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MCE Recap—Redefining Tech With Engineering and Design Community

It’s been a week since MCE Conference 2018 took place in Warsaw and gathered more than 400 tech creators in one place, at one time! The fifth edition of the conference was all about #redefiningtech and covered 2 tracks of talks (Engineering and Design), networking, parties and heated debates.

Inspired by the community

MCE Conference has always been rooted in the community. That’s how it all began—5 years ago, in Polidea, inspired by the team, who knew that Warsaw deserved to be on the tech conference map. Today, Poland’s capital is an energetic tech hub, with a number of meetups and conferences happening all year round. MCE 2018 took place on June 5-6 in the Palace of Culture and Science, connecting tech creators, UX/UI designers, developers and managers from all around the world.

MCE conference stage at Kinoteka.

#RedefiningTech

The common theme of #redefiningtech connected 40 speakers—this year, we’ve analyzed the universality of tech, interwoven into the fabric of everyday life and constantly changing it. So how does technology redefine our life? Are we fully aware of the responsibility and importance of our actions? Is there a place for us to engage more? #redefiningtech was about getting to the core of technology itself but also looking at it in a broader context.

Two program committees (again - community!) worked on creating the agenda that will fill that theme with concrete talks and lectures. Thanks to them, speakers came from all around the world, representing some of the most innovative companies, big players and well-known brands. As always, there was a design track created primarily for UX/UI designers and Engineering track—built around developers. The first was led by Przemek Pomaski - Polidea’s UX Designer and Maciek Oczko, Polidea’s Head of Engineering.

Do better things

Technology doesn’t happen in a vacuum, and MCE Conference yet again proved that the interdisciplinary discussion always broadens the horizons. The opening was followed by an inspiring and moving keynote by Pete Trainor. Pete is a co-founder and a Director of Us AI and the author of “Hippo- the Human Focused Digital Book”. In his career, he explores the Artificial Intelligence and its #redefining power. The talk was entitled “Don’t Do Things Better, Do Better Things” and showed the vast need for empathy and awareness in the process of creating technology that can actually change the world for better.

The great example of “doing better things” came from Hans Jørgen Wiberg, the Founder of BeMyEyes—one of the most disruptive startups, offering an app that connects visually-impaired people to volunteers from all around the world.

Artificial intelligence redefining our lives

Starting with the discussion on AI redefining our lives, we had a pleasure to listen to: Joanna Chwastowska - Engineering Coach and Growth Manager at DeepMind Health talking about revolutionizing healthcare, Antonio Gulli, Engineering Director for Google Cloud Platform discussing machine learning and autonomous cars and Filip Wolski - Research Scientists from OpenAI clarifying the subject of deep reinforcement learning.

Getting to the core of tech and exploring the cross-platform world

At the same time, Eugenio Marletti, Lead Android Engineer at Clue, Andy Dyer - Senior Android Engineer at Zalando and Damian Mehers - Xamarin consultant at Atadore talked about cross-platform development, getting into React Native, Flutter and Xamarin. The room was full of developers during Ellen Shapiro’s talk on “making friends with QA” during which she discussed the importance of quality control and testing. Some practical insights also came from Liz Levosinski from Detroit Labs on “Paying bills with SiriKit”, while Fernando Cejas presented the subject of multithreading.

People laughting and talking at the  networking space during MCE

What’s in it for me?

MCE 2018 was also about sharing concrete knowledge regarding professional development and day-to-day projects. Thematic session on “UX career path” with Ola Orchowska (Wicked Ventures), Kathryn Parkes (UX Product Design Consultant), Dave Hoffer (Head of Design, New Ventures at McKinsey and Company) and Jasson Schrock (Director and Head of Experience Design at BCG Digital Ventures) shed some light on the possibilities that designers have. The future was uncovered by Dave Hoffer discussing the changes that creatives are facing with the abundance of free tools and products, while Pierre-Yves Ricau on the other hand, discussed the challenging role of a Tech Lead. Practical insights on articulating design decision and effective communication with project’s stakeholders came from Tom Greever - UX Director at Bitovi and the author of the bestselling book “Articulating Design Decisions”.

Beyond design

Many designers joined Pablo Stanley’s (InVision) workout on creating great UI animations and left with a concrete tools and techniques to work on. Sarah Mills - Product Designer at ConsenSys - introduced the subject of blockchain in the context of design with a focus on redefining the concept of trust and looking at thinking systematically and at larger scales. Mike Alger - VR Designer at Google - same with a super informative talk on designing for virtual reality with some clear rules to follow and remember. The talks by Ryan Cordell - Content Designer at Deliveroo and Ruben Baart - Editor-in-Chief of Next Nature Network proved that design is way more than UX, discussing the power of content creation in digital products and including “digital detox” in your (daily) routine.

Virtual Reality, Space and Marvin the robot

Virtual Reality was a big theme at this year’s MCE - it was looked at and experienced from different angles. Starting with a thematic session on VR/AR, moderated by Dominic Eskofier with Paweł Gajda and Jakub Pander from Carbon Studio, Philip Wogart - the co-founder of HEADGEAR, Marc Barnes - Games Producer and Direct at Roccat Game Studio and Sławomir Opałka - Senior UI/UX Designer at Transition Technologies. They were discussing the interaction habits, some experiments in asynchronous gameplay and Unreal Engine 4. The second day ended with Christof Roduner (VP Engineering, CIO and co-founder of Scandit) & Luca Torella (Senior iOS Software Engineers at Scandit) and their informative talk on “Making things speak with ARkit (and ARCore). As for the immersive technology, VR could be also experienced at the conference. Almost 100 attendees got on a virtual trip to sort out stuff at a space station with the help of Marvin ( the robot) in the VR game designed and developed by Polidea team exclusively for MCE 2018.

Hans Jørgen Wiberg from Be My Eyes is giving his talk.

It’s all about people

MCE 2018 was about technology but mostly about people creating and using it. The videos of all the talks are coming soon so stay tuned for more updates!

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