User Stories [Challenge]

By Francesco Casillo, Giuseppe Rivello

This challenge is the result of a “learning by doing” process within the Like A Coffee Community, a team work carried out with other Junior talents and mentors of this community. After the first training courses, we have activated a process of inspiration and design and we have come to the definition of this and other challenges. The aim we had during its development has always been to learn new aspects of data science and at the same time find a practical application in the @LAC model. 

The theme of this challenge was born within the experiences of design thinking and project management that we usually face in projects. The importance of writing a correct user story concerns not only the project owner but also the designer and the developer. Having correct and well written user stories improves the quality of communication between all those involved in the project during its development.

Data science research project

Our data science team is continuing its journey with elearning courses on the languages and approaches to use and with continuous comparisons with mentors.

Challenges will soon begin in which they will measure themselves with the first applications

This video tells the story of the first period of training and research activities of the Data Science working group of Like a Coffee

The research projects in which we involve the Talents who approach our community have the primary objective of making us grow

To learn
to experiment
and to share the new knowledge acquired within our community

This is a very short video that we shot during one of our work sessions at Palazzo Innovazione

The members of the research team of this Data Science project are:
Francesco Casillo Francesco Marzullo Pasquale Scudieri Luigi Cutolo Antonio Torre e Giuseppe Jepis Rivello

The new talent Francesco, Pasquale and Francesco coming from Università degli Studi di Salerno Dipartimento di Informatica, Università di Salerno

with Francesco Casillo, Pasquale Scudieri, Francesco Marzullo, Luigi Cutolo, Antonio Torre and Giuseppe Rivello


Last week we rolled out a live streaming from our Youtube channel to share the knowledge gained in the Preso experimental project with the whole Like A Coffee community.

For those of you who missed it, Preso is an IoT smart outlet that allows you to control any of your plugged-in household devices performance and to monitor your home power consumption directly from your smart PresoApp.


Why can it be important for you, potential talent, to get to know something more on how we carried out this project development?


  • First of all, because you can exclusively take a look behind the scenes on how we actually dealt with such a complex research project effectively in a remote way within a cross-cultural environment.
  • Secondly, because you can get insights on how such a project was managed.
  • And, finally, because you can get an educational opportunity for free by means of an interactive lesson. You can actively take part in the discussion by commenting or by asking questions to the expert panel in real time and being answered right away.


Preso is one of our experimental projects in IoT where some of our talents played a great role in, both on a software – and on a development part.

As the video begins, Filomena gives the big picture on it to you, tuned-in community, and introduces three members of the Preso dev team who dealt with different development aspect of it:


Attilio, IoT specialist and Head of “Steam Port, IoT lab” situated in Southern Italy, who showed more in detail:

  • the hardware components Preso is made up of;
  • the software technologies used for its prototyping;
  • the communication protocols used in the various iterations;
  • the data collecting system.


Giuseppe, Talent Full Stack web developer, involved in Preso as experimental project, who explained to our community:

  • The whole architecture system of the PresoApp, namely DB, a focus both on IoT back-end and main back-end and one on the front-end;
  • The full stack technology used.


Emils, Talent Front-end web developer and involved in the project as IT project manager intern who shared with us his experience with respect to:

  • how he integrated later in a running software development project within a remote team;
  • the messaging applications used;
  • The tools to handle a the workflow, the common code versioning and the mock-ups prototyping, in cooperation with our designer Giuseppe.


It goes without saying that also other worth-mentioning team members actively worked on this project: our tireless mentors Antonio and János and our Talent Luigi.

Because Together Everyone Achieves More.


Watch the live registration here below!

Learning by doing in experimental project



As our journey along with ICT potential talents progressed, we as talent managers of Like a Coffee started to feel the personal need of having a tool which could support us in Talent acquisition and management activities.

The information flow was increasing incredibly as Like a Coffee started to expand beyond boundaries involving more and more countries within its reach.


The talent to expert journey application (T2EJ APP) is a web and mobile app which will enable us to keep track of our activities and will act as a database with respect to our talent profiles, past and upcoming events, universities profiles and marketing material.

Our goal is to be finally provided with a valuable assistant in our daily working activity.

The development process took time. And requested a successful interdisciplinary collaboration – the key factor of a well-knit team.

As Jevgenija – Talent Manager for Latvia – says:

LAC team members work in synergy, and in my feeling we did this great job all-together, providing one’s best for achieving the goal. Communication is a perfect possibility to exchange and combine our experiences, knowledge and competences – to get new ones from colleagues and to share the ones of yourself. That definitely brings even greater value to our team. I would say that synergy is the right word for us.”


The exchange of views, comments and skills took place virtually on the first online tool we used:

the Mind map.

What allowed us to do? A mind map provided a way to visualize information, ideas, concepts clearly, by facilitating real-time collaboration, task management and sharing information presentations.

We, Giuseppe – as designer – Jevgenija and Filomena, as talent managers and product owners of the software tool, could add ideas and comments, and make decisions in real-time.

Furthermore, we could share and edit, leave comments and feedback, attach files, images, videos and link to external as well as internal sources.

Our mind map was also turned into an interactive presentation.

As our designer Giuseppe says:

“Currently, we spend less time for sync communication and more to generate content.”


After the mind map drawing up, we then moved to the user stories writing.

The user story has these three clauses.

As a persona, I want to do something, so I can derive a reward.

This part of the process was quite facilitated since the user was us, talent managers, so we could quickly identify with our humanized user.

We created these stories to anchor our view of what’s valuable in a nice, testable narrative about what we wanted to get, and we had a prior discussion about these as a product team with our designer Giuseppe and project manager, Jānis.

This is the experienced gained by Jānis in this step:

“I was strongly involved in planning and development process so that I could gain a valuable and useful experience and I feel that I am now able to pick up a lot of good things for the future. For me this was the first project as a project manager. I learned something new every day and grew a lot.”


After the planning phase, the user stories were sent to him and to his development team where these stories were taken and sorted into a backlog for the actual execution of software.

So, together with them and with our designer, we took care of sorting them, in order of priority, and then Jānis and his team cut them off at the amount of work they thought they could do in a single iteration.

And these iterations are usually two to four weeks, sometimes a little bit longer.


Once the primary user stories were picked, our designer Giuseppe proceeded with the app mock-ups ideation.

His job is not just about the design of the UX but it is also about learning how to empathize and deliver creative solutions to the audience and, by audience, we don’t just mean the talent managers as end users, but the other team members involved in the app development as well.

Here is how Giuseppe faced this challenge:

“My personal experience is that video recording is a good tool to share complex information, not only by using the voice but also by screencasting and by live demonstration.”

Giuseppe experimented a new way of delivering his vision on mock-ups by using two edited screencast videos, one featuring mock-ups and the other one featuring him for their functionality explanation.


Now it is still taking interdisciplinary collaboration and a smooth communication across all the different roles in the team to learn how to create what the end users want to achieve so that the development team can get the right kind of inputs from the collaborators.

This is what Jānis experienced:

“I had a good connection with the developers which I was in charge of. I also had a good connection with my mentor and clients/talent managers. I was also working with the designer. I must admit that sometimes the communication ran with some issues and difference of opinions but that’s part of the game, I guess.“

Weekly status calls

Every time there was a live demo to present to the rest of the team, it was generally about an overall discussion and question time, like: do you (talent managers and final users) like this?

And if you don’t like it, why don’t you? Which functionality or feature would you like, instead?

In order to resolve that in a sensible way, usually our designer Giuseppe and János, development Team’s mentor come into play to support the team.

Let’s see how János dealt with it:

As a mentor I personally feel responsible for both technical and behavioral improvement of each talent. It’s important to me to share my experience as for the communication aspect as well. From my point of view communication is one of the ‘make or break’ things in remote working. Communication is now going on the right way, but there is always some room left for improvement.”


The communication between talents and mentor and their constant work side by side if there is the need of a technical suggestion is still the best added value that is to treasure.

These the opinions of Emils:

I personally communicate with my mentor in most of the occasions – and it’s usually for gaining insight on technical solutions. I must mention that the support has been great so far, I appreciate it.”

and Ulvis:

When there is a need for information regarding the project, I always ask, so we can decide for the best solution to the problem.”


Project Management Internship

In addition to be an internal need, the talent to expert journey application (T2EJ APP) became an experimental project for our Latvian talents both on a project management level – the development of this app became the internship of Jānis – and on a software development level with Emils, Ulvis and Aija.

As for the development aspect, Emils acknowledges its importance with respect to skills gaining:

This project is my first experience with Angular Material meant for Angular version 2+.”


Learning by doing

Taking part in the overall talent to expert journey design and application allowed us, as Talent Managers, to give our contributions to it as well as our user experience, as beta testers.

Here is the experience of Filomena in her role of both main actor of the process as well as end user of the application:

“I learned a lot about how the design process runs – it was worth learning how the development of such a process unfolds, from the beginning till the end as a final user.”


Marketing Materials

Furthermore, the material produced is also the byproduct that we started to use also in our marketing-oriented activity to show our vision of the career path process to potential talents, as Jevgenija says:

”The design process allowed us to create much more additional materials, that is marketing information for different audiences, and made the T2E process clear and understandable for ourselves – thus making Talent Managers’ work transparent and structured.”

In a nutshell, Jevgenija and Filomena think that:

“Being part of this IT software project development within this small, self-organized, interdisciplinary team has been the heart of a successful experience.”

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