Last weekend I attended very special event for my heart. DevDay is first developers conference I attended last year, which practically changed me into Conference Junkie. After last DevDay I felt in love with community vibe in conferences. Since then I went for many of them, counting in 33rd Degree, Leetspeak or NDC. But DevDay is special. For me, it’s the ultimate conference.
It’s awesome, because it focuses on people. You won’t find company’s advertising here. Only small logo of ABB, who sponsors whole event. It gathers great speakers and fantastic crowd of curious devs. After (and before ;) ) parties were epic. And it all basically for free. It was better organized than many paid conferences. And you can feel awesome energy coming from Michał, Rafał and their debugging crew.
In therms of talks and speakers, conference was top notch. There were two tracks, which always gives me anxiety if I choose right. The full lineup is here.
John Skeet talked about traps in basic data types in C#. It was interesting set of information, that may be useful for beginning developers. Guys who spent some time on frontlines probably new about many of them. The most interesting part for me was about how screwed up our date system is :). Then I went for Darek Dziuk’s session about how Spotify implements their agile practices. Although title suggested it’s gonna be talk about scaling, Darek told mostly about team level. This disappointed me a little, but we talked later and he explained why he took this approach. Next up I went to Code Junkie’s (one of tretton37 ninjas) presentation about internals of Nancy. One of my favorite talks this day. I didn’t understand it all, but that’s great – means I have still a lot to learn. Then I went for Hadi Hariri’s talk. I was slightly disappointed, cause I expected something different from the talk title. But Hadi always keep his talk on the funny side, so it wasn’t boring at least. I missed next session, had great meeting with friend instead. And then the worst (in my opinion) talk came. At last moment I decided to go to Dino Esposito’s talk, and it was really bad. It was more like sale’s pitch than tech talk. Bummer, cause I heard that Stack Exchange’s Marco Cecconi’s talk was one of the best. And then beautiful gem for the wrap-up. Fantastic, full of humour story how Rob Ashton went full hippy with bunch of great life advices.
I also heard that Pat Kua’s, Paul’s and Itamar’s sessions were very good. If you’re startup person, you should also look at Ben’s experiences – seen this talk during NDC and it’s full of valuable knowledge.
One of many things I learn during this year, conferences are not really about the talks. Yeah, they’re important, cause it’s pure knowledge. But much more important is meeting new people, expanding your network and meeting even more people. They can inspire you, teach you new things, mentor you. Some of them will become your friends. This is experience, you won’t get by watching talks over the Internet. So if you go to conference, fire up your twitter, follow people and go to frickin’ parties. It’s not only about booze ;)
So if you missed, you just screwed up badly. And if you’ve been there, we’re gonna see each other next year, aye?