Meet Confront a Dev & Design Conference in Malmö
InterviewBy Thomas Dahm •
What led up to organizing Confront?
It all started in 2017 at a small web agency in Malmö Sweden. The web agency, Pocketsize, was building a new framework to improve their internal workflow and the CEO, Alexander Castro, got an idea based on the question “Why do we so eagerly separate dev and design when they have so much in common”? He called for a meeting with two friends: me, Karolina Friberg, and Elin Arvidsson. He briefed us both, got us excited and before we knew it: Confront was born.
Our city holds many talents and a lot of exciting projects, companies and initiatives are cooking here in Malmö. So we raised the question among our own network, where tech and creativity is thriving. And it turned out that this particular issue in fact is a hot topic out there. The dev and design communities want and need to get closer to each other.
In the conversations of what Confront should be, we agreed on a statement that would lead this project: "Confront believes in developers and designers as equal parts of the creative process when we talk about and build products for the web. We think both should be seen as creators and that the dialogue between them is crucial."
It’s funny how things can turn out really. What was initially meant to be some kind of meet-up in connection to the release of a new framework, grow into a conference for hundreds of people instead.
What is the story behind the conference name Confront?
The name Confront came from the fact that we’re questioning/confronting that dev and design is so separated. More specifically: we’re confronting the industry with the idea that dev and design have more in common and should work closer together. Also “conf” is short for conference which suited us too.
How big is the team? Who are in it, and what are there roles?
Our little Confront team consists of us three Elin, Karolina and Alexander. We have a mixed background from the media and IT industry. Alexander is the initiator/admin and has been running a web agency for a few years. Elin is the project manager and comes from the event jungle. I’m doing comms and have a background with marketing, photography and startups.
Confront believes in developers and designers as equal parts of the creative process when we talk about and build products for the web. We think both should be seen as creators and that the dialogue between them is crucial.
What is the setup of the program?
We run a combined single/two-track program throughout the whole day and we’re very excited about the content this year. The schedule is divided in three main sections – Past, Present and Future – and includes everything from keynote speakers, shorter talks, hands on workshops and festivities. The topics vary, some of them are more tech-heavy and some are on a more fluffy, philosophical level. But they all in some way connects to our core: the synergies between dev and design. We also encourage people to face their fears regarding the other side - i.e. we run a crash course in coding for designers! Confront is a great opportunity to gain new skills and understanding for a process you might always be part of but at the same time separated from.
The line-up is a mix of renowned, international speakers and people from the local community. At Confront 2018 you’ll get to meet people like Una Kravets (Bustle), Hakim El Hattab (Slides) and Jeremy Keith (Clearleft) but also listen to local geniuses sharing their stories and knowledge. We’re excited to have people from great design studios, like ustwo and Your Majesty joining us.
The program is like a little “smörgåsbord” of things to do and listen to. And most of all - there’s people to meet! We really want Confront to be a space for good times and good conversations. We’re trying to implement this in every element of the day.
What do you want your audience to take home?
We want our attendees to go home with lots of feelings. Whether it be hope for the future, anger about old habitual patterns that sparks the urge for change, joy over a great day with new insights and learnings, or just overall satisfaction.
And of course, we want them to leave us with more understanding for each other's work so they can go back to work and build amazing digital products with their teams. Which will make their bosses happy too, haha.
What are you aiming to achieve through organizing the conference?
The community has had no obvious place to meet with each other, and we want to provide a spot to strengthen the community. Our goal is to create conversation and inspire on how we can look at development and design as equal parts in the creative process, instead of separating them. We believe there's a big importance of doing so in order to push the industry forward and unite the dev & design communities to become one. When we do this we believe that we all together will build better digital products. Confront is the result of a vision to gather forces and minds who together can get new insights in a fun way by sharing thoughts and get organized and inspired.
We hope that Confront can spark the beginning of a positive change where we have better understanding for each others work processes - which will make us more efficient, create more harmonical teams and let us build better products.
- Siddharth Kshetrapal
- Sheldon Lotter
- Valerie Fuchs
- Jeremy Keith
- Silvia Bormüller
- Una Kravets
- Hakim El Hattab
- Emil Wasberger
- Hanna Edghill
- Jenny Shen
- Prakash Khatri Chhetri
- Tjejer Kodar
- Paul Hamilton
Jörgen Kocksgatan 7a
21120 , Malmö