Facebook Developer Circle Talks Ideation and Team Formation at Second Gathering

Sylvana Lewin, Thursday October 26th 2017

On Saturday, October 21st, Facebook Developer Circles: Accra geared up for its second gathering at the MEST Accra Incubator. This time they discussed how to properly ideate and form strong, effective teams for a tech project. Project managers, UI/UX designers, and front-end and back-end developers attended the event, which featured presentations on Ideation and Team Building as well as breakout sessions on Bots for Messenger, React and React Native, HTML CSS, and basic JavaScript. MEST teaching fellow Miishe Addy delivered a keynote on ideation and team-building.

By the end of the event, 11 teams had formed for the upcoming Global Developer Circles Community Challenge, which will take place this Saturday, October 28th at the MEST Accra Incubator.

One of the group founders and MEST Incubator company Aidahbot CTO John Otu sums up his key takeaways from the event.

The Best Teams Are Diverse

Team diversity can never be over-emphasized. It was obvious during this workshop how important difference is when people come together for a single purpose. The meetup focused on getting members ready with teams and ideas for the Global Developer Circles Community Challenge — a competition open to individuals and teams of individuals to build solutions that help developers work and connect better.

Ideation can be easy if you follow the right process

A lot of times we struggle to come up with ideas for projects and businesses but it needn’t be that way. There are proven techniques for brainstorming and funneling a large amount of thought into a very refined and apt idea. Some of the tips Miishe gave for a rewarding brainstorming session included:

  • avoiding judgment of ideas at the onset

  • encouraging wild ideas

  • preferring quantity over quality of ideas

  • assessing ideas one at a time

  • being very graphic (no words) about how we think they will work

This simple process handed 11 teams sound ideas for the challenge in just a few minutes.

Teams are as strong as the sum of their individual strengths

Companies need to consciously hire diverse members in order to have a holistic team with different legs of support. For a startup or tech business, Miishe posited you’ll need hustlers, hackers and hipsters. The hustler (business guy, project manager, etc) brings the story and network, the hacker (backend/fullstack developer) shapes the product to do the things it’s meant to do while the hipster (UI/UX or frontend designer/developer) designs and implements a high quality experience for users of a product. These roles fit together to form good quality product teams. Beyond specific roles, members of different sexes, races, and cultures can bring perspective that can result in great benefits to a team.

If you want to learn more, Miishe’s deck on Ideation & Team Building can be found here. Make sure not to miss the Global Developer Circles Community Challenge happening this Saturday from 9am to 5pm at the MEST Accra Incubator!

John Otu is a MEST Alumni and Co-Lead with Oliver Mensah for the Developer Circles Accra. He loves tech and writes JavaScript code for Aidahbot, a startup that helps social media merchants sell faster and engage their customers with the use of chat bots.