Entrepreneurship

Future Rewired brings local tech community together

Future Rewired returned for 2022 and brought with it new knowledge and connections

Future Rewired made a triumphant return for its fourth year with 50+ people attending the day's activities. The Digital Greenhouse team and a collection of local experts ran a day packed with a variety of talks and workshops covering a range of subjects, an excellent opportunity to connect entrepreneurs and students to those in the digital and creative sectors to share their knowledge and forge new connections in the scheduled seminars and activities.

Whether you're building platforms, launching a new business or trying to create a sustainable home, an underlying thread throughout these journeys is the need for digital knowledge. Future Rewired brought the local tech community together once again to share lessons learnt from working in the tech sector, coding knowledge, marketing and project management know-how and even founder top tips in the day's activities.

The day was opened by the Digital Greenhouse’s Programme and Engagement Manager Ben Wratten, followed by the first sessions of the day - a deep dive into Azure B2C from Dave Wratten and a simultaneous workshop by Jenny De La Mare focusing on creating the perfect cover story for your launching business or product. In our second session, we took a look into the past with Matt Thornton as we explored his journey of starting and running a tech business in Guernsey with his friend and colleague Marc and participated in a demo on container orchestration run by Adrian Massey.

In the third session, Sarah Hollingworth & Louis Pike's workshop on building customer personas focused on user experiences and the connection between them and your business, and Jack Fletcher took us through the data behind Zero Energy Buildings and how- as a community- we can move away from traditional fuels into a more sustainable future.

Marc Beavan walked us through how to use Docker for local.net development, the tools available and how to use them. And Nikita Botes shared her journey as a part of a digital transformation team, the highs and lows and the problem-busting methods she learned along the way. The final session was led by Damien Guard as he took a dive into App Data at scale, sharing actionable tips about how to keep your business on top of the ever-changing digital environment.

Read more about our speaker's sessions below.

Dave Wratten - Azure B2C, secure public access to your applications

Dave Wratten joined us in our first session to talk us through Azure AD B2C, a service that allows you to manage accounts for external users and easily give them access to your applications without having to store the data yourself.

This talk walked us through the technical details of the service along with tips for security and usability. and we took a closer look at the code that Dave has built upon since his talk at last year's Future Rewired, and showed step by step how to manage the users from within your code. 

Jenny De La Mare - What's your cover story?

In the simultaneous session, Jenny De La Mare ran a workshop focused on how to shout about the launch of a business or product. Attendees asked themselves the questions, 'what's the key message? what are the benefits? whats will the interview look like? what would get retweeted or shared?' as they developed what the cover story of their launch would look like with a hands-on scrapbook approach. At the end of the workshop, the canvases were shared and discussed and tips were shared amongst the group.

Adrian Massey - Container Orchestration Overview

In our second session, we dived head first into a technical demo of the world of container orchestration with Adrian Massey. In this live demo, Adrian talked attendees through the steps of building and running a container with Docker, sharing tips along the way. In the second half of his talk, we took a look at some different systems and were shown a demo of a tool called Kind in Kubernetes Docker.

Matt Thornton - Mistakes are proof you're trying: Lessons learnt from 4 years in business

We heard about the history of Cortex from one of its founders Matt Thornton in an interesting retrospective full of insights, tips and tech-savvy memes. Amongst the lessons Matt shared from starting a tech business, the first and most important was 'It's your business.' 'When you start a business take a moment to think about what that means to you. What does success look like? What does it feel like to go to work?' These are all part of a less talked about subject in the start-up community, surviving the emotional rollercoaster that starting a business will take you on.

Sarah Hollingworth & Louis Pike - Building personas for user-centric innovation

Sarah Hollingworth & Louis Pike's workshop on building customer personas focused on user experiences and making sure that people are at the heart of your business's innovation. 

This process is vital to startup businesses and established businesses alike, by keeping the customer at the heart of all your business decisions and communications will help it grow organically. We started by taking time to evaluate our business objectives and goals and use them to zero in on our ideal customers. Using user scenario worksheets, the workshop broke out into groups to discuss what our customer wants and needs are, why they feel that way and how as a business, we can be there for them at that moment. 

Jack Fletcher - Zero Energy Buildings

After a networking lunch break, we heard from Jack Fletcher as he returned to the Digital Greenhouse to expand on his talk about Zero Energy Buildings and what they can do for our island. We explored the technology behind the latest renewable energy options and the individual responsibility that needs to be taken to create a zero-energy community and move away from traditional fuels. 

Marc Beavan - Using docker for local.net development

In Marc Beavan's talk, we were walked through a set-up demo of using Docker for a sample .net development application, in the Blazor Web App, SqlServer database and background service.

Nikita Botes - Digital transformation in a different light

In Nikita Botes session we explored a day in the life of a Digital Transformation team, starting with a brief history of Nikita's career and some lessons she learned along the way. 

Nikitas advice for when you've hit a wall with your project? K.I.S.S it - 'keep it simple stupid' - get to the heart of the problem and its simplest solution, and move forward with it! This among many other transformation methods is great for ideations and team-building exercises. Though at the heart of any digital transformation is digital, 

“Technology isn’t the heart of digital transformation, people are” Nikita declared, "building teams that feel safe and confident to bring innovative ideas forward will be the ones that break the legacy systems and create transformation!"

Damien Guard - App data at scale

Our final talk of the day was from Damien Guard, about app data at scale. Damien's talk was full of useful advice and actionable tips on how to manage your data systems in the face of the constantly evolving cloud systems and customer demands. The way we design our systems and technology has taken more leaps forward in only a year and it's easy to feel your business fall behind. 

"You always need to be optimising for the fastest user experience - how long realistically will a customer wait for your system before leaving to find another one?" Damien asked as he discussed the most important aspect of a user's experience, speed. "Slow loading and running speeds are one of the main reasons a user will leave your site, and probably not return - Damien explains - and even if you become a success, they will just remember you as the system that was too slow. Thus re-evaluating and constantly working on your site's loading/uploading/downloading speeds is more relevant than trying to be at the forefront of innovation all the time." 

After running through the aspects of scaling with data, Damien took attendees through creating an example model to put his tips in perspective.

DGH Team - Innovation challenge!

At the end of the day, everyone gathered to take part in the innovation challenge, run by Ben Wratten and supported by the DGH team. The problem statement this year was 'how can we use technology to improve entertainment for Guernsey islanders or tourists?' contestants had 15 minutes to come up with an exciting solution to win one of this year's prizes.

After voting, the most innovative prize went to Matt T for traffic drones, the funniest idea prize went to Marc B for a digital gladiator tournament with lasers and the best drawing prize went to Johnathan H for VR cinema entertainment.

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