Meet the Speakers: Oliver Gibson & Monira Rhaimi


Meet the Speakers: Oliver Gibson & Monira Rhaimi.

What’s your session topic?

In our session, we’ll discuss how an experimental approach to product development will lead to the many small failures that are essential to achieving great outcomes. We’ll share stories from our experience in startups and enterprises, the mistakes we made along the way and how we came to the realisation we needed to approach building products differently.

We aim for you to leave knowing how to practically apply an experimental approach to your product development, how to create a culture of experimentation and to recognise the dangers of launching without learning first.

Why is your topic important?

We both started our careers as software developers and felt the pain of seeing projects we worked on not succeed even though they had great architectures, were well tested and utilised the latest development frameworks. We were frustrated at being told what to build, but not why;disappointed that our customers rarely used what we built; and fed up with seeing months, sometimes years, of hard work being written off as a mistake. We realised there must be a better way.

We now focus our time helping teams build the right things rather than investing their valuable time otherwise. From this work, we developed a repeatable pattern for quickly prioritising and testing ideas; validating and measuring their potential; learning quickly and ensuring teams launch the right product. By applying this pattern, our teams have reduced the risk of building new products and features but are also free to independently define solutions that best solve the problems they face. We’ve found this approach also leads to more enjoyable and satisfying work.

What are the prerequisites should the audience have for attending your session?

No specific prerequisites. Come in with curiosity and an open mind. :)

How long have you been in this industry?

A combined 17 years :p

What is one of those things you wish you knew when you started out in this industry?

Everything is about failing and learning from it. And how fast you go through that loop. Once you realise this, it’s liberating, you can try anything and never fail, just learn.

Have you spoken at or attended SwanseaCon before?

This will be our first time at SwanseaCon and Monira’s first time in Wales! We’re very excited at the opportunity to share our talk as well as learning from all the other great speakers and attendees.

What made you want to speak at SwanseaCon this year?

This conference was recommended to us by a colleague and we wanted to share what we have learned with an audience that was as passionate about their craft as we are, so SwanseaCon made sense to us.

Are there any sessions other than your own which you are looking forward to at SwanseaCon?

  • Culture for the win
  • I am here for an argument – Working with conflict in teams
  • Nature of Learning

Anything culture related sounds very exciting to learn more about as this is related to issues we face quite a lot in our engagements. Every talk always has some gems within it and we’re always looking to pick up new things.

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