Developer Week 2018 - Back for the Second Year

General

I really love attending conferences for a second time. It gives me a chance to really think about where I was when I was at the conference the year before, and how much I have managed to grow without realizing it. It helped that this year, I had a blog post I had written about the conference in 2017 to compare it to.

Daily Reviews:

2/2/18 - Time to travel

I recently acquired a chromebook to use as my main device for travel so that I’m not bringing my main computer (life) with me everywhere. This is the first time in I don’t know how long that I have traveled without my main computer and it already feels a little weird. Since this event includes a two day hackathon, I guess I’ll get a pretty good idea pretty fast about how well the chromebook will work for me.

I spent some time over the last two weeks starting to get the chromebook set up, but I also spent some time learning how to make banana bread, so I missed a few important things. Priorities.

2/3/18 - Hackathon Day 1

Definitely got distracted and didn’t join a team, but did find a few cool technologies I want to build with in the future. I’m still getting used to the linux environment, which makes it a little difficult to focus on developing. Met / spoke to some interesting people, and I finally acquired a fidget cube (THANK YOU smartsheet!!). Looking forward to coming back tomorrow to see what projects other people built.

2/4/18 - Hackathon Day 2

Didn’t quite make it to the city today, but enjoyed following on twitter and seeing the winners posts. Time to get ready for the main part of the conference now!

2/5/18 - Hiring Mixer

Although I am definitley not looking for a job at the moment, I still like going to these types of events just to keep an eye on whats out there. Compared to last year, I really enjoyed this event this time. Maybe I came to the event with a different attitude, but I feel like I did better this time. Makes me think about that annoying thing I always hear: “It is always easier to find a job when you already have one”. I wonder if it has more to do with the way people approach: need or curiosity. Either way, it was nice to feel wanted, and always handy to keep an eye on what skills people are looking for.

2/6/18 - Conference Day 1

My favorite talk today was definitely the one by Rouven from Contentful. It was a very informative talk without feeling like he was going too fast, I never felt like it was going over my head (which is normally how I feel at these technical talks). I’ve been looking for a CMS I can use as a part of this site to make my life easier as I continue to grow it, and Contentful was definitely in the running. I really enjoyed meeting some of the developers and learning about why they love it so much. I am super excited to try it out! I tweeted about the talk and the speaker saw and responded. When I came by the booth later in the day to say “hi” I even got a snazy pair of socks. #contentfulsocks.

2/7/18 - Conference Day 2

While I enjoyed all the talks today, none stood out to me. I guess that is a side effect of the type of conference this was in combination with the type of developer I am. None of the talks were about technologies I am interested in using or currently use, so while they are interesting to hear, they don’t stick as well. I still love that this kind of conference (based on the level of ticket I had) forced me out of my comfort zone. I got to hear talks on subjects I normally wouldn’t pay that much attention to. Now I feel a little more in the loop when I hear the buzz words going around.

General Thoughts / Conclusion

I closed off my blog post on this conference last year talking about how many I might think about wanting to give a talk. This year, during the conference I recieved my membership letter from Toastmasters! Since last year’s event, I have given 3 small lightning talks, and definitely feel more comfortable speaking up. I have several workshops in the work that I will be presenting in the next few months. I am excited and terrified to continue exploring public speaking with Toastmasters. It didn’t get accepted, but I did actually submit a CFP to this conference. I’m crazy proud of how far I have come in just 1 year. I wonder where I will be next year?