IndustrySXSW Panel Picker

Keir Whitaker
writes on August 17, 2008

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I recently found out that I was lucky enough (Thanks Hugh) to have a panel proposal chosen to go forward to the 2009 South by South West (SXSW) Interactive Panel Picker. My panel is called “Build a better team through web app development”. Here’s some background about the idea.

In July 2008 we spent four days building a Twitter mash up web app called “The Mattinator” using a web framework we had never used before (Django). We conducted the challenge publicly and blogged about each days progress daily. At the beginning of the week we weren’t sure if we would achieve our goals.

Ultimately the app did launch and we managed to get a post on TechCrunch talking about our project. We learnt a lot of things, both positive and negative. The aim of this panel is to talk about our experiences openly and explain why we feel building a web app in a short space of time will reap rewards for your company.

Key themes will include:

Are team building exercises always necessary?
How do you get your team on board?
How much planning should take place beforehand?
What happens to your real work?
What goals and timescales should be set?
Is it important to challenge your team with “uncomfortable” tasks?
Should you tell the world about your web app?
Is external feedback always welcome?
Where’s the “return on investment”?
How does the team evaluate after the event?

Although primarily aimed at web development/design shops we believe that the concepts can be applied to any type of company.

You can vote online by visiting

Thanks for your support.

0 Responses to “SXSW Panel Picker”

  1. Sounds fascinating, you got my vote, hope you’re selected and I can make it to SXSW Interactive 09.


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