Jessica Engström



Swetugg conference

2015-02-08 13:16:00 +0000

Back in April 2014 I met up with a couple of dev-friends over dinner and brainstormed ideas. Not only did we have good food, we also decided to do a Swedish, low-cost, .NET conference.

And so the planning began, we are 5 people on the board and we have another 7 members on our Swetugg Events committee.

It was super fun and a lot of work to put together a conference. None of us had done it before. Luckily two of the board members have awesome employers so they could take time to work on Swetugg during work hours and Jimmy and I do a lot of other events so we are used to planning stuff like this.

The hardest part about the conference was probably the schedule (besides finding a suitable venue). How do we decide if the speaker get a large or small room? How do we decide what topics to book? We were 3 people working on picking the talks and we are interested in different things so I think it worked out fine.

We got a lot of positive feedback during the event (and after) so based on that, I would say the event was a success Open-mouthed smile

But I didn’t only co-organize and work during the conference, I also did a talk about design.
My session concentrated on how to think when it comes to colors, typefaces, pictures and why. Also how to do an easy logo and icon for your app without having a designer on the team.

You can find my slides here. (In Swedish)

Explaing design With superheroes and ponies

Now I’m off to plan the next event, Hackathon season has begun!


Hackathon season

2013-11-11 11:43:00 +0000

This autumn/winter is certainly the season of hackathons, at least for me.

To kick it of we started with a Halloween hack. It was super fun to organize and attend.

We crammed in 70 people in Skype's office where we usually are 50.

A lot of participants came in impressive Halloween costumes, and we were part of the Windows Phone Week.

29h of pure fun.


Next we went to Malmo and had a mini hackathon with FooCafé and met new and old dev friends.


On the first evening of the Øredev conference me, Jimmy, Atley Hunter and Michael Crump helped out at the Windows 8/Windows Phone hackathon.

Today attended a raspberry pi mini hack. Yes I do go to hackathons I don't organize ;)

In between these we are still doing the mini hacks with our user group Coding After Work

And now we are (hopefully) planning an advent/Christmas hack for December :)

//Build – day 3

2013-06-30 18:20:00 +0000

Even though the shuttles started to go much later than the other days people were clearly tired (read hung over) the attendance of the first two session was sparse to say the least Smile with tongue out
People started to drop in by lunch.


I did the other way around and only caught the 2 first sessions.

One of them being Pete Brown’s “The Wow Factor - Making your Windows Store Apps promotable
If there is only one “design” talk you are going to see, make it this one.
He goes through what not to do, exactly what to think about when it comes to design, description of your app, splash screens, why and what to think about when you reflow your content to different sized screens.
He even shows example apps.
”Be best at something”  with your app he said, I liked that. If you are not best at something what’s the point Smile
IMG_0126 (640x480)
The pace of attendees, speakers and exhibitors where clearly slower today.
And all the exhibitors completely threw stuff at you, the other days you had to do something in return to get swag, but not today Smile with tongue out

It’s going to be empty not going to the conference today, but for us who feels that way, or for those not fortunate to be there live all sessions can be seen here;

//Build – day 2

2013-06-28 18:20:00 +0000

Seriously tired today. Yesterday I was invited to the Build VIP party and after that we went to the hackathon to finish up our app. Unfortunately I only have my hybrid with me (without VS or Blend) so we were working on Jimmy’s computer. But it’s about to collapse or something,  couldn’t start Expression Blend, and Visual Studio couldn’t deploy to the phone no matter how many time we repaired and reinstalled :/

The keynote contained a lot of good stuff like cool new functions in Visual Studio and Azure, they even made a 20 MB SQL server free for mobile services! IMG_3880 (640x427)
Push notifications is just a click away now.
And of course it’s always fun to see Scott Hanselman on stage.

Azure Autoscale sure was awesome too, no more manual configuring! Speaking of saving money, Azure no longer charge you for every hour but per minute used Smile


An awesome session about design was Beautiful Apps at Any Size in Any Screen with Sarah McDevittwith.

This was an awesome session about scaling your design for windows 8.1. She talked about what controller to use when and where, and how to make your design work over all different device sizes and orientation.


In the evening there was an attendee party at pier 48 with loads of food trucks inviting you to try everything from bacon burgers and Thai to Indian food and cupcakes.
There was a lot of games like pool, air hockey and arcade games to be played and they had an entertainer on stage too.
The view at  the pier was fantastic at night, and kept getting better the darker it got

Now it’s time to regroup and get ready for the last day of the conference.

//Build – day 1

2013-06-27 07:24:03 +0000

Wow, just wow!

Sooo many sessions and so little time. It is super difficult to choose what session to attend. And you also want to look at the awesome devices and partners that are here.


The keynote was great of course, if not for the Surface pro and acer tablet Winking smile

Next I went to Windows Phone Design for developers. It was a great session, Corrina is a good presenter and she went through all the design principles thoroughly.

Windows Store Overview for Windows 8.1: new design, new promotion and monetization opportunities was the next one I went to, if you are curious to how the windows store for windows 8.1 looks you should watch this, he went through everything.


I actually ended up skipping the next session and went and looked at all the cool 3D printers and exhibiters. Like last year there was also an area where you could get design help from the UK team (I think)
I went there and got to talk to one of the girls, and it was awesome, they are very competent and have a LOT of ideas.

I love that they are giving people this opportunity.

The last session I went to was Windows Phone: building great UI in XAML

It was a great “follow up” for Corrina’s session, he showed an app that was, let’s say not so great and told us some tips and tricks for making it better looking Smile

Now it’s time to go stand in the huge line for picking up our Surface pros and Acer Iconias. People were skipping the last session so I’m guessing it will be a while Smile with tongue out

Update: The pick up went super smooth, it was SO well planned out, we had hundreds of people in front of us in line but it took like 20-30 minutes until we the got the stuff in our hands Smile

//Build - registration and Xamarin Party

2013-06-26 07:37:07 +0000


Tomorrow build starts and today you could register for it Smile
We arrived a little over an hour after they opened the doors and there were no lines to speak of.
You could even self register with a barcode Smile

We got the badge, a T-shirt and the program and we were on our way.

After that we went to a Swede meet up, we are over 100 Swedes at build which is a lot for such a small country.
We had a nice couple of hours at the Press Club and later headed over to the hackathon briefing.
Me and Jimmy signed up as a team to make a windows phone app.
After that we went to the Xamarin welcome party, if you have followed #bldwin at twitter you know that basically everyone is going Smile with tongue out
We got a cute monkey and and a T-shirt

Now it’s time for some planning, need to decide what sessions to attend!

//Build – recap and expectations

2013-06-25 17:05:34 +0000

Last year me and my husband had the chance to go to the Build conference.
When we realized that it was going to be held in Redmond we both said that we should go, when we found out it was on Microsoft campus it was no longer a choice, we HAD to go Smile


This year we decided to go as well, since we both are geeks/nerds (pick one, or both perhaps) we don’t go to Thailand or grand canaria etc, THIS is our kind of vacation, THIS is what we save our vacation money towards.

So what was so great about last years conference?

well, almost everything from sessions to interviews and meeting fellow geeks.
Some of the highlights for me was to see Scott Hanselman live. He is a great presenter. And of course to see Steve Ballmer on stage too.

The sessions I remember most is Tips on self-evaluating the UX f your app, Bleeding edge ASP.NET: See what is next for MVC, Web API, SignalR and more and perhaps Windows Phone 8: Using the speech API speech is cool (and so are bow ties) and under appreciated if you ask me Smile

We still don’t know what the sessions will hold for this year, but I have high hopes.
I especially want to know about Windows 8.1, Windows phone, UX and the Xbox One.



2011-04-03 20:59:00 +0000


TechDays 2011 i Örebro

Due to my husband winning the Geek Awards this year we got to go to Örebro and Techdays.
This was my (our) first Techdays and this is a little about my experience.

The alarm went off at 03:30, insanely early, but so worth it.
We arrived in time for the keynote. Magnus Lindkvist was brilliant amongst others.
Unfortunately when we arrived at the "HTML5 for web developers" (with one of my favorite speakers Danwei Tran Luciani) it was already full.

On Facebook We have a Swedish fan-group for Windows Phone 7 and I had suggested a lunch with everyone who was at Techdays from that group. 7 of us found each other (some got lost) and we had a really nice lunch with likeminded wp7 enthusiasts.
The food was great, not over pretentious, just regular food. Especially for me who is allergic to meat, veg food usually sucks at events.

We saw to it that we were first in line for "Orchard and Azure - CMS in the cloud" with Mikael Söderström and Dag König and I'll have to say that they both where at their best.

Then something strange happened. I was talked into going to Gil Cleeren's session "What you, as an ASP.NET developer should know about jQuery". I've seen Gil once before and he is a really good speaker. But I had NO idea he was so good that I got interestedin JQuery! Who knew?

Later that evening It was time for some awards and entertainment. My husband was crowned the geek of the year (Yay!) Petter and September came to play for us and afterwards we mingled through the night.

The next morning I went to the best session (for me) on Techdays: "Windows Phone 7 in Blend och code" with Andreas Hammar and Håkan Reis. Their dynamic was perfect, no awkward pauses if one "interrupted" the other and they had so much good stuff to show us. I will download their presentation and make my husband see it with me (he was being interviewed at the time). Let me put it like this....I almost NEVER see anything twice, that goes for movies, TV, presentations etc. THAT's how good they were.

Klas Hallberg talked about getting things done in the keynote. He was brilliant and so funny. Also he has the best dialect ever :P

We tried to get in a wp7-group lunch the second day too, we were 6 people this time, including the head of wp7 for Scandinavia (?) Peter Wissinger. After the lunch Peter told us that he had some women's fit t-shirts and stuff that we could get. I got a couple of t-shirts and a vest with the "I love wp7" logo on it. So freaking cool :)

Later that day we saw Johan Lindfors talk about "wp7 - the good, the bad, the ugly" also Danwei Tran Luciani and Pontus Wittenmark spoke about "HTML5 vs. Silverlight" both sessions were very good :)

So in short: We had the best time, surrounded by geeks. No explaining that wp7 is NOT the same as win mobile, I only got the standard question "YOU going to sessions/play games/like tech stuff/etc., but you are a girl!" once during Techdays and it was from a friend's husband so he is forgiven. I had a great time!

Totally worth the blisters, small knee injury and lack of sleep :P

Geek Awards

2011-04-03 19:00:00 +0000

Microsoft's Techdays arrange an annual competition for geek of the year. Last year my husband came in third.
This year I thought he ought to win (really he is crazy geeky) so I nominated him. For those of you who can read Swedish, the nomination can be found here on my husbands blog.

Apparently the judges liked my nomination so much that they also gave ME the chance to come to Techdays. That is so awesome and so considerate of them.
Everyone we've been in contact with surrounding Geek Awards has treated us with the upmost respect and kindness.

Some of the judges even came up to us and said that he really deserved the award. Some wanted to meet this wife of his who nominated him :p

Here is a video of Jimmy accepting his award


How does it feel to get this award?
Jimmy: "incredibly nice, I mean 1700 geeks and I am apparently the worst"
Can't say anything other than I'm a proud geek-wife :)

Here is an interview they made during Techdays (in Swedish)