PITAH Festival at eDO

eDreams ODIGEO
May 27 · 4 min read

Two weeks of learning and knowledge exchange

Preparing for the live streaming

What better way to kick off our fiscal year 2021–2022 together with an awesome 2-week long Product and IT festival?

PITAH simply stands for Product & IT All Hands. The Festival was a 2-week event (27th April to 7th May) during which fellow eDOers gave a series of talks on a variety of topics on Product and IT innovations, projects and priorities. All eDOers, from any areas connected to participate in super interesting talks, games, activities, team and individual prizes, and whole lot of fun!

Want to know more about how it went down and what new exciting things were presented? Read the interview below with Carsten Bernhard, our Chief Technology Officer, and Christoph Dieterle, our Chief Product Officer.

Carsten Bernhard
Christoph Dieterle

The first ever eDO Product & IT All Hands Festival just ended. Do you have a feeling of a mission accomplished?

Carsten: Yes, definitely! It was an awesome experience. We have some super ambitious plans for this year, and it was great to bring us all together for that. And then we branched out in 24 different workshops where people could choose their own agenda of learning. And everyone made super heavy use of it!

Why hold a Festival?

Carsten: Well, we are used to having these regular All Hands events. In fact, as a company, we do have a brief touchpoint every week with the entire team and our management team to give updates. And for our areas, we had these large scale all hands for a full day twice a year or so.

Christoph: This year we thought about how to adapt the format into the new remote normal. And we came up with the conclusion that it is actually worth spreading the sessions out over two weeks, with each day featuring a morning and afternoon session. So that the team can enjoy the sessions while continuing with their regular work.

That was how the festival idea was born.

What kind of topics were discussed in the festival?

Christoph: What a great collection of content we had! Basically everything from business topics of our domain, how to write clean code, frontend architectural topics to how forecasting helps agile working and so on. The topic list is super cool.

We had 4 different tracks: Product and Design; Technical Excellence; Process and Delivery Excellence; and Experiences. In these tracks we had a great diversity of talks — everything from our Brand Director talking about how we engage with our customers to build loyalty to some of our senior developers talking about how we are selecting our next Application Server technology we even had non-technology teams talking about how implementing Kanban and Lean principles had positively impacted their ability to effectively manage their workload.

Carsten: On the technology side we have some really exciting things happening this year with the continued rollout of REACT to our front end and the implementation of our Data Mesh across all our digital touchpoints — allowing us to better leverage the data we generate to gain insights into our customers, technology and the industry. All of this requires that our people are well-informed and up to date with the current approach and I think we achieved this through holding the conference.

What was your favourite part of the Festival?

(Carsten) In my opinion it was really seeing our people step up and give these talks. I have been at quite a few software development conferences out there, and I would honestly say that the content shown was at par with the external conferences. Just discovering how much awesomeness actually exists in our team was quite mind-blowing.

What’s the next challenge?

Carsten: For me, it’s actually watching the rest of the festival sessions! I was able to join 5–6 of them live, but because we had multiple parallel tracks I also missed out on some quite exciting content. I am going to have to catch up.

Christoph: Also, the feedback we received was really really good and I think we will see us organizing another of these virtual conferences even this year. And of course we have some other super engaging formats that we will be doing like hackathons, bug hunts, virtual coffees and many more.