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Oct. 17, 2022

E043 Fabio Franchino: Founder @ PRESENTA

No-Code & Low-Code Tools Make Innovation Available To Everyone, Improving Human Lives & Business Effectiveness.

With more than fifteen years of computational design experience and extensive knowledge in software development, Fabio Franchino is a CTO, a Technologist, the founder of PRESENTA and the co-founder & CTO of TODO Media Design.
PRESENTA is the automation platform for data-driven presentational assets.
Twitter: @fabiofranchino
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051 Fabio Franchino Thu, 8/4 12:00AM • 28:21 SUMMARY KEYWORDS people, create, automation, coding, fabio, curiosity, innovation, data, understand, tool, presenter, technical, perspective, skills, learn, teach, presentational, innovative approaches, meaningful, businesses SPEAKERS Fabio Franchino, Abdulaziz M Alhamdan

Fabio Franchino 00:00 This is why no no code tool and local tool are very popular because they allow people to create something without the struggle of the coding is something meaningful. Also just to use a full because we need to think about that innovation is not just something that is disruptive that is very be that is going to change the world etc. Innovation can be also very little, little helper for some people for some community.

Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 00:39 Once upon a time, there were millions of businesses struggling every day, they wasted time, effort and money on the repetitive tasks that added no value. One day, the better automation podcast by process CEO came to help them find a way. Because of this, these businesses save time, reduce costs, innovate and make better decisions because of that. These businesses grow, scale, and use human creativity to change this world. Hello, my name is Aziz and I'm your host that better automation podcast by process. You're where I interview the world's top experts and share their very best ideas on how to improve automation in your businesses, processes, and life. My guest today is Fabio Frankie No, Fabio is a CTO, a technologist and entrepreneur who is highly interested in data and in automation. Fabio is the founder of presenter, and the co founder and CTO of todo Media Design. With more than 15 years of computational design experience and extensive knowledge in software development. Fabio leads digital product teams from a vantage point at the crossroads of design and coding presented is the automation platform for data driven presentational assets. Fabio, how are you today?

Fabio Franchino 02:10 Fine. Thank you for inviting me. It's a pleasure to be here. introduct myself.

Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 02:17 Thank you. It's my honor, it's my privilege. And to ask you, you know, I'm speaking about presenters specifically that automation would have a big role when it comes to presentations.

Fabio Franchino 02:31 Yes, yeah, yeah, I think I'm I'm very interested in everything that is related to automation, because it's a way to save time, two people. So this is why I'm very interested. And of course computer are very good at repeating, boring stuff. So for this reason, I built present that, firstly, to help myself into representational document, because as a teacher, I create many, many documents for my lessons. So at some point as I didn't want to spend my time creating presentational document for my students, because I had to create a lot of documents. So I started to take about away and that tool that helped me to save time. And the presenter started as little tool to create the lights, basically, how to have text. So you've wrote text, and you get presentational lights, with one click one click basically, but then presented, evolve a little bit. And now it's, it's a platform actually, that can automate not only presentation of document, but also any kind of presentational assets. That means everything that you need to create for your communication purpose, for example, images, jif, PDF, etc. All this stuff can be created, starting from a bunch of data. So this is why in the in the homepage of presenter, we speak about data driven presentational assets, because we start with the data with information then we generate according to some rules and templates, of course,

Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 04:38 thank you. And even before we dive deeper into this topic, what do you think are the most important skills in the future that cannot be automated? Someone who wants to be part of the future of your of work today? What do you think are the few abilities or skills that they to work on developing, because they cannot be automated so that they will have a value a job or an ability to be a creative founder in the future.

Fabio Franchino 05:11 This is a very, very good question. Also, it's something that I use such questions with my students try to test them, because they are young, of course, and they, they will have some real life day future and they need to know what they are going to become. Next. And we are living in interesting period of time where automation computer and artificial intelligence can, from one side help us saving time, on the other side, in some ways, steal our job to some some extent. So we need to find our place, we need to find our role. And I think that we, we don't have to see all these technologies as in the negative way, in a way that they can steal our job, they can steal our purpose, we we need to explore it, or this technology. So I think that interesting skills that how our technologies, but also designers, creatives in the future, our curiosity could be curious about everything, because the Curiosity can connect all the dots. And this is something that the computer is not able to do. So a main skill for the future is about having a solid creativity in order to invent something in order in order to connect the different dots and create innovation. So I know that is not easy to do. Because it's not something that you can learn by reading a book. But I think that we need to think that way.

Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 07:17 Thank you. And it's so interesting that you mentioned curiosity, creativity, and innovation, there are people who make it too complicated, who believe that innovation is about creating something that never existed before. While there are some people who believe innovation is simply when you're so curious about so many domains, you can combine ideas from different places, in a way they were not combined before and that is innovation. So to you, what is the definition of innovation? How can people train innovation? And how does innovation and technology happen these days?

Fabio Franchino 07:56 Yeah, seeing that, yeah, innovation is can happen in many different way. But maybe the easiest way is to put together different people and work on something, I think that it's very possible that one person can innovate can be so smarter to create something new, out of the after, out of nothing. But I think that is much more easier and common to create something meaningful. Also, just to use a full because we need to think about that innovation is not just something that is disruptive, that is very big, that is going to change the world, etc. Innovation can be also very little, little helper for some people for some community. So I think that we need to think about working with people can create something meaningful, and even if it's a very little thing, but if it's useful, it was the worker and it's innovation. So an advice is about current care about people think about it, you need to work with other people. And that means also learn about communicating with other people, understanding on the people, empathy, etc. All these skills help you to work with other people. And when interesting people work together something positive. Usually come up.

Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 09:44 Thank you. That's really, really interesting. And it makes me think about something you wrote about yourself that you leave deems at the crossroads of coding and design. Can you explain that? What's the problem currently with it? Communication are the relationship between coding and design. And what is your contribution or perspective that will make it better?

Fabio Franchino 10:08 Yeah, I think that from a historical point of view, the technical side and the human is to side art always in contradiction, and they are always seen as two different sides of the same coin. So I Stickley, usually in companies where there are people that are, that have skills in technical skills and other people that are human escape. Usually they are, they have a hard time to collaborate together and communicate together. My personal experience is is is interesting, because I study design, but then I became software engineering. And of course, over over the time, over the years, all these two disciplines get mixed together. And so I'm very lucky to have a kind of double perspective comes in the same time. So I can see a project from user need perspective, but at the same time, also from a technical and constraint perspective. And these helped me to work in a team that is mixed, made by technician, at the same time designers that care about user experience, user needs, etc. And having these two different points of view helped me to talk with two different scales, naturally, so. But I understand that is not the common path. Many people just study specific matters, that are very technical or humanist way. But I think that we can learn very easily nowadays, thanks to the internet, etc, and the whole the results that are out there. And I think that again, connecting with the curiosity scale, try to learn something that is very different from your perspective on your main skill, try sometimes to go outside your comfort zone. And so I think that is a good way to learn something new and having a different perspective. When you learn different perspective, you you can understand better the other people. So again, I'm citing again, what I said before, working with people try to work well with people is very key is key to create something meaningful is key to create innovation.

Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 13:03 Thank you. And since you mentioned your students and you teaching them, etc, there is a push, or an idea that self learning or learning on your own is what is valuable now that formal educational institutions and such are useless, they're archaic. They teach things that are out of date, were very fast or already when they're teaching them, they're already out of touch with reality. What's your perspective on this? What kind of education is right to develop that curiosity? Are there some educational experiences that we use to take a standard that now aren't useful or don't serve humanity anymore? What's your thought?

Fabio Franchino 13:52 Very, very interesting question. Also, because I care a lot about this stuff. I think I do think that institutional, institutional structure about teaching are still very, very useful because surf learning is very hard. It's very difficult. It's very difficult to understand the correct path you need, you need a guide, you need someone that guide you in the proper path, but at the same time, you can learn something new by your own easily. So try to exploit the situation, follow an institutional path. But at the same time, try to go outside your comfort zone and learn something new. Because everything that you can learn is part of a bigger picture and is going to help you in some way maybe it's difficult to to know why you need These kinds of matter, but after the years and after the experience, you you, you will recognize that, okay, I learned this data years ago, and now it's going to be useful. That's, that's amazing. Just to contextualize my, my teaching activity, I teach specifically coding for non coders, non technical people, usually designers. So this is my, my main, my main expertise. And for that specific reason, I want to teach a technical matter to creative people. Because when you see the two thing together, you can see very, very beautiful thing.

Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 15:49 Thank you. And therefore, I will ask you a question that some people or a lot of people wonder about, and the no code community, which is the thought of the citizen developer, some people say that no code tools are so powerful. Now you need zero technical knowledge, you can just build things by dragging and dropping, and using what is presented to you, while others say actually, that's not enough, you need an understanding of the architecture of software, of databases of more technical things, if you know how to code you can save yourself so much time compared to going fully visually developing things. Do you agree with this? How do you see it do Do you believe that someday code might become more extinct? And only for the people who are building the software that will be the visual development platform and everybody else does it need it? Or does it teach you a way of thinking that will be useful forever?

Fabio Franchino 16:56 Okay. In general, learning a language is a good thing. And I use the word language because because coding is is a language it says very, very simple language at the end, if you compare with with the proper language that we all know. So no matter what, what is going to happen in the future, learning something, learning a new language, even a coding language is a good thing. Regarding your question, of course. I think that, rightly, the technology is going to reduce the friction to access to to powerful tool, of course coding is, is if you don't know how to code, the you cannot do anything with the code. This is why No, no code tool and local tool are very powerful, are very popular, because they allow people to create something without the struggle of the coding. But I do think that some project can be done using no code tool, without even some technical expertise. For example, if you need to create a website, it's totally okay to create to use it to use a no code platform to create a website. And I am very happy about it. Because thankfully, now many, many websites are created by people that are not technical people that are designers, marketers, etc. Because we need the technical people working on other stuff, more complex stuff, more technical stuff, okay. So I think that it's, it's okay that no code tools are there and allow non technical people to create something that is not. That doesn't require a technical expert dies. Of course, if you need to architect a complex system. If you ever drag and drop application, you need to know what you are going to do. Dragging and Dropping elements together in order to create a complex system. If you are going to create a software to control I don't know the the automation of overtrain even if you are going to use drag and drop snippets, you need to know what you're going to do otherwise, bad things can happen. So you need to have expertise, technical expertise and domain expertise. So my my answer is pretty much in the middle. I I like All these tools that arise that allow non technical people to create something that can be created by non technical, but at the same time, if you need some extra technical expert ties, you need to have it. Otherwise, the drag and drop is not going to say to you,

Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 20:19 thank you. And can we speak about data? In data visualization or understanding there is this notion that garbage in garbage out if you have something that is garbage, you won't really make better decisions. So when people are building their data collection systems, how should they go about deciding which data is valuable? What biases or problems can arise with data? And why is data visualization a better approach than using? I don't know, an Excel sheet or whatever people could be using instead?

Fabio Franchino 20:56 Yeah, yeah, I think that this is a tricky question. Because understanding the the important part that are inside a data corpus is difficult and usually require some scientific skills. So you need to be Jewish. Usually, this is the task of data scientist, that the scientists are able to understand the data corpus, and try to extract only the meaningful part by applying some mathematical function, etc. Of course, this can be simplified. Again, some tools can provide you some choice, or you just pick the right one that that is for you. But again, if you want to make you if you want to have something meaningful, maybe you need to have some understanding, and some skills regarding the data visualization, of course, this is, is related to, to the fact that we are we have a kind of special power as a human being, how our sight is able to see something and there is this magic that happened, we are able to decode what we see in under some few milliseconds. So it's a very efficient tool that we can explore it and data visualization exploits basically, this tool, this speed of decoding. So this is why we are very, we are we are very fast to understand the little bar chart and understand what's going on in this corpus of data, instead of just relying on a huge table full of numbers, because our brain is able to decode in under milliseconds. What happened in that situation? So data visualization, exploit this capability, basically. So it's, it's not just about, okay, it's better it's a picture than the non table. It's about exploiting a capability as a human being that we have.

Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 23:16 Thank you. And I know you spend a lot of time helping people with internal process, optimization, how, what's the perspective or the mindset or the way of seeing processes that most people have that is wrong? And how are agile and innovative approaches and principles due process optimization a better way? Can you explain maybe somebody would like to understand the reason why you're following both Asia as well as innovative approaches in internal process optimization. And what is the way that people go about it? Usually, that is different to what you do?

Fabio Franchino 24:01 Yeah, this is another topic I'm interested in and is connected with the fact that you need to deal with people in order to make something meaningful. Optimize the internal process, it's, it's about making people work nicely together in order to achieve the same goal. AGI in this context is a very, very interesting principle that is about in simple terms, very simple, very, very easy to grasp. HR is about making the right confrontation between all the stakeholders. Be honest about everything, even if there is something wrong, or even if you make a mistake, be honest, because the final goal is about making the right team. So if you make a mistake, just be honest about it. Let's fix See it, and move on. So this is, this is a giant from my perspective, talk with people with stakeholder, honestly, and having a single common goal. So that's, that's the joy. Of course, it looks simple. But the reality is that human communication is, is pretty hard. It's pretty difficult. Because we are human beings, we are different, we have different characteristics. We have emotions, we have different feelings, we have a bad day, the good day, etc. So it's very, very difficult to, to deal with people. It's for everybody. So in simple terms, it's, it looks easy, in the reality record require a lot of work, and a lot of patience.

Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 25:52 Thank you so much. This was so instructive, and very well said. And if people would like to follow you to learn about the projects you're involved when with right now, can you share more about presenta, about the de todo design, all that so that people can understand as well as websites or social media to go to? And I'll write some of them in the episode description?

Fabio Franchino 26:21 Yeah, I'm quite active on Twitter. So the best way to talk is on Twitter from my point of view that my handle is foggy Frankie No. And the website of presenter is is WC. And while the total website is total So these are the the handle to reach me and what I do, usually, but I think that Twitter is the best way to see my progress and my curiosity I try to publish what they find somewhere that that is, that is nice. That is that is worth to sharing. So this is the best way to follow me.

Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 27:16 Thank you so much, of course. And for all the listeners and viewers interested in automation, I highly recommend process SEO which makes this podcast possible processes the modern low code, no code platform for advanced automation and creating an enterprise grade back end. For your software. Any listener or viewer can request access to a totally functional free account at protect process dot app. And for those with higher business needs, there is a very generous exclusive 50% discount code is better 50 off one word in capital letters, more information in the episode description. Thank you, Fabio. This was my privilege, my honor, a truly wonderful episode and I wish you to keep going and sharing your knowledge and wisdom and work. Thank you again.

Fabio Franchino 28:10 Thank you. It was a pleasure.