.
The winning hackathon team
We asked Dmitry Egorov, a serial hackathon participant and the winning team rep, to share his hot takes on this 24-hour coding event.
Sometimes, in order to further improve yourself, you need to take a step back and recall why you’ve chosen programming. And for me, the hackathon is such an opportunity. In comparison with my long-term project, it’s a competitive and mobilizing sprint that helps me concentrate solely on development and creating something really useful.
We all were competitors but nevertheless, the atmosphere was really friendly and I don't regret a minute spent there. I hope my team will be able to evolve the product since we believe that all chances should be taken when it comes to increasing the quality of our lives.
It's never goodbye
So that was iTechForum this year.
Though our favorite conference is over and we already miss it, the upcoming year is going to be hardcorishly (but happily) busy.
September brings a whole new season of updates, such as adding more stars to our clients' roster, debuting at some new events, coming back to the good old ones, and a bunch of other exciting stuff.
Keep in touch for more details!