Thania Kendrick at the MADcon Project Showcase

Hello dear reader!

This weekend I went to MADcon, the UT Mobile App Development Conference, and learned so much from the experience. We kicked off the event with keynote speaker Tom Bishop, who has worked at Bell Labs, been the VP of Tech at Unix and the CTO of many Austin startups. Bishop gave a lot of great advice in his speech, but the one thing that really stuck in my mind was his entreating us to "fail fast." 

His methodology was that, since people, especially young, vibrant software engineers, have so many ideas bouncing around their heads, they need to know which ones will actually work and which won't. And since the only way to figure out if an idea is not going to work is to fail, it's a lot better to find that out quickly—ergo, fail fast. Bishop spoke on how to best do this very thing, saying the way to go is to continuously test and get as much feedback as you can from your audience at every stage of building your product. He expounded especially on this piece of advice, saying how important the consumer and their feedback is, which is true considering they are the one who are hopefully going to be using your product.

After the speech, all the attendees scattered to get to the host of workshops being offered. Personally, my favorite was one called 'Challenges of Capturing Mobile Interactions' where the speakers actually split us up into groups and asked us how we would approach an actual problem they were working on at that moment. It taught me a lot about the real world problems software engineers deal with, and all the complications and factors they have to account for when building even a simple product. 

I've really come to see how very important these kinds of tech conferences and workshops are becoming. This was the place where I coded in three different, completely new-to-me languages in the span of about five hours. There was so much information flow and such generous and helpful people everywhere that it made me so excited for the future of these such conferences. I would highly recommend all of you go to any such event, and especially MADcon!

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