Highlights from Philly Tech Week 2018


A few of us attended Introduced by day of talks put on for Philly Tech Week 2018. Here are a few highlights and ideas that stood out to our team from the event. 

Andrew Jackson - Building the Pipeline: Where Community Interests Meet Hiring Needs

Context is crucial when developing your hiring pipeline. Where you are, who you are, and what you do, are all opportunities to build barriers that can hinder the hiring process. One way to break down one of those barriers is to create a diverse and inclusive workplace from inception. It is much harder to retroactively become a diverse workplace than it is to begin as one, and the company may have issues bringing on women or people of color if they don't feel that they are already being represented in the company. A company has to be intentional with its hiring process; becoming a diverse workplace does not lower the standards, but amplifies equity in the company.

Jackie Knell - New Age Storytelling: Big Ideas to Inspire You

The Panel Discussion “New Age Storytelling: Big Ideas to Inspire You” featured a few lightning talks from founders and creatives in the fields of project mapping, augmented reality and more. I was particularly struck by Josh Goldblum, Founder & CEO of Bluecadet, an agency that works on immersive digital environments. I loved that the Bluecadet team produces all of their content in house and puts the emphasis on tailoring the design and tech around it. Content is the base of any digital experience and making it a priority from the beginning leads to a better final project. Goldblum also brought up the idea of bodystorming, which stuck with me. The team builds out these immersive environments using cardboard, paper and whatever they can get their hands on before any design or code is involved, making sure each idea is compelling on a gut level.    

Lauren Fiasconaro - Making the Web For All: Alt Image Tags & Accessible Habits

A major theme throughout the day to be how we can put empathy at the center of innovation and design.

Certainly this idea can be explored in lots of ways, one of which is in terms of web accessibility. Mozilla defines it this way: “Accessibility is the practice of making websites usable by as many people as possible.”

Mikey Ilagan, Accessibility Specialist at Think Company, explained that this is a shared social responsibility and a civil right. Almost always, web accessibility means better design and user experience all around!  

A great example of an accessible user experience that Ilagan shared is the story of OXO. The founder’s wife had a hard time using kitchen utensils due to arthritis. He thought, why should the tools for this task have to hurt people? Voila! A brand is born.

Tyler Bryant - Mayoral Tech Town Hall 

Philly Tech week this year was a great experience. It was awesome to see all of the speakers, and exhibitors and the type of work that they have been a part of. Hearing Mayor Jim Kenney speak about his commitment to building up and supporting the entrepreneurial spirit in the city was especially interesting. His ability to speak candidly about the work that is going on and the struggles that the city faces was refreshing. I am excited to see how things progress over the following year.

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