On 16th through 18th of May, I had the luck to attend WeAreDeveloper World Congress in Vienna. The event itself is one of the younger ones (it started in 2017) but it hosts quite a huge crowd as official numbers predicted over 8000 attendees. Topics vary from motivational talks on how to battle burnout, through BAU front-end development and DevOps all the way to game design and cryptocurrencies. Workshops are a mixed bunch as well so anybody coming from web development has plenty of things to do. For students and those willing to take on a new adventure it possible to score a nice job offer from one of the partners or in the job mixer.
Work @ IBM Booth
Speaking of partners, there were quite a few well-known companies: BMW, Stackoverflow, Nginx, Github, Microsoft, Google, and IBM. Each presenting their offerings, giving advice to users on products, company culture and so and so. Since I make a living as front-end developer @ IBM I've started to be involved in company's own developer advocacy. Thanks to being part of this initiative I ended up in IBM Booth. Me (in blue shirt) and my colleague Lukas were there to talk a little bit about IBM Cloud offerings and Watson services to whoever was willing to listen.
Being a stereotypical techie talking to strangers is not the thing I prefer doing the most so actively promoting, well anything, is quite outside of my comfort zone. Having said that, I have to admit it was way more fun than I expected. Mostly thanks to my colleagues of course. What also really surprised me was how nice and open all attendees were. We were able to chat about IBM's services, about openings, how it is to work for tech giant and life in general. Kudos to organizers for creating such a nice atmosphere.
Downtime @ other booths
Given our activities were quite intense we needed to snatch a little downtime every-time we could. We used to sprint out of our booth for a quick t-shirt or sticker hunt. And oh boy, there were some amazing stickers there. We've also done some light networking with guys and girls from Stack Overflow, Nginx and Github. All three of them were especially nice and we had some good laughs. The pinnacle of my downtime was, however, a VR Racing simulator by VREI (Virtual Reality Café in Vienna) at A1 booth featuring Project Cars II.
If I should summarise my experience into a single sentence I'd say, that while entire event was physically exhausting, mentally it was unexpectedly energizing and I couldn't shake the thought of returning next year, should the opportunity arise.