tech & style updates:
After not noticing any major changes last month, I decided to focus more on the English language during this month. In fact, by the time I left on December 21, I had noticed that things were going forward again. Of course not with the same speed of learning as at the beginning, but the details that matter to me kept getting sharpened.
In terms of business, December started just as well as November ended. At the moment the topic Artificial Intelligence is in high demand and there are many conferences about Digital (more precisely the connection between Tech and Business). For this reason the need for speakers is high as well. I was very pleased to be contacted by an organizer of such an event in Rotterdam via my predecessor. We quickly found a consensus on LinkedIn and I was both motivated and willing to give the audience an insight into my work. All in all it would have been a very cool experience and the next step in building up my personal branding. Of course such engagements have to be discussed internally with adidas beforehand. Unfortunately I didn't get a positive answer to my request. After a detailed explanation I understood why it is not possible at the moment and cancelled the engagement. Of course I was extremely disappointed about it and my mood was accordingly somewhat dampened...
Another side-project that has been on my mind for quite some time is the Professional Product Owner Certificate. Since I've been working with Scrum for 4 months now, I wanted to capture this experience in a certificate and equip myself for later applications in product development. I was very confident that the test was doable and I prepared myself thoroughly with open assessments and the Scrum guide. After 2 weeks of preparation I felt ready and registered for the exam. Shortly after I clicked on 'start' it became clear to me that this would not be a walk in the park. One hour for 80 questions. Unfortunately this impression didn't change during the exam. With more than half of the questions I was not sure to give the right answer, but I still believed that I would pass. With a score of 85% or 68 out of 80 correct answers I would have made it. Disappointingly, I had only 80% (64 correct answers). A harsh setback and by no means what I needed after the cancellation of my speaking engagement. Thus my 'mood level' dropped further.
SIZE & FIT
Interesting developments arose during December in the context of the size and fit topic. Since my research was finished and I had talked to a lot of people from the UX (User Experience) team about running shoes, it was time to take the next step. In one of my weekly meetings with Monique we talked about how I could turn my collected knowledge into something tangible. Especially for future applications, I was very interested in showing something. That's why I decided to create a prototype of a digital product. My research, competitor analyses and my knowledge of sports science should be included. I quickly decided to build this prototype with Framer. I already know this tool from the FCB HackDays and it enables me to create a happy flow (exemplary flow where everything goes well) interactively and visually appealing.
An event I still remember this month was the Collider class of 2018 pitches. It's always exciting to listen to pitches, because particularly in the tech industry it's very interesting how different technologies are implemented to create a business benefit. Most inspiring was a solution to make live price adjustments through AI. I like the combination of digital and physical because I think it will be very important to offer physical products again in the future. This startup has developed digital price tags that adapt automatically. During the pitches I had to remember the hackathons again and again and the feeling came up that I wanted to do something on my own. Let's see what 2019 brings...
For me, Christmas is the celebration of coming together and reflectiveness. That is why I care so much about who I spend these special days with. Although I am far away from home, I have great people around me. So we (Ed, Fede, Franzi & Carlo) decided to have a big international Christmas dinner and Secret Santa. Each nationality served a course and after that gifts were exchanged. I was very impressed by the deep friendship you can feel after only 4.5 months. Danke, Merci, Grazie!
Of course I flew home to my family for the great Christmas season. There I was desperately awaited and culinarily treated. I love our regional cuisine and always miss the delicious dishes abroad very much. The best thing about Christmas is that all my youth friends come home. Every year we get together and celebrate each other. Spending the holidays with the family is also very important for me and so I spent the holidays either with my family or with Sarah's family. Good times!
NEW YEAR'S EVE
Since the flights become relatively expensive the closer you book them to NYE, I already decided to fly back to Amsterdam on the 26th. Arrived there I could spend the days in tranquility and prepare for NYE. Although I expected more guests, I was happy that Franzi, Lucca and Sarah found their way north. The three arrived one day before and so there was time for sightseeing and a boat trip through the canals and the light festival. We were very lucky because we could get a private boat to steer ourselves.
On New Year's Eve we met Ed and Franzi and started the night together. At 00:00 we came together on one of the countless bridges and celebrated the new year.
Slowly but surely I realized that this great time here in Amsterdam is limited. It's normal to look back at the end of the year and see what you've achieved. But it's just as normal to look ahead and think about what's next. I have often thought about how my career should continue. Within adidas, one or two doors have opened. In addition, a lot of new jobs are to be created in January. New jobs especially in the digital sector, exactly where I want to be. In this context there was probably no worse timing for me to do an internship. It would be a lie if I said that I never thought about trying to stay with adidas in Amsterdam. Ultimately, however, I decided to stick to my principles: Finish what you start. That means I will go back to Germany after the internship and finish my master's degree. With this education and a broad base in my pocket, I will be able to start my next adventure in 2019.
In summary, I can say that the Christmas break has come at the right time. I have to digest the setbacks in December to go back to the last month with new energy.
During my preparation for the PO exam I regularly read the Scrum guide. It's really important to pay attention to every word, because the guide is written very precisely and expressively.
The Scrum Guide
The Definitive Guide to Scrum: The Rules of the Game
Jeff Sutherland & Ken Schwaber (English)