As we get ready for a well-deserved Christmas break, it’s time to look back at a hectic autumn and prepare for what is sure to be a defining year for SnapDragon Monitoring.
The late summer and autumn have involved conference visits, speaking engagements and complex strategic decisions about the future of our software.
I was once again dispatched to conferences, to learn and to promote. First up was Turing Fest, an Edinburgh conference about building, and scaling, remarkable technology products and businesses. Turing Fest is especially interesting, not least because it is right on our doorstep and attracts many other Edinburgh-based startups, but because the insights derived from the talks here are especially relevant to my career thus far in Product Management. Several tips picked up have already been integrated into our development methodology and improved the way we work.
Another notable conference was the London-based Legal Geek Conference, a showcase of legal tech and legal design, connecting and inspiring people in the legal tech industry. Drew Wilkinson and I had the pleasure of attending and making connections with a wide variety of professionals, from prospective legal partners to design gurus. The most interesting takeaway from the event, however, was surely that legal tech is only now catching up with traditional software development in recognising the importance of user-centred design. An approach we, at SnapDragon, have been targeting since our inception, due to our focus on SME stakeholders, rather than legal experts.
In November I spoke at a Productivity Club Scotland event about our experience participating in the Data Lab MSc Placement Programme. I discussed our reasons for being involved, the projects undertaken by the students we hosted and the possible pitfalls of which to be aware. If you’re thinking of participating yourself, feel free to get in touch and I’ll happily share our experiences, or reach out to MBN Solutions for more information.
The event also covered the concept of culture within an organisation and how to create a culture which every team member can embrace to move a company forward. We finished with an in-depth discussion on mental health, our personal experiences and what we, as leaders, could do to help improve conditions for all those with which we work. This was a great collaborative opportunity, covering interesting topical subjects and I’d highly recommend attending a future event.
A day later, I was attending the Scottish Tech Startup Awards at the Jamhouse in Edinburgh. Although not up for an award this time, I was surrounded by many wonderful people within the industry and enjoyed a fairly chaotic evening of partying, immersed in a nineties theme. The Startup Awards are rather unique in the awards calendar, breaking with traditional structure and attracting more teams than individual attendees because of it. I think this adds to the vibe and makes the event more accessible.
We ended this year by adding more graduates to our ranks, expanding our team to be ready for the challenges that 2020 will bring. Fidelma Beagan and Joseph Young join us as Junior Developers, fresh from graduating their courses at CodeClan. We have been so delighted with our previous graduate, that sourcing another two from our good friends at CodeClan was a no-brainer.
We have big plans for Swoop, our online brand protection suite, in the next decade and we believe both Joe and Fidelma share our passion for producing a SaaS product which will be capable of defending the IP rights of our customers for years to come. The development roadmap may be daunting, but our dragons are up to the challenge.