Visiting WeAreDevelopers World Congress 2019
An Tran • June 7, 2019conference
I have just spent my last 2 days in beautiful Berlin at WeAreDevelopers World Congress 2019. I really don't know what the real difference between a conference and a congress. But this event is generally not so different than many other conferences in term of organization. There were some tracks which take place in parallel. There were keynotes, parties, goodies and all kind of those kinds of stuff. But the main difference for me is the number of people joining this event. Organizers reported that there are 10.000 developers joining the event. I can't really count how many but there were really thousands of them. The topics are also very diversified. You can take a look at the agenda on their websites: https://events.wearedevelopers.com/world-congress/program/
The main reason that I even skipped the 2nd birthday of my son and joining this event is that I want to see how 10.000 developers interact with each other in such of an event. I also want to advertise the company that I'm working for to that large developer audience.
So these are some of my impressions of the event:
The venue is huge. I've got lost many times to find my ways to some talks.
The organizer invested a lot of effort in advertising and decorating the event. Everything looks beautiful and eye-catching.
The app of the event helps a lot to see and set up a plan of talks I wanted to hear.
I saw a lot of developers from east Europe.
The first day of the event was disastrous in term of organization:
There were only 5 food trucks providing food for 10.000 people. People who had patience had to queue for over 30 minutes under the sun to get their food. Some others had to order food using food delivery services. Some others (like myself) just skipped the lunch completely.
No free water or free coffee available. You have to queue (again) and buy it at different coffee stations or from the vending machine.
All of these missteps lead to the fact that most of the people were so tired in the afternoon. This was really unfair to the speakers who had their talks in the afternoon since many were not at the conference anymore.
A lot of complaints posted both in the app & in twitter.
The second day was completely opposite:
- Free water & coffee, beer and ice creams for everyone.
- The food trucks area was reorganized, with sit banks and sunshades.
Music, DJ, games to entertain the audience.
Huge kudos to the organizer who has heard all complaints from the attendees in the first day and quickly improved the experiences in the second day. It is not easy to have such a significant change overnight for an event at this scale.
I did find some of the talks really interesting, but you can't expect that there are many talks that could interest you in such a conference with a lot of different topics.
The best talk for me was the one from Rasmus Lerdorf where he talked about the 25 years history of PHP. This guy has been the main motivator why I became a developer. And his talk at the conference today has been a great motivation for me again to become a better developer in the future.
- I could meet and connect personally with Dat Tran, who gave me a lot of advice on how to start to learn machine learning.
I would recommend other developers to join this kind of event at least once to have a feeling how it looks like to be with 9999 other developers at the same place. You'll have great opportunities to meet and connect with interesting people as well as explore many companies with a lot of job offerings that might suit your next career steps.