Speaker Details

Amalie Smidth

ThoughtWorks London

Amalie joined the tech industry in 2019 as a career changer. She has been trying to explore new ways to level-up as a software developer utilising skills gained from my previous career in TV, fashion and film and a multi-disciplinary arts education. She believes that her open-mindedness and lack of ingrained habits give her a unique perspective that will encourage any developer, no matter what level of seniority, to reflect upon their learning style.

Play Outside the Box

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Methodology & Culture

Learning is a skill that we practice countless times throughout our lives, however, the way in which we do so varies greatly depending on which stage of our life we are at. As children, we throw ourselves into the unknown on a daily basis fuelled by fearlessness and a lack of self-imposed boundaries in which to play and explore. The opposite is usually true for adults, who tend to abandon the idea of playing to learn in favour of books, tutorials and courses. This is especially true in software development, where tools like Udemy and other resources are often cited as being one of the go-to ways to upskill.

Play Outside the Box is a talk that highlights the importance of incorporating the activity and mindset of play into the adult sphere of learning. This style of learning means no time-boxing, no specific end goal, embracing the process of trial and error, and focusing on learning by doing. It is about practicing taking ownership and problem-solving skills instead of following instructions.

This mindset and activity will be demonstrated using a small personal coding project of an animated hand-drawn word as an example to illustrate how to take a simple idea and see where it takes you; not only in terms of the result but also the technologies and tools that you touch to take you there.