Nuance’s first engineering conference, aptly-named Ncode, took place recently in Montreal. I sat down with David Ardman, VP of Mobile Speech R&D and sponsor for the event, to hear more about it and how it all came together.
What is Ncode and why was it developed?
Ncode is an internal Nuance engineering conference which focuses on all aspects of software development including architecture, programming and quality assurance. The vision for the event was to bring together some of our top engineering minds to advance our vision for engineering excellence, exchange information and tackle common problems. The event spanned over two days and featured keynote speakers, breakout sessions, networking, and of course plenty of time for bowling and good food.
Our first event was led by the Mobility engineering team and was hosted in Montreal with global representation from nine countries, including Europe, Asia and North America. We also had two exceptional external keynote speakers.
What were you most surprised by?
The near unanimous positive feedback on the event. Engineers can at times be perceived as critical in nature, but that wasn’t the experience at Ncode. I found it eye-opening to see how different engineering teams in different countries who work on very different product lines were able to walk through common problems.
Why is it important to hold events like this?
These types of events create face-to-face connections for teams who typically are globally distributed – and can enable the serendipity of conversations that lead to a culture of innovation. Our engineers are now better positioned to continue connecting after the event and subsequently identify opportunities for sharing knowledge, code and creative ideas.
Anything else you’d like to add?
It’s worth noting that none of this would have been possible without the collaboration of several teams. From our Talent & Organizational Development team to IT, HR, and of course our many talented engineers, I’d like to send a special thank you out to everyone who participated.