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Your Freelance Guide to 2018 (event recap)

Stijn SchutyserStijn Schutyser

On January 23, 2018, ACA IT-Solutions and its business unit IT MATCH organized ‘Your Freelance Guide to 2018’ at the beautiful 3hoog in Leuven. The event targeted freelancers and provided them with a guide on GDPR, gamestorming and UX workshops. Of course some delicious food and drinks were also included!

Let’s start with the event!

IT MATCH event

At around 5 PM, we welcomed the first few early birds to our event and invited them for a drink and some conversation. By 6:30 PM, the room was bustling with attendees who were enjoying some tapas and a drink.

At the actual start of the event, our CEO Ronny Ruyters welcomed everyone and talked about ACA’s relationship with its freelancers. Out of the 170 people that work for ACA IT-Solutions at the moment, there are about 30 freelancers. Of course, these freelancers often come into contact with IT MATCH, our business unit specialized in outsourcing and consultancy. It’s their purpose to find the right people for the right project, in other words: to find the right fit.

Out of the 170 people that work for ACA IT-Solutions, there are about 30 freelancers.

Ronny ended his introduction by listing the topics that our speakers would talk about: GDPR, gamestorming and user experience interviews. Originally, there was supposed to be a workshop on domain-driven design instead of one on user experience interviews. Unfortunately, our domain-driven design expert had fallen ill and couldn’t make it. Luckily for us though, Didier Claessens and Peter Gevaerts were able to fill the gap with their expertise on user experience and UX interviews!

GDPR: what’s in a name?

GDPR presentation

After the introduction, Steven Fransen, CFO of ACA IT-Solutions, took the word for his presentation on GDPR. He started with a general introduction of GDPR from different angles.

For people, GDPR means that they get much more control over how organizations use their personal data. For companies, especially the ones that are only just now starting to try and become GDPR compliant, the new laws mainly cause headaches because of all the extra overhead. Perhaps surprisingly, GDPR can also be seen as an opportunity. Freelancers, for example, could actively engage in data protection and advise their clients on the topic.

GDPR is both a challenge and an opportunity.

Steven continued his presentation by explaining the different aspects of GDPR in a nutshell. There are the players, personal data, sensitive data, lawful processing, the right of data subjects (for example, the infamous ‘right to be forgotten’) and the responsibilities of data controllers and data processors. Lastly, our GDPR expert elaborated on the opportunities that GDPR brings to the customer ecosystem. Some examples are adaptations to software development processes and GDPR roadmapping for clients.

Time for some workshops!

After Steven’s presentation, Katrien Gistelinck, Didier Claessens and Peter Gevaerts shortly introduced themselves and the workshops they would give. The audience was free to choose whether they would attend Katrien’s gamestorming workshop or Didier and Peter’s UX interviews workshop. After a short break, the attendees split themselves up in two groups. One group stayed in the main room for the UX interviews workshop. The other one went to 3hoog’s ‘Museum’ building for the gamestorming workshop.

UX interviews: an introduction

UX interviews workshop

Let’s start with an account of the UX interviews workshop. Peter Gevaerts and Didier Claessens decided to start their workshop with a short, but necessary introduction to UX. First, they explained the difference between UI and UX and then they moved on to UX interviews. These interviews focus on the needs of a product’s users and are a great way to get insights into people’s train of thought.

UX interviews focus on getting insights into people’s thinking.

If you missed the workshop, here are some tips to conduct a great user experience interview:

After Didier and Peter explained the ins and outs of UX interviews, they simulated an interview with a member of the audience. All other participants watched closely and provided feedback afterwards. Finally, the workshop ended with the pros and cons of UX interviews and some questions from the audience. It definitely was an interesting and educational session!

A true gamestorming experience

Gamestorming workshop

Meanwhile, in the ‘Museum’ building, Katrien Gistelinck started her gamestorming workshop. She talked about how she got to know the concept and quickly transitioned to the goals of gamestorming. The purpose is to solve the problem of meetings that take way too long or don’t have a clear outcome and participants that aren’t focused or active enough. Gamestorming does this by actively engaging participants via ‘games’ that enhance focus or boost creativity.

The purpose of gamestorming is to solve the problem of long meetings without a clear outcome and distracted participants.

Some examples of gamestorming are:

Gamestorming workshop

Katrien picked three gamestorming techniques for the workshop (product box, delegation poker, and spider web) and explained each game in detail. The group of attendees was then invited to try these techniques for themselves, split up evenly across the three games. Each group got about 15 minutes of hands-on time with their chosen game and everyone had lots of fun!

The gamestorming workshop ended with every group telling the others about their experience with the gamestorming technique they had tried. One group participated in a retrospective meeting about the event itself, while another group played delegation poker to make decisions. Two other groups designed a product box for Tesla and came up with creative ideas to enhance a Tesla driver’s experience even more. 

Networking, food & drinks

With the Networking at eventworkshops over and done, there was only one more thing to do… time for the reception! Most of our guests happily obliged and enjoyed some drinks and a wide array of foods. This was also the perfect time to do some networking! In fact, many guests couldn’t stop networking (read: talking and enjoying some sparkling wine) until much later than the foreseen end of the event. A good indication that the event was a success! 😉

We’d like to thank everyone who attended and we hope to see you at our next event!

Stijn is a copywriter and content marketer for ACA IT-Solutions and manages the blog website. He's interested in writing persuasive content, web content and graphic design and likes to challenge himself with new insights.