Tech for Good – Volunteers Assemble

Tech for Good – Volunteers Assemble


The message at this year’s Tech for Good Summit was that as a society we face significant challenges, only by working together can we have an impact on those challenges.

One of the day’s events, Volunteers Assemble, saw three big challenges identified by the Scottish Tech Army presented to small groups of volunteers. We had two and a half hours to develop an innovative solution.

Although a short amount of time, it was surprising how much each team achieved. Our challenge was an educational web app to help teachers deliver computing lessons.

I try to focus on a single lesson, something to take away for future projects. Here it was the value of timeboxing.

A short sprint focussed team members, resulting in two prototypes for the client to choose. There are two advantages. If the team misunderstands the brief or client can’t convey the requirement, little time or resources are wasted. Secondly there are often so many ideas that teams can end up in decision paralysis.

It is important roles are assigned and understood, but that comes with effective communication and anyone volunteering learns that skill quite quickly.

That just leaves presenting. I’ve a lengthy career in the armed forces behind me, and confidence speaking in front of people is part of that. I realised some time ago that that’s not true of everyone.


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