Community-driven open source: evolving software development

I’m showing my age here, but having observed the evolution of web development since it’s early days, it’s fascinating to look at how it’s become increasingly open to contributions from an ever-increasing set of participants. From the mid-90s when internet technologies were literally built in isolation in a garage through to the birth of user-centered design and agile, there has been steady growth in the attempts to bring the voices of those who will actually use the technology into the process.

Continue reading “Community-driven open source: evolving software development”

Transformation Takes More Than Ideas

Stories of innovation usually follow a simple, but common narrative. Someone gets an idea, figures out how to make it work and changes the world. Yet that is rarely how it actually happens. Far more often, someone comes up with a great idea and it never gets off the ground because no one is willing to accept it. Continue reading “Transformation Takes More Than Ideas”

PhD Freelancing Platform Kolabtree Surpasses 4,000 users

February 6, 2018 – Increasing numbers of PhD scientists are turning to freelance opportunities to the benefit of commercial organisations needing on-demand expertise.

The gig economy or “uberisation” of employment is something we would normally associate with sectors like the taxi or courier industry. However data from, a platform that connects companies with PhD level freelance scientists, suggests that even the science industry isn’t escaping this huge trend. Continue reading “PhD Freelancing Platform Kolabtree Surpasses 4,000 users”

Thinking Like Entrepreneurs: Our Experience with Matter, a Design-Thinking VC Program

By Hannah Cassius, John Thai and Ben Solwitz

One of our co-workers sent us an email asking if we wanted to be a part of “The Matter Bootcamp”. She explained it as a design thinking workshop, meant to support both entrepreneurs in the media space and larger media companies (like The New York Times) in developing ideas to build a more informed, empathetic and inclusive society. Continue reading “Thinking Like Entrepreneurs: Our Experience with Matter, a Design-Thinking VC Program”

My First 6-Day Design Workshop

So yeah, I am back! This is going to be my last medium post for this year. Today, I’m gonna share my experience about the Winter school I attended few days back.


Our workshop ran from 4th- 9th December, 2017. It was basically on User Experience Design. Interaction design is divided into four categories-

  1. HCI (User Centric Design)
  2. Activity Centred Design
  3. System Design
  4. Genius Design

In this workshop we focussed on User centric design approach. User Centred design (UCD) is a design process that focuses on user needs and requirements. The consistent application of human factors, ergonomics, usability engineering, and other techniques is what keeps UCD revolving around the users. The aim is to produce highly usable and accessible systems, aiming for user satisfaction while averting negative effects on health, safety, and performance. Continue reading “My First 6-Day Design Workshop”

12 Reasons Why Most Innovation Labs are Failing

“Digital innovation laboratories are everywhere — and observant onlookers have had a few years to evaluate the results. I’ve had the privilege of meeting many of Singapore’s bank and insurance innovation teams and have heard numerous inside stories that give me a unique perspective on their successes and failures. In most cases, the labs haven’t truly succeeded in bringing innovation into the parent, despite their marketing departments’ attempts to show otherwise. They are failing in their primary mission. This is not for lack of trying, but because they unwittingly apply patterns of behavior that destine them to underperform.

At the risk of oversimplification, I will summarize these unique behaviors into what I call the “dirty dozen.” This list isn’t comprehensive; I look forward to comments suggesting other significant factors. I hope that if you recognise these behaviors in your own lab, it will help you initiate change to improve your results. …”

Full story


FT Conversation: the FT at BBC newsHack

Back in October, the BBC organised a hackathon as part of their newsHack series. This time, they focused on Conversational User Interfaces (CUI) and, for the occasion, invited other news organisations to take part. The FT joined in with a pluri-disciplinary team (editorial, UX design, software engineering).

At the end of the 2-day event, we had a prototype ready for FT Conversation, an application running on Google Home, with our users’ comments at its heart. Continue reading “FT Conversation: the FT at BBC newsHack”

How IBM builds an effective data science team

Data science is a team sport. This sentiment rings true not only with our experiences within IBM, but with our enterprise customers, who often ask us for advice on how to structure data science teams within their own organizations.

Before that can be done, however, it’s important to remember that the various skills required to execute a data science project are both rare and distinct. That means we need to make sure that each team member can focus on what he or she does best.

Consider this breakdown of a data science project, along with the skills required for each role:

Continue reading “How IBM builds an effective data science team”

Creating an app: “What, like it’s hard?”

Let’s just say it’s not as easy as the bend and snap.

Anyone who knows me knows that app development has never really been “my thing.” I (sadly) enjoy talking about the Kardashian-Jenner clan, and I love fashion and binge-watching rom-com movies such as “Legally Blonde.” Just as most people don’t wake up one morning and think, I think I’ll go to law school today, as Prof. Callahan speculated about “Legally Blonde” heroine Elle Woods, I am not the type who just wakes up one morning and thinks, I really want to learn how to make an app! Yet, being the the stereotype-defiers that Elle and I are, both of us decided to give new ventures a try — even if others may scoff. Continue reading “Creating an app: “What, like it’s hard?””

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