ojo at the BDF

Tom Passmore

Team ojo reflect on their week at the Bath Digital Festival


The week long Bath Digital Festival recently came to a close and the events were bigger and better than ever.


As well as proudly sponsoring the Tech/Think category at the Festival and hosting two of our own events the ojo team attended numerous workshops, seminars and talks across the week.


Here is our round up from the ojo team on our week at the Festival:

Tom Passmore, Director & Senior Developer

“Within our sponsored Tech/Think category at the Festival, some really interesting events were on offer, ranging from seminars, round tables, discussion panels, to hands on experiences.

Along with 2 ojo team members I attended the “Design and Development for a Better Web” an ojo sponsored afternoon of talks covering some of the most exciting developments in web design and development today.

Katie Fenn (software engineer at npm) spoke with obvious passion about Functional Javascript.  Providing a great insight into its origins, structure and uses and giving some interesting and relevant examples, Katie showcased the main principles of Functional Javascript and its potential. The talk was well structured and intelligent with just the right smattering of humour to keep the audience going on a Friday afternoon.

Zahra Traboulsi (IOS and backend developer at Bloomberg) spoke about the pitfalls and problems associated with creating cross platform mobile apps today.  In her talk “A field guide to Cross-Platform Mobile Development” she outlined the main options and methodologies currently available and the pros and cons of each approach.


As a team I think we gained great insight and understanding that mobile development has many diverse possibilities and no one option is always the right one.  Choosing the most appropriate development platform(s) for a project has to be based on a number of factors, such as timescales, client expectations, client budget, what you are trying to build and importantly the skills you already have within your development teams.”


Rachel Oliver, Designer

“I attended the Dot Project’s ‘Gender Diversity – Let’s do this!’ talk. Our director, Nathan was part of one of two panel discussions, debating the issue of gender diversity within the tech industry; why the problem exists and strategies businesses can put into place to not only encourage females to get into tech, but also help everyone from any diverse background to become better represented within our industry.

The talk and discussions have definitely inspired me to think about ways I could become more involved in the tech community in my local area, and has made me think particularly about ways in which I could inspire younger girls to get more involved in my area of work. I feel a major root of the problem will always be the lack of women training in these fields. Whether this is due to lack of encouragement or role models I think by tackling the issue early in schools and changing the ‘geeky’ stereotype of core STEM subjects, we could start to see an increase in diversity.

This was a fantastic and thought provoking forum and I definitely believe the South West are at the forefront of changing stereotypes by having these discussions.

Design and Development for a better web

This afternoon session covered several different topics over the 3 hour session. ‘Putting content at the heart of development’ looked at the importance of content and its role in the success of digital products. For the majority of projects we develop, content creation is left to our clients, but this talk showed me ways in which, as a developer, I can maximise the impact of that content and its searchability.

The last talk of the day, ‘A fresh perspective on designing for your international markets’, focused on methods of expansion when developing an existing product for a new market, the key message being that translation of wording is not enough for it to be successful from one market to the next. Cultural differences also play a key part in product uptake so therefore changing integral parts of a product will be key to success across different countries. At ojo, we have a couple of projects that have the potential to be rolled out in multiple countries, and our original plan was simply to translate the product and keep all features the same. This talk really highlighted the importance of research and development for projects like this and how the risk of overlooking cultural differences can really make or break a project’s global success.”

Darren McGrath, Developer

“Last Friday morning I attended Philip Pantelides talk ‘#ScienceNotEgo’. He presented a fascinating approach to product development based on the concept that customers don’t just buy a product, they “hire” them to do a job. In developing a product you need to exceed customer expectation and solve the ‘right’ problems along the way! He offered an insight into how Cookpad, based in Bristol, have become such a global force.”

Chris Haddock, Business Development & Marketing Manager

“Last Thursday night, I went along to the Society Cafe to hear talks from Swallow and the Home Farm Trust on digital advice for charities. Swallow presenters included two charity residents who had been supported into accommodation and work. This gave a great perspective on digital from those who have benefited from the charities work. Home Farm Trust talked through some simple technology to assist people in their home. These technologies included phones with large pictures on them, that operated speed dialling to key people, and a device that when the front door was opened, loudly questioned whether you had remembered to take your keys with you. Simple technical solutions to really challenging problems faced by some in our society.  Interesting technical solutions and thought-provoking talks, plus a relaxed coffee shop environment, made this the most memorable Festival event for me.”

As a local company working in the digital space ojo were so proud to be part of the Festival and literally see a who’s who in South West Tech around the city of Bath. To have the opportunity to attend so many different events was fantastic and the organisers deserve congratulations for the coordination and planning of the whole Festival. The number of individuals and businesses involved in hosting and attending the festival was superb, roll on 2018! #BDF2017



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