Meet 3 technologists attending O3 World's Forge Conference - Philly


Sep. 11, 2014 8:31 am

Meet 3 technologists attending O3 World’s Forge Conference

Leaders in digital design will gather in Philadelphia at the upcoming Forge Conference hosted by O3 World Sept. 26, 2014.
The O3 World team at the company’s Frankford Avenue headquarters.

The O3 World team at the company's Frankford Avenue headquarters.

(Photo courtesy of O3 World)

Digital design is to technologists as paint and canvas are to artists. Humans like to look at beautiful things, and a web or mobile interface is one of them.

To be an expert at front-end design, whether responsive or adaptive, is truly an art form as well as a skill. You have to know how to hand-code HTML and CSS, with a dash of JavaScript to add some magic to your masterpiece.

Some of the leaders in digital design here in Philadelphia are looking forward to hearing from the “artists” of our generation at the upcoming Forge Conference hosted by O3 World Sept. 26, 2014.

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Here is what three of them had to say about this unique gathering.


Daniel Busey, Think Brownstone, Director

(Photo courtesy of Daniel Busey)

Q: Why are you excited that O3 World is putting this together?

A: I enjoy really well-designed experiences, and I have faith that O3 will put on a good show. They reference the current changing landscape of the web. We all want to get ahead of the curve and get a glimpse of the future of the web.

Q: Which speakers are you most interested in seeing?

A: They are providing a nice mixture of perspectives from practitioners, design consultants, members of in house teams, designers and developers, a well-rounded group, giving us a holistic approach on the landscape. I’m truly excited to see Jason Beaird from MailChimp because he’s part of a progressive company that has their act together in all aspects as well as offering a great product. Getting behind the scenes of how they do business will benefit me a lot.


Q: Why is this a good thing for Philadelphia?

A: I’m impressed with the growing tech scene in Philly, from early-stage startups, to the thriving design companies. Eventually we will reach a tipping point that is known for technology and design. Hopefully conferences like this will help accelerate that process. Any time people get together in this format, it strengthens the community.

Q: What do you do — and why is this conference valuable for you?

A: I’m the design lead for most projects including digital experience design, mobile apps, web platforms, as well as complex business systems. Creating really well-crafted interfaces is something I’d like to collaborate on as well as thinking beyond responsive web design toward more adaptive design. Being able to talk to experts in these trends, will be very interesting to hear how they think about these things.


Abby Fretz, Happy Cog, Project Manager

(Photo courtesy of Abby Fretz)

Q: Why do you think it’s going to be such a great event?

A: Innovation can’t be isolated to a particular group of people. Forge Conference and other events like it not only serve to stimulate new ways of thinking about the process of creating digital experiences and working with your team, but also serve as a gathering to help nurture a growing, local creative and tech community.

One of the striking aspects of Forge Conference is that the speakers and topics lineup seems to have been curated to be valuable to an entire digital team — there is quality content with utility for all disciplines on a team.

Q: Why is this a good thing for Philadelphia?

A: There has been a lot of discussion in recent years, as Philadelphia’s tech sector continues to grow, about Philadelphia being positioned to continue to support a strong tech and digital community.

Local, quality conferences like Forge are just one of the ways this community can continue to be nurtured and stay innovative and inspired. It also serves to encourage emerging and established companies looking for a homebase, to consider Philadelphia as a thriving, successful home for tech.

Q: What do you do — and why is this conference valuable for you?

A: I am a project manager at Happy Cog. Any good practitioner in the digital space — including digital project managers — understands the current state of the industry, and knows how to speak to current technologies, design evolution and general industry developments.

Forge represents the kind of quality, multi-disciplinary industry event that helps me as a practitioner do my job better and supplement my skills as a manager and educator.

Q: How can this event help your company in some way?

A: I honestly feel super lucky to work at a company that puts a strong emphasis both on my own education and professional development and my involvement as an educator and speaker in the industry at large.

If I am educated and inspired by events like these, I will inevitably bring that back to my team.

Q: What kind of information will you take home from this event that was impactful? What are you hoping to get out of the conference?

A: Quite a few of the speakers are talking about ditching commonly accepted ways of doing things and being open to new methodologies, deliverables, etc. that really work.

Though I’ve adopted this mentality in my practice, it’s not easy to continuously adjust and explore without outside input. I very much look forward to being introduced to ideas that push me into uncomfortable and fresh modes of thinking.


Josh Goldblum, Bluecadet, CEO
(Photo courtesy of Josh Goldblum)

(Photo courtesy of Josh Goldblum)

Q: Why do you think O3 World is the best choice for hosting this conference?

A: O3 World is a studio that we really respect in the design technology space. They’ve managed to put together a lineup of well-known speakers that work on a national or international level.

Q: How will Forge benefit the Philadelphia tech community?

A: We think that after this conference, O3 World will scale this up after seeing its success. The more events that help people collaborate on web technologies & design in the area the better. We usually have to travel out of state to do that, so for time constraints this is perfect.

Q: What do you do — and why is this conference valuable for you?

A: Bluecadet is a digital agency that works closely with museums and cultural institutions. We are excited to learn from experts in digital design to see what’s out there that we aren’t currently implementing and could use in our work.

Q: What else are you hoping to get out of the conference?

A: We are looking forward to sharing experiences and opinions with peers in our space. Just to be in the same room as other design-oriented individuals is wonderful.

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