Sessions at Queen City Merge on Thursday 10th May

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  • The New Crew: Secrets of Innovative Product Development Teams

    by Rob Keefer

    Much like IT, Product Development is, as they say, a changin'. Market pressures have become more intense, while competition moves faster and faster. Traditional product development practices are migrating towards more dynamic iterations to find a winning formula - faster.

    In this workshop we'll explore secrets of product teams which accomplish this "formula" for innovation success, again and again, including:

    Innovation milestones for a new process to overcome the limitations of traditional methods
    Importance of cross-functional teams, their respective roles and deliverables in the process
    Examples of best practice for a team of one or many
    Metrics for assessing success and continuous improvement in the product development cycle
    Participants will leave this workshop better prepared to build, lead, and participate on adaptable, innovative teams and deliver quality products that people want, faster.

    At 9:30am to 11:30am, Thursday 10th May

  • Usability Testing for Everyone

    by Joe Fiorini

    In this workshop you will learn how to start bringing users into your design process, whether you're greenfielding a software product or improving one already in production. Through practical examples, hands on application and lots of resources for further learning, you will leave armed with the skills to ensure any release of your product sufficiently solves the problem at hand.

    At 9:30am to 11:30am, Thursday 10th May

  • Beautiful Front End Code

    by Chris Nelson and Doug Alcorn

    Beautiful code is well organized code with a clear separation of concerns, and backbone.js gives us a place for everything, with everything in it's place. In this part of of the course, you'll learn backbone by doing. We'll gradually build a rich client web application (with jasmine specs of course) that gives you a chance to use all the pieces of backbone.js.

    At 1:00pm to 3:00pm, Thursday 10th May

  • Responsive Web Design

    by Bobby Uhlenbrock and Ryan Merrill

    So you understand the technical basics of Responsive Web Design, including media queries, fluid grids and images, but are grappling at how to apply it to your workflow. Should we be designing in the browser, or making static comps of different screen widths? We're all struggling at how to best refine our process for a new generation of web design and development in order to accommodate today's array of devices without pointless rework.

    In this workshop, we'll give a brief background of what Responsive Web Design is and delve further into how Responsive Web Design is changing the process of designing and developing for today's web. We'll also offer techniques and solutions to expedite time and help pitch this process to the client by walking through an example site from start to finish.

    At 1:00pm to 3:00pm, Thursday 10th May

    Coverage slide deck

  • I am Designer and So Can You

    by Justine Arreche

    For many developers, design does not come naturally. Lucky for you, you have ME! (Congrats on your recent acquisition of my friendship and knowledge.) Let me be the first to tell you design isn't as complicated as it may seem. It all boils down to three basic strategies that we'll discuss in this session. First, we'll go over the fundamentals of grid structure. This will include how to set the content to maximize space allowance, and create an appropriate hierarchy to convey your content based on importance. Second, we'll take a brief trip down color-theory lane. Theory? Yes, there is theory behind all UI color choices and you'll learn what that means and why. Last, get ready, this is the big finale; we're going to talk type! Type is a huge part of design and is often neglected or simply thought of as the alphabet. Each typeface tells a story and you want to make sure you're picking one that's right for your message.

    If all of this sounds over your head, fear not, I'll hold your hand and go slow. This session is for design beginners, people who have an interest in design, or just those of you who'd like to be able to understand your own designers better.

    Professionally, I'm a graphic designer for EdgeCase in Columbus, Ohio. I've been designing for 12 years with the last 4 years studying and completing my Bachelor's Degree in Advertising and Graphic Design at the Columbus College of Art and Design. I design for both print and web/mobile platforms. On a personal note I'm a 24 year old foul-mouthed, lady who worships swiss influenced design, enjoys cigarettes, and quality time with my Newfoundland pup, Roscoe.

    At 3:00pm to 5:00pm, Thursday 10th May

  • Keeping Your App's Email out of the SPAM Folder

    by Elmer Thomas

    Keeping your email out of the spam folder is tougher than you might think. Over 20% of legitimate email never makes it to the inbox. Customers quickly become frustrated when they don’t receive important messages like password resets, online purchase receipts, shipping notifications and registration confirmations.

    Drawing from his experience at SendGrid, which has delivered over 37 billion emails on behalf of over 40,000 customers, Elmer will teach you the factors that determine whether your email will hit the inbox and the practical steps you can take today to avoid the SPAM folder and ensure that your customers receive the communications they expect.

    Elmer Thomas is a Developer Evangelist at SendGrid. He works with developers at hackdays and conferences to further simplify the process of integrating with SendGrid’s APIs and to discover what new email challenges need to be conquered. When not on the road, he works on making life for developers using SendGrid frictionless.

    At 3:00pm to 5:00pm, Thursday 10th May

    Coverage slide deck

  • Oh !@#$, I Need Some Code: A Survivor's Guide

    by st23am and Bill Barnett

    Unless you've been on another planet for the past few years (and if you have we're really jealous) you've heard how difficult it is for entrepreneurs lacking a technical background to not only locate but work effectively with a technical co-founder. We see it frequently in our consulting work with entrepreneurs from around the country. This is not a local problem but we aim to turn this into a local advantage. We'll cover how to identify technical talent without needing to know a thing about idempotency, prototypal inheritance, or the Law of Demeter. And once you've found your perfect match what then? We'll provide guidelines to ensure you both stay on the same page and focus on delivering valuable code.

    Bill and James are developers at Gaslight Software. James is a passionate software craftsman, known for his disciplined practices of testing and delivering the best quality software possible. He enjoys the creative, collaborative environment at Gaslight and plays an integral part in producing quality solutions for clients. Bill worked professionally as an aircraft mechanic for nearly two decades before earning a computer science degree at the University of Cincinnati. He is a community builder, having either founded, co-founded, or helped organize the local Agile Roundtable, Lean Startup Circle, PHP, and Ruby groups.

    On Thursday 10th May

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