Every year, around this time, our distributed team gets together for a few days to focus on developing our soft and technical skills, to celebrate our past and plan for our future. The 2015 summit is next week at a beautiful hotel in downtown Boulder, Colorado. It begins Monday afternoon with an optional tour of the Celestial Tea Factory and a mouth-watering prefixed dinner catering to myriad 10up diets. Our summit ends on Thursday night, with most 10uppers traveling home on Friday.
Our first full day (Tuesday) is a single track focused on company wide vision, goals, and initiatives. A few notable highlights:
- I kick it off with a keynote: You are UX – a look at the 10up customer experience.
- Four lightning talks on Great Consulting, including a look at Gif the Halls called “Engineering without Programming”, a case study on crisp expectation management called “Clients Pay (Extra) for Good Work”, and a look at some new content syndication tools we’ve been working on.
- “Secrets of Bootstrap QA & User Testing” by our UX Director.
On day two, we have two different “cross-training” tracks, providing insight into account and client management for technical production staff, and more technical training for our accounts, strategy, and project management team.
Some highlights from the track for technical staff (designers, engineers):
- A look at our “sales” philosophy with “What we Sell, and How.”
- A Senior Engineer turned Senior Strategist explains how engineers and designers can build more meaningful relationships with partners and clients with “Engineering Account Growth.”
- Our Vice Presidents focus on tools and strategies for assessing effort with “The Importance of Being Estimators.”
- 5 lightning case studies highlight hits from truly strategic consulting, and yes, misses from those times when we get lost in code and forget to think about the bigger picture.
Meanwhile, our accounts, strategy, and project management team bone up on our technical craft. Some highlights:
- A few hours focusing on Information Architecture, both conceptual and applied (to WordPress), tied off with a renewed look at our discovery process, “Rediscovering Discovery.”
- Four “technologies you should know about” lightning talks, including a look at ElasticPress, a look at the JSON API, a look at new systems technologies like HHVM, and courtesy of our Director of Platform, a look at “New WordPress Hotness.”
- An overview of enterprise Systems and Security.
The entire team comes together for some interactive activities and a guest speaker who will put us in our place with humor and candor, delivering “Clients are People Too.” Wednesday’s dinner also sees the first annual Uppies – 10up awards that, in spite of its goofy moniker, recognize and celebrate some of best contributions since the last summit.
Finally, on Thursday, we focus on core skill development across three different tracks, after a couple of optional breakfast sessions, including a look at “Digital Nomading.” Here’s the full schedule:
Track 1: Production (Engineering, Design)
- 9 am: Meet Derrick, by Eric Mann
- 10 am: Better Code Reviews, by Luke Woodward
- 11 am: Internationalization & Translation Case Studies, by Aaron Holbrook, Cole Geissinger, and Corey Ellis
- 1 pm: Breaking out of jQuery, by Adam Silverstein & Nick Smith
- 2 pm: Accessibility, by Dave Ross
- 3:30 pm: Practical Introduction to Test-Driven Development, by Darshan Sawardekar & Eric Mann
Track 2: Project Management & Strategy
- 9 am: Leading Effective Client Meetings, by John Ragozzine
- 10 am: Scrum Workshop, by Dana Richmond
- 11 am: Strategic Resourcing, by Jess Jurick
- 1 pm: Project Management Standards Working Session
- 2 pm: Invoicing Review, by John Eckman
- 3:30 pm: Project Management is a Constant Negotiation (Role Playing), led by Jess Jurick
Track 3: Account Strategy (morning), Experience Design (afternoon)
- 9 am: Audience & Revenue Development: In the Wild, by Ben Ilfeld
- 10 am: On Communicating, by Jake Goldman & Jason Clarke
- 1 pm: Account Metrics & Measurement Working Session
- 3:30 pm: Experience Design Working Session
Add in three meals a day and some night time activities, and we expect to leave inspired, exhausted… and even more ready to serve current and future clients.