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Heather Bauer: To Code or Not to Code?

Friday, July 22, 2016 - 3:45pm to 4:45pm

Design For Drupal Boston (D4D)

Microsoft NERD Center
One Memorial Drive
Cambridge MA

Event Type: 

Recently there have been active and passionate debates about whether web/software project managers, UX designers and the like should learn to code. When looking at our the internal project management team at my company, I realized that while we are all successful at what we do, we come at it from different angles. I joined the Drupal community after receiving her master's in Human Factors in Information Design to specialize in usability, which led to product management. One of my teammates is a seasoned developer with 10 years of experience before transitioning into product management.

You may wonder how a previous code monkey and a UX expert can have the same job. The answer is we don't; but our skills complement each other to create a balanced PM team. I will be exploring this topic from both perspectives. In this presentation, I will explore:

  • How a Project Manager's current skills relates to their role on the team
  • The needs of your team
  • Advantages and disadvantages of knowing code
  • Your ambitions within product management

At the end of this presentation, you will know what questions to ask yourself as you evaluate your career as a PM or Designer and the skills you should be adding to your toolbelt. This session is designed for all levels.

Heather Bauer

Heather Bauer is the UX Product Specialist for BioRAFT, the provider of integrated laboratory safety and research management software solutions powered by Drupal. Heather completed her Masters of Science in Human Factors and Information Design from Bentley University in December 2014. She co-organizes Drupal Nights and has presented at Design4Drupal and NERD Summit. During her studies at Bentley, Heather performed user research for one of the largest Pharma companies in the United States, a small educational startup, and Sapient, a marketing and consulting firm. She also acted as co-organizer for the Boston Service Jam 2014, a 48 hour event promoting service design. Heather was an Expert in Residence at General Assembly for their course, User Experience Design (UXD). User Experience Design is a twelve-week course, taking students with varied experiences from zero to prototype in the UX design process. Working for BioRAFT has allowed Heather to deliver real-world UX experiences and artifacts to her students. Her specialties are product management, usability studies and interface design.