My experience in a programming conference and why you should go to one ASAP!

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Hello Friends! There were no posts here in the blog in the last week, but it happened for a good reason I traveled to Florianópolis to give a talk about Xamarin in the The Developer’s Conference, one of the biggest programming conferences in Brazil. You want to know how was it? Continue reading.

The Conference

For some time I have been talking for my colleagues the following: "The best thing in being a developer is to go to programming conferences" and the TDC Florianópolis 2015 confirmed what I say.

The The Developer’s Conference is a very traditional conference in the Brazilian scenario, it have been happening for 8 years and its main advantage, to me, over other conferences is the integration between different software communities, instead to be a conference specialized in a language or a framework, the TDC is splitted in tracks where each track has your own subject, there are tracks for languages like Java, .NET and Ruby, there are tracks for methodologies like Devops and Agile, management tracks and so on. The image below show this year’s tracks.

Tracks TDC Floripa 2015

As a speaker in the .NET track, I had the benefit to choose more 3 tracks to watch for free (be a speaker is awesome =D), I chose Deveops, Smart APIs and Mobile, besides it, everyone has access to the Stadium track where the best talks of each track are presented.

My Tracks

All tracks had very good talks, but my favorites were: the talk "IoT, M2M, BigData and Cloud Computing" by Vinicius Senger where he showed helmets and boats connected to the internet, the talk "Experiences Implementing Ads" by Caio Occhini where he showed interesting strategies about ads in mobile applications, after all, who doesn’t dream launching an app and become rich? For last, but equally good, was the talk "Value, who generates?" by Simone Pittner where she tackled what is really value and how we can know if we are generating.

Soon these talks and a lot of others will be publicly available, unfortunately, only in brazilian portuguese.

Xamarin

Willian and Me

Xamarin also had its place in the conference. We, I (at right) and @WilliamSRodz (at left), my MonkeyNights’s Partner, gave talks about Xamarin in the conference, @WilliamSRodz introduced Xamarin and showing how use it can be a key factor when developing mobile apps, how we can sell it to the managers/bosses and how we integrate it with the Azure Mobile Services, here are his slides.

My talk was about a theme that I’m loving (and you know that), Xamarin.Forms, where I showed its advantages and disadvantages when compared with Xamarin Traditional, some classes from its API and presented two success cases where we were able to share over 90% of our code base between both platforms. You can check out my slides below (I translated them to english for you :D).

A very good thing that happened after the talks was the interaction with the attendees, a lot of people came to us to ask about Xamarin and how they can start, very anxious to see these new Xamarin devs laucnching new mobile apps and interacting in our community =D

Networking

Here I will say one more phrase about conferences:

The best in a conference is what happens outside the conference, is the interaction and the shared experience between the attendees. Everytime we interact with a person, we give a piece of our experience to she and take back a piece of her experience, in the end, the sum of all these experiences is what defines who we are.

This interaction for me already started when I chose my accomodation, I rented a house via AirBnb with 3 people that I had never seen before, what in theory would be great since I will return from Florianópolis with 3 new friends, in practice, it was even better, the rapport between us was great and we talked a lot about software development, career, conferences and startups. I’m sure that I will repeat this experience in the next times.

During the conference the networking couldn’t be better, put in the same place 1,200 people with different backgrounds (ruby programmers, c# programmers, agile coaches, managers, entrepeneurs, testers and more) and hungry for change experiences and you have the perfect recipe to make amazing things happen. I confess that this time I spent more time outside the rooms meeting new people than watching the talks, but it’s ok, this kind of experience is equally good or even better than the own talks.

And of course, there were the happy hours, that are always a perfect opportunity to make new friends!

Happy Hour

Go to conferences is an investment rather than a cost

Several times when I invite a friend to go with me to some conference I hear the following: "These conferences are expensive!", "Another city? I will have to pay for flight tickets, accomodation, transportation, tickets and food!"

Sorry buddy, but really expensive is to be out of it, expensive is to lose a chance to know a possible co-founder, expensive is to lose a chance to know a possible colleague or a partner for your next open source project, these things are really expensive.

Since we, programmers, are good on math, I will use numbers to justify what I’m saying, if you go to ONE conference and meet someone to introduce you to a new job that will increase your monthly earnings in $500 (and it’s very, very easy to happen), at the end of the year we are talking about $6,000, money that would cover your costs with conferences for a entire year.

In my case, I came back from Florianópolis and thanks to the friends that I met in the conference I already earned money enough to cover my travel costs.

Renewed Motivation

On the way back home, the side effect is the the renewed motivation during the event I talked to so many good people, self-motivated, with so many cool ideas and projects that motivated me even more to work hard on new talks, new posts here on the blog and new projects.

Stay Focused and Keep Working

This is it!

Do you like to go to programming conferences? Do you like to be part of user groups? You should definitely try it one time and I can bet that you will never regret.

In my opinion, programming conferences brings too much benefits to a programmer that it should be a required item in job interviews.

What’s the next conference that you are going?

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