With DrupalCon Europe 2020 approaching fast we wanted to introduce our speakers to our readers at the conference. Who are they and what do they do at 1xINTERNET? What can we expect to hear during their talk? Baddy Sonja is the CEO of 1xINTERNET and she will be hosting a workshop about Content Strategy.
From being a semi-professional handball player to becoming CEO of 1xINTERNET
Who is Baddy Sonja Breidert? I was born and raised in Reykjavík, Iceland with my two working parents and 8 years older brother. Sports played a big part in our family life and I can’t remember many family dinners as we were always in the handball arena practicing with our teams. I played handball at the highest level until I was 27 years old and I was lucky to be able to study Computer Science along my daily training. At the age of 27 I moved to Austria to hang out with my new boyfriend (Christoph) and play handball in Vienna. The Austrian handball career didn’t last long as I got a severe knee injury. Instead I did my Master in Engineering Management at the Technical University Vienna (TU-Wien) and finished in 2008. When our first child was born, we decided to move to Germany to be closer to our families and we then founded 1xINTERNET. We now live in Frankfurt with our two children and we try to visit Iceland, Denmark and Spain as often as we can.
What is your role at 1xINTERNET? I’m one of the owners and mainly responsible for Sales & Marketing as well as Finances & HR. I often consult the clients in the discovery phase and sometimes I get lucky enough to help out with some project management which I really love to do.
Dealing with people can be the challenging, but at the same time greatly rewarding
What are your most challenging tasks at work? I would say dealing with humans is probably the most challenging task. We are all different, both the people that work at 1xINTERNET and also all the clients we communicate with. This task is also probably the most rewarding one, because it is very satisfying to have a functional team and clients that all work together and try to achieve the same goals. Getting there can sometimes be a bit tricky though.
Where did you work before 1xINTERNET? I worked as a software developer in a bank during my computer science studies but directly after my graduation, my professor asked me to join his team at the University. After a few years, that same boss founded a Venture Capital fund and I followed him and worked in the VC industry for over 5 years. Our fund invested mainly in tech companies in the US and Iceland and my job was to work on the due diligence and often step in interim roles in the company. After my Master Degree I went back to software development and worked as a JAVA developer at an Austrian software company until we moved to Germany.
Being at home during pandemic has been very valuable experience
How do you organize yourself at work, any tips? I try to write down 3 important things every morning that I need to accomplish and I feel extremely good when I’ve checked them off at the end of the day. I also often make sure that I work ahead of time. I sometimes feel it is helpful to use 1-2 hours on Sunday to get out emails (I love the Scheduled function in Gmail) and prepare for the week.
How has working during a pandemic affected you? Anything positive you can think of after this time? I had never worked at home before the pandemic and we had no home-office in place. As the pandemic continued with more restrictions we created a space at home where we can do our work, and since then it has been great to sit at home and get things done. I also travelled a lot before the pandemic and being so much at home this year also allowed me to experience things at home that I otherwise would have missed. I witnessed when my son got his acceptance to “Gymnasium”, I witnessed both kids coming home telling me about what happened at school, etc. If there is something positive to think about it is definitely the time I’ve had with the family that otherwise had been missed due to travel.
My workshop will be very interactive
Now you are going to be talking at DrupalCon, what is your lecture about? Part of my work is often to consult the client about what content should be placed on the website and in what order. At DrupalCon Europe I will be doing a workshop about content strategy and how to implement. I will be sharing some templates and tools we use at our company to help the client. Attendees can expect an interactive workshop as I will try to integrate people as much as possible in this virtual workshop. I encourage everyone that is interested in organising content, understanding personas and user journeys to attend.
Any surprises? Maybe, I will not say anything about that here :)
Without content strategy its hard to expect success in digital projects
Why this subject? In my opinion every web project needs a content strategy with clear goals, a great UX/design, and a thoughtfully modelled information architecture that is implemented in a CMS system. I often feel like companies jump too fast into design or implementation without thinking about what content needs to be delivered on the site. All these tasks mentioned are done by different people: Content strategists, analytics experts, UX- and graphic designers, accessibility experts, solution architects, and software developers. It is often challenging to create a mutual understanding of all stakeholders and an easy to understand workflow for people to collaborate. I hope that this workshop will kick-off some ideas to improve current workflows at companies.
Been to every DrupalCon Europe since 2014
Have you attended many DrupalCons? I’ve been lucky enough to attend many DrupalCons. I’ve been to all DrupalCons Europe since Amsterdam 2014 and been to DrupalCon North America since Nashville 2018. My favourite "DrupalCon” by far, is the Drupal Europe in 2018. The community came together and put on this great conference in the most beautiful conference centre I’ve ever been too. I have so many great memories from that event but what really stuck out to me was the new friendship with all the great people that worked with us on the event.
In your opinion, what is the charm of a DrupalCon event? To finally meet the people you are normally communicating with on Slack or via E-Mails, to exchange information and ideas in small groups and of course seeing the #Driesnote.
Anything else you want to share? This year has been tough and difficult for many of us. I miss meeting peers and friends and talk about the technology I love. Therefore I hope to be able to see everyone at DrupalCon Europe 2020 and I’m crossing my fingers for an in-person event in 2021. Hang in there and stay safe :)