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Experience Design

Speaking at Self.Conference


Enlighten was acquired by Perficient Digital in December 2015
Public speaking is often listed as the most common phobia – more universally feared than heights, bugs, flying, or, as Seinfeld joked, even death.  In spite of this, Enlighten (now Perficient Digital) was excited that three of our engineers were willing to face that fear, speaking at the 2014 Self.conference, which took place the weekend of May 30th in Detroit, Michigan.

Self.conference’s mission was to present an ambitious mixture of both great tech talks and somewhat broader “soft talks.” In all, attendees were able to choose from sessions running in six simultaneous tracks, spread across two days.

The tech talks ranged from holistic case-studies to more-focused sessions covering a wide spectrum of currently relevant topics. Among the things discussed were frameworks of all sorts (Angular.js, Ember, D3.js, Ionic, Bootstrap), server-side language-specific topics (PHP, Ruby, Java), a bit of SASS, a bit of Objective.C, and a high-level security overview thrown in for good measure.

The less-technically-focused talks delved into such things as:

  • (Not) Being a Jerk

  • Being ok looking like an idiot (Improv)

  • The developer’s role in the modern age

  • Empathy

  • Best Practices

  • Volunteering

  • Teamwork

  • Being a new developer (or helping them if you aren’t)

  • Leadership

  • Agile Methodology

Engineers Adam Kempa (@adamkempa), Karen Ford(@karenforda2) and Mike Behnke (@localpcguy) all spoke on Saturday.  Adam and Karen gave an overview of the concepting, development and ongoing maintenance of, digging into some of the unique challenges faced along the way. Mike spoke about best practices in front-end development and the importance of understanding what makes sense for your unique scenario before blindly following conventional wisdom. Both sessions were well-received.

Our engineers all appreciated the opportunity to speak, and after shaking out the initial nervousness, really enjoyed the inaugural Self.conference experience. The organizers did a great job keeping everything moving along smoothly, and we look forward to next year’s Self.conference.

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