DeveloperWeek Europe 2021 DeveloperWeek Europe 2021

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

What the Soviet Space Program Taught Me about Digital Product Development
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Dean Schuster
Dean Schuster
Truematter, UX Strategy Expert and Partner

The space race between the USA and USSR was one of the great dramatic stories of the 20th century. Our very industry was born as Washington and Moscow relentlessly competed to master the stars.

For space nuts like me, this fascinating time is utterly compelling. It’s also highly instructive for digital product developers. After all, engineers drove the innovation that pushed us beyond earth. The lessons they learned and processes they created can help us today as we make software, apps, and advanced functionality online.

Of course, the Soviet side of the story tends to be less understood. And that’s exactly what we’ll explore. It’s unbelievable stuff, and a cautionary tale for development teams.

- How differing philosophies of development lead to different processes and results.
- What Soviet imperatives parallel modern development approaches.
- Why the USSR led the space race early, but ultimately failed to reach the moon first.
- What we can learn, adapt, and avoid today from the 20th century Soviet model.