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OPEN TALK: Introducing "Continuous Design/Continuous Integration"

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Ivan Huerta
Parabeac, Founder & CEO

Ivan Huerta is a self-taught programmer and entrepreneur from El Paso, Texas, and the founder & CEO of Parabeac. After falling in love with coding while at the University of Texas-El Paso, he founded his own dev shop from a college dorm room which he then led and grew to eight developers and staff. He became an early Flutter enthusiast and very attentive to trends in low code/no code. Acutely aware of the day-to-day challenges facing app development, in 2018 Ivan pivoted the team away from 3rd party development and toward building dev tools that could once and for all resolve the chronic development problem they had experienced: the designer/developer handoff struggle. The tools Ivan developed automatically convert app design files to Flutter code and enable all subsequent designer changes to continuously update the code. Those tools subsequently became the basis for what is now Parabeac.

Ivan is also deeply involved with the El Paso startup ecosystem where he is Chapter Director of Startup Grind El Paso. He hosts and interviews entrepreneurs & investors locally and abroad, facilitates panels, and presents at events to help educate El Paso on startup related topics such as tactics, fundraising, & resources. He writes frequently on developer-related topics and has currently relocated to Austin as part of Capital Factory.

Introducing Continuous Design/Continuous Integration Agile processes have become mature contributors to the evolution of developer operations for the build to deploy stage, but what about design? After all, creating the user interface typically takes up to 60% of the total development time, easily representing the most attractive opportunity since Agile itself to redefine how apps are built. Not only is it an enormous expense, but mistakes between designers & developers can impact an app well after launch. Since design is now largely digitized it seems like a no-brainer to build automated conversion tools that integrate designer/developer workflow into what we could call “Continuous Design/Continuous Integration”. So where are they? In this talk, Parabeac CEO Ivan Huerta describes the reasons why it is much harder than you might expect, and what CD/CI would need to look like to be truly functional. Ivan outlines the major challenges that have kept CD/CI from coming to fruition and the new pathways within which CD/CI tools could now be on the near horizon. He predicts how the CD/CI market may present itself over time, and what the substantial and surprising long-term impact might be. Agile gave adaptive energy to the build and deploy stages of app development. CD/CI simply extends that backward to include the design stage as well. But when CD/CI platforms become an integral part of automating developer workflows, the reduction in development costs may only be a small part of the story compared to CD/CI’s impact on the transformation of traditional developer roles. Ivan closes his talk with a discussion of the potential implications of that transformation. A more detailed outline of the talk is available on request.