Interactive Software, Usability Top Innovations at Oredev

Innovation can come from anywhere. Contributor Matthew Heusser learned this in a recent trip to a developer conference in Sweden, where a game of Asteroids you play with your eyes and lessons from Hollywood on user experience caught his attention.

By Matthew Heusser
Thu, January 24, 2013

CIO — This year's Øredev Developer Conference was in Malmö, Sweden, but in order to get there, I flew into Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, separated from Malmö by the Baltic Sea.

That was no matter. A train crosses the Øresundesmotorejen Bridge that links the Scandinavian countries. The third stop is the heart of Malmö, a modest city of 250,000 in the midst of transforming its economy from manufacturing to knowledge work.

Malmo, Sweden at Night
Downtown Malmo at night—which, in November, starts around 4 p.m.

Sweden's cities predate the industrial era, so they are compact. Most people bike or walk to work. The train station is one block from the hotel, which is across the street from the conference center. I spent the entire week in the city and never hired a taxi or got in a car.

That's fine. I wasn't there to see the sights, but, rather, to learn about software development in Northern Europe. What I saw and heard was unexpected, unique and worth sharing.

Lean Coffee: An Unconference With Topics Picked on the Spot

Before the first keynote and before the first tutorial, I attend a lean coffee session, organized by Lisa Crispin, at the local coffee house. Lean coffee was not on the conference brochure, and it was early enough in the morning that the few people who came were the motivated few.

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