In April of 2020, I did one very important thing. This thing I did made my dream of running a YouTube channel a reality. So what was that one important thing? A solid content strategy? Purchasing a fabulous camera? Snagging an endorsement deal!?

I started making videos. I. Just. Started. No more thinking, dreaming, planning. No more insecure thoughts and what if’s. No time off work to pursue my dream. I just started doing it. And just like that, I had started making YouTube videos about a subject I’m passionate about. This is the first learning of this article. At some point, you just gotta do that thing you’re dreaming of. Do it! Start small, make it easy for yourself to do get going. For me, that was talking about a subject that I knew well (UX & Product Design). …

This article is based on a talk given at STHLM TECH FEST HACKATHON. The worlds largest(?) hack for women.

Unn Swanström on stage at STHLM TECH FEST HACKATHON in Stockholm City Hall. Fun fact: this is where the Nobel Prize Banquet takes place every year. Photo by Molly Nordgren.

I love hackathons! I’ve been to hackathons, I’ve organized hackathons, I’ve won prizes and I have not won anything at all at hackathons. For me, they are like a vitamin injection into the part of my brain that does creativity.

I have a hackathon to thank for my very first job as a UX Designer. I can’t even remember what my team made at that time. But I do know that some of the people I met at Hackathons in my…

I’m not a great bowler, pretty average actually. But recently something strange, almost magical, happened when I was out bowling with a group of very supportive friends. Let me tell you the tale of the Turkeys.

A group of friends are at a bowling alley celebrating my friend Lydias birthday. We were having beers and goofing around, I was pretty content with knocking a few pins down each time I threw the bowling ball down the lane. We were having a good time. The four bowlers on my lane got into the habit of cheering after each throw of the bowling ball, regardless of wether it was a good or bad score. As we did a lot of cheering and high-fives the atmosphere on our lane started to shift and weird things started to occur.


Are you an aspiring event organizer? Great! You are in the right place, let’s take a look at some of the things I learned from organizing tech events in Stockholm.

The year I spent as an organizer of The Code Pub, an all-female code meetup, has been pretty darn spectacular! We almost doubled in size, passing the magical 1000 members mark. Did I mention that these members are women, who code, in Stockholm? I haven’t even counted our sisters in Olso, Hamburg, Helsinki, or Munich!

People who say there aren’t any competent women out there simply aren't looking hard enough.

Anyhoo, this is what I’ve learned from organizing The Code Pub.

Have fun!

The first rule of meet-up organizing. If you’re not having fun you should be doing something else. Just sayin.

Organize events you want to go to. Be your audience.

Accidents happen. Important people in product teams get the flu. Airplanes get delayed. Sometimes you just can’t make it to the user interview you had scheduled. User interviews are a vital part of understanding your users and gives you an outside perspective on how to improve the user experience (UX) of you service.

A simple solution to unfortunate situations — that may or may not include being delayed at Reykjavik’s airport — is to teach your teammates the techniques required to perform a solid user interview or usability test, so they can step in for you.

The following list contains…

Unn Swanström

UX Designer at Doberman. Speaker, Meetup organizer. A talkative Swedish vagabond currently based in Stockholm. IT Woman of the Year 2015.

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