The very first Mikstura.IT event was held on 7th November in Bielsko-Biała. The event aims to gather people around technology and business issues. It provides a forum for those who are both involved in web and mobile software development and are also eager to meet and share their ideas and experiences with other like-minded individuals on a regular basis. In short, Mikstura.IT is a forum for a web and mobile community.
This time we focused on creativity and teamwork as the two concepts belong to the core fundamentals of product and/or service design and development – the activities most of the participants are preoccupied with in their professional lives. We chose to organize the event in the Oscar Wilde Pub, located in the very heart of the city next to The University of Economics and Humanities. The Pub with its unusual character and a clear mission: a place for the open-minded, goes well with our vision of what Mikstura.IT should most likely be about.
The first participants appeared around 5 p.m., receiving a warm welcome, a glass of beer and some snacks. After the official opening of the event, Dariusz Wylon delivered a short introductory lecture on systematic thinking as well as the six hats technique by Edward de Bono and their application in teamwork. Soon afterwards, those who decided to take part in the workshop on creativity and communication moved to the winery located in the cellar of the building. The workshop consisted in the implementation of a small project in teams. The participants had an opportunity to learn / practice how to use a systematic method of thinking to jointly develop a shared vision and arrive at the right solution quickly. They were divided into three teams, each trying to solve a technological and business problem connected with mobile apps and client communication. Based on the tech specs provided, the teams were to create a prototype of an iPad application using wireframes and blocks. In doing so they also needed to decide which business approach (B2C or B2B) would be more suitable for the venture.
While the teams were competing to win a prize, the people upstairs were talking and sharing thoughts on business, technology and other related topics. At half past seven we tucked into pizza and got ready for the lightning talk session. The registered speakers provided some interesting insights into their own hobbies, interests, work, development projects, companies or anything they wanted to share with those present. There were five speakers who covered a broad spectrum of topics.
The session was initiated by Kamil Gałuszka who shared an idea of an API as a B2D. The B2D abbreviation stands for a business-to-developers model. Kamil believes that learning an existing API takes about 90% time less then creating some new algorithms or libraries. He described different attitudes towards using API and presented a detailed view and a set of rules on API creation and development.
After a short Q&A, the floor was taken by Adam Przybyła who delivered the presentation: “Open Source – a remix on an old idea”. Adam tried to show how the 100-year-old idea of “Clients as Collaborators” has recently surfaced in the form of open source movements. He focused on how the ideas and mechanisms adopted from open source initiatives can benefit collaboration. Last but not least, he attempted to identify some of the potential implications for the future.
Afterwards, Michał Czyż provided his insights on Outside-In testing in a truly 5 minute minute talk. In the Outside-In approach, you keep your focus on the high-level goal you want to achieve on a given project. While working on every single small step, you strive to remain within the context of such a high-level goal. As regards software development, this goal is defined by the end user perspective – what kind of behavior should be provided by the system. Beyond that it helps developers to work on what is really important and, as a result, they are less likely to code more than is needed. Michał presented a short walk-through in the technique. For those interested in the details, Michał will deliver a workshop on 16th November, in Brno, at the RuPy conference.
Filip Łakomik in turn presented a solution he is currently working on with his colleagues, i.e., an invoice monitoring web application developed with PHP, MsSQL, ExtJS 4. He described the app’s features and functionalities as well as the technology behind the project.
The last talk was delivered by Tomasz Borowski. He devoted the speech to the psychology of games. In his presentation “What makes us play and how to use that knowledge”, Tomasz considered why we play video games and what influence such games have on our lives. He described some game mechanics and tricks which are used to get players into “the state of flow”. The talk was peppered with colourful examples of successful web games as well as a healthy dose of humour and laughter.
The LightningTalks Session was the last official part of the event. What followed was the time for networking and having fun. We hope that all the participants managed to find something enjoyable for themselves during the first Mikstura.IT event and will be able to do so in the future. If you want to join the web and mobile community, just visit the Mikstura.IT web page for more deatils on future events and join in next time.