Understanding the Melbourne IT scene - my first 42 meet-ups

By Kate Illsley –
Senior Consultant – Development Specialist

Last year in 2017, I had the opportunity to attend 42 events in the Melbourne tech and startup community. Below are 42 pearls of wisdom I’ve taken from listening to industry leaders.

1.The best Agile teams share the responsibility of leadership ~ Brett Wakeman, Iteration Manager 

2. It’s alright to clarify tech jargon if you don’t understand something new, but you need to be researching to get up to speed too ~ Hayden Peters

3. Consumers will drive blockchain trends, younger companies are listening, and those who don’t take risks, won’t survive ~ Susan Brown, MD & Director 

4. Innovate or get fired trying ~ Nick Teulon, CEO

5. Body insertable RFID chips need to physically touch the sensor to scan, so we are a long way off from the sci-fi movies ~ Kayla Heffernan, UX

6. Women represent only 19% of people working in IT ~ Megan Smith, Board Director 

7. Deep learning is just pattern recognition ~ Andy Kitchen, Deep Learning Researcher

8. When using chatbots, your online voice should reflect your brand, you can even insert emojis ~ Helen Zeng, Partner Engineer

9. Open source contributions don’t have to ONLY be in online communities, don’t be a silo! ~ Ben Dechrai, CTO, Co-Founder 

10. You can apply HCD (Human Centered Design) principles to any goal or problem outside the workplace ~ Amelia Schmidt, Designer 

11. You need to be continually learning, if not, you’ll wake up obsolete!

12. Maker culture is just learning how to make things better, in a safe maker space with all the cool tools ~ Gil Poznanski, Creative Technologist 

13. Listen like you mean it! It’s OK to be silent ~ Rohan Irving, UX Researcher, Co-founder 

14. As a Manager, it’s your job to make others look good ~ Nigel Dalton, Chief Inventor

15. You can 3D print anything that’s a solid at room temperature ~ Adam Purdie, Senior DevOps

16. We are holding a giant golden egg that is IT knowledge, so we need to engage the people who can enable us ALL to go together to the future, Women and Men included ~ Chris Skipper-Conway, CEO

17. It’s harder than you think for UXers to fit into the Agile train ~ Kat Herbert, Lead UX

18. PowerPoint presentations with gifs are a fun way to keep the audience engaged during a live code demo ~ Erin Zimmer, Senior Software Developer 

19. Grads often seek to understand things in a more sophisticated way

20. Quiet introverts CAN impact business and progress their careers too ~ Megumi Mikki, Founder 

21. When designing an online onboarding process, think about including freebies! ~ Krystal Higgins, Senior Interaction Designer

22. By 2027 it won’t be cheaper to own a car, majority of us will be using driverless services ~ Angus Hervey, Co-Founder, Director 

23. Redux reduces the need for complex components and helps them communicate more effectively ~ Matt Hayward, Lead Software Engineer & Callan Delbridge, Lead Front End Architect 

24. Don’t shy away from talking about moments that didn’t go so well too ~ Permenthri Pillay, VP & Partner

25. Agile teams function best when there is trust. Safe to fail, safe to innovate ~ Brett Wakeman, Iteration Manager 

26. Joining event slack channels are an easy way to keep in touch with people you’ve met

27. Cloud infrastructure is globalizing the sharing of data between lab & PhD Researchers ~ Sarah Ogston, Program Manager & Board Member 

28. Volunteering for a start-up can give a junior CV some depth and bring weight to your experience ~ Marina Paronetto, Senior Innovation Manager & Founder 

29. VR can revolutionize the healthcare industry, it can be applied to psychology, midwifery or aged care, and can be especially useful for training in these areas.

30. Find a group you can contribute to and get involved regularly 

31. API (Designing, Developing and Managing) is one of the fastest growing career in the world ~ Thor Essman, CEO & Founder 

32. If you want to challenge something, make sure you have a creative solution ready and prepared to pitch 

33. Sharing stickers from events is a great way to connect with people after an event

34. People can only remember 3 key messages at a time, don’t fill up your presentation slides! ~ Caroline North, Research Manager

35. You’re missing out on something precious if you don’t participate

36. Projects collapse because of change management, make sure people understand their environment first

37. Don’t overthink naming variables, they can be renamed later ~LJ, co-founder, Product Owner

38. Big data is a massive growth opportunity, but many companies are collecting data and doing nothing with it!

39. You can treat design like a science hypothesis, break down the assumptions and undertake tests ~ Taryn D’Souza, Senior UX

40. Firstly, you must give three times, make sure you are adding value before asking for anything in return from someone

41. Enable speed of change, or you’re doing it wrong ~ Thor Essman, CEO & Founder 

42. Knowledge sharing is valuable. That’s why I wrote this list. 

If you’d like to hear about which Melbourne Tech or Startup events might be relevant and worthwhile for you, feel free to start a conversation. Spending time hearing from and getting to know industry experts, and peers who are also on a learning journey is absolutely priceless.