FordLabs is preparing for its third year participating in Tech Trek! This guest blog by Liz Schemanski, senior product designer at FordLabs, shares with us a sneak peek of what attendees can experience on Friday, June 7.
Since the inception of FordLabs’ presence in Ann Arbor two years ago, we have been a faithful open house participant of A2 Tech Trek presented by Ann Arbor SPARK. Tech Trek is our biggest open community event every year and we’re always super excited to be a part of it because we love meeting new people, showing off our office space, and including y’all in all the cool things that we do.
We didn’t know what to expect at our first Tech Trek back in 2017. We had just moved into our brand-new Ann Arbor office about a month prior with only 20 employees. We thought we would just have a couple of us hanging around to chat with visitors and everybody else could continue working. Silly us! We ended up welcoming more than 1,000 visitors in those short four hours. We were overwhelmed and visitors were probably underwhelmed. If you came by that year, we hope we can entice you to give us another visit. Each year, we have been experimenting with new ways to improve the Tech Trek experience at FordLabs. Afterall, that’s our approach in everything we do here at FordLabs.
At last year’s Tech Trek, we had over 650 visitors come through our space and even more visited us at Mobility Row. The interest was amazing! With a few workshops to help visitors understand the workings of FordLabs we decided to take that even further this year. In 2019, we’ll be adding more hands-on activities to showcase all of our growing team.
Now what are these activities, you ask? While we’re still finalizing the details, one of the many new things we’ll have in store for you are 15-minute, hands-on activities — on repeat — for each of our balanced team roles: product managers, product designers, and software engineers. If you want to know what we do, you won’t just hear about it, you’ll experience it during sessions where you’ll help us design a product, do some ideation at lightning speed, as well as get a glimpse at how we start off every day at FordLabs. More fun details to come as we get closer to the event!
Who We Are
Fordlabs is a growing software incubation group in Ford Smart Mobility LLC of Ford Motor Company. It was founded in 2016 in partnership with Pivotal Labs to practice Agile in balanced teams using human-centered design, lean startup, and eXtreme programming principles to develop working, tested software.