The developer’s Mecca

Ever wondered what the developer’s Mecca looks like?

Visma PUDD is the Product Unit’s Developer Days and this year it was hosted in Berlin. The Product Unit at Visma is where the software development takes place. At Visma PUDD, 800+ employees, from 8 different offices around Europe, were united at a two day conference. Everyone has a shared interest in new technology, and at the PUDD they were able to share their newest findings and recent ‘code cracking’ experience – yes, this was a developer’s dream!

As a management trainee, I get to experience different areas of Visma, through five different projects. My first project is for the Product Unit, therefore I was lucky enough to attend this year’s PUDD, along with Louise, my fellow trainee colleague. For me, a non-developer, the conference was especially eventful and left me kind of speechless. To see so many passionate and intelligent people in one place was amazing!  

The first conference day

Effectiveness was a widely spoken topic at the conference. The Nordic countries have put great emphasis on effectiveness in every aspect of society, people live fast and request technology that can maintain their fast paced lifestyle. As Øystein Moan, Visma’s CEO, highlighted at the conference, the Nordic countries are the most tech-savvy nations in EU. Our employees are among the highest paid workforce in the world and therefore effectiveness in the workplace is essential. Effectiveness also plays a key role when it comes to communication, how can we communicate and share our knowledge in a more effective way? Combined, these needs influence the push towards automation, increased usage of cloud solutions and continuous improvements.

Automation refers to a method where a certain process or system operates automatically, and due to the automation, steps are eliminated and less human intervention is required. Automation can be done with the help of Machine Learning. Machine learning is the act of teaching computers to recognize patterns in the same way as our brains do. Learning is done through experience, which typically comes from a large database that the machine has access to. The machine uses this “training” data to predict a certain behavior or pattern, and this enables the possibility of automation. Visma has a clear focus on developing self-driving services, where the idea is that with fewer steps and less human intervention, Visma is making the customer’s life easier.

In this context, User Experience (UX) is also essential and this was emphasized at the conference with the headline “UX the shit out of IT!”. User Experience is the process of enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty by improving ease of use, relevance, and desirability in the interaction between the customer and the product or service. This has been explained graphically by Ed Lea using cereal, which comes in handy for me, a non-developer.  

A large part of the conference was devoted to developers’ stories, where employees had the opportunity to share their experiences with their fellow employees. It was so inspiring to see how many people were willing to share their thoughts, in order to influence others. Ahmed Al-Faris presented ‘Mambot’, the robot that he has been developing in his spare time. Truly amazing to see his work and definitely the highlight of the PUDD for me! I am pretty sure everyone in the crowd wanted to build their own robot after Ahmed’s presentation, at least I was already googling “How to build a robot”. For those of you who want to see the amazing Mambot, check out the following video. 

 

It is safe to say that I learnt a thing or two about software development, and that I will definitely try to sneak my way into the next PUDD!

 

Edda is a Management Trainee at Visma. She has a Master’s degree in Economics and Finance from Copenhagen Business School, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Reykjavik University.
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