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An Engineered Point of View: Throwin’ Down the Apps

by Eric Wikman on July 12, 2012

4 minute read

In this blog series, W-Systems engineers share experiences and stories related to projects, assignments and anything else they enjoyed working on. We love what we do and thought we’d share it with you. In this post, Danny Mulvihill talks about what it was like presenting his project at the SugarCon 2012 App Throwdown.

The SugarCon event in San Francisco this year offered a new twist - the App Throwdown. When we received the news about the Throwdown, our engineering department was buzzing with excitement for the opportunity to show off some of our best work. It was challenging to narrow down all of the projects W-Systems had worked on for submission. Finally, we narrowed the field to three abstracts: WhiteBoard - Drag n’ Drop interface for interacting with multiple records and/or relationships Web2Module - Similar to Web2Lead but for any module including custom modules Skeeball Leaderboard - Integration built for our SXSW Startup Crawl Party and Skeeball Tournament.

It was a tough decision, but I chose to submit the WhiteBoard project because, although it wasn’t the most complex or difficult project to implement, it offered the most eye candy. Eye candy is very important!

After getting the final touches in place to present the project, it was time to actually work out what the heck I was going to say. The first challenge was the strict three-minute time limit for the presentation. It is surprising how fast 3 minutes flies by when you’re trying to describe a project that you’ve spent a fair number of hours developing. An additional source of amusement for me was practicing the presentation in my hotel room and hoping that my roommate wouldn’t walk in and make fun of me! Despite these obstacles, I was able to pull it all together shortly before go time and it went pretty smoothly.

Some of the presentations leaned a little towards a sales and marketing audience as opposed to design and engineering like I’d hoped. However, looking back, this was probably helpful in avoiding a lineup of awkward engineers! The majority of the presenters came with backgrounds in more public-facing roles. Couple this with the presentation time limit and the practical outcome was that only the most important components were distilled into each demo, thus keeping the audience engaged.

After each demo, a brief Q&A session was led by a panel of top-tier CRM bloggers, thought leaders and enthusiasts. This component bolstered the credibility of the Throwdown and, personally, made it a lot more fun and exciting for me. My participation in the App Throwdown was a ton of fun and had a hugely positive impact on my first SugarCON experience. To top it all off, Sugar worked out a deal with Google to provide Chromebooks to all six presenters. You can bet I typed this post on my new toy! Thanks, Sugar!

To learn more about the projects discussed in this post, contact us today.

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