From Kotlin to the Goblin: how was TechTrain
Arranging the IT-festival TechTrain, we ourselves did not fully understand how it will turn out. Of course, we knew what the reports will be about and what the stands will be. But when you gather to a completely new event 2000 IT people with completely different background, you can get some answers only in practice. What will people like the most? What will be the main problem? Will people who write code in different languages find a common language?
Now TechTrain has been a week, during this time we collected feedback and laid out pictures , so that we can sum up.
nazarov_tech Nazarova [/b] something about PiterPy, the third are waiting for the outcome of the competition from the IT company, the fourth are hacked in the "Prince of Persia" on retro computers and so on. And in the end, wherever you are, you see only a small part of what is happening, and many interesting things can be missed in this text. If you were on TechTrain, feel free to add comments!
Usually we hold conferences for developers (from Joker to HolyJS), and compared with them, it was just this diversity that caught our eye. At conferences during the reports the hall is almost completely empty: all are typing up knowledge in their main specialty. Here the reports were also important, but still many spectators remained in the hall.
What exactly was the alternative to the reports? For example, stands of IT-communities - that's it at our regular conferences there. On some of these stands one could simply find out "who you are and what you are doing", and somewhere went on and started an interesting move: PiterJS hosted a "Code in the Dark" contest with a blind spot, and Podlodka podcast took a mini-interview with participants of the festival, from Oleg olegbunin Bunin to the director of Postgres Professional Oleg Bartunov .
In addition to the stands, the communities also had a "demo zone": its own small platform for 15-minute mini-reports. It was possible not to go into the hall for a "big" report, and not for long to sit, listening to something right in the hall, and go on.
While in one side of the hall were located IT-communities, the opposite was occupied by IT companies. They had their own demo-zone, which they used for similar 15-minute presentations, and for summarizing the competitions. And there among the mini-reports there was an obvious leader. Story Pavel Yurkin from "Leroy Merlin" about his pet project - a program for composing real-time music "under Bach" - attracted many people and ended with loud applause. Here the format of the performance coincided well with the format of the site: if the "big" reports go purposefully, then the "little ones" often turn out to be "walking past and became interested", and when Pavel started playing musical fragments from the speakers, it attracted attention.
Of course, in addition to the demo zone, the companies also had stands. You can see them at conferences, but there were a lot of them and very different from them: from the famous for their business services to "Contour" to the delivery of healthy food GrowFood, from the American giant Dell EMC and to the Russian JetBrains.
And besides that, in the hall they played Mosquitra noodles, participated in the quiz "Mozgobojna", ate So, here we reached a painful moment. The main problem viewers TechTrain amicably called the food: they say, the queues are long, and tasteless. There were spectators who liked everything, but in general the problem is obvious, we realized it and take into account this experience.
Well, you can at least be glad that the main drawback of the event was connected with food, and not with what people came for - like reports.
Let's move from food to food for the mind: what were the reports about? In the case of TechTrain, we ourselves had to think carefully about this issue in advance. Conducting many years of a conference for programmers, we understand what issues are of concern to whippers, and which are mobile developers. But what to tell at the event, where there will be both, and others? What level of audience preparation is expected when spectators have different backgrounds? How to make that one is not too clear, and the other is too unclear?
As a result, we got two different versions. Some reports were designed for a particular segment of the audience: the theme "The place of Flutter in the life of the Android developer" is unlikely to attract many people who are not related to Android. And although the session blitz questions about Kotlin with Andrei Breslav anybody could come, it's no surprise that Kotlinists with concrete questions like "will a ternary operator appear there". (It turned out, will appear!)
But most of the speeches were intended for everyone at once. Roman Nevolin compared different paradigms of programming - and to follow his thought, one did not have to personally have experience with each one. Ilya Klimov talked about jаvascript "for those who are not there" - that is, his report suited everyone except the jаvascript themselves. In Denis Mishunov and at all there was a report like "how to live when you do not want to go crazy in the race for technology" - and this question is relevant for everyone except working with COBOL.
A separate story is "Razvedopros" Dmitry Goblin Puchkov with Ivan Yamshchikov . Goblin, of course, the most controversial figure of the festival: even before the event, some viewers were very pleased with his participation, and others are very unhappy. At the same time, the machine learning that Ivan is doing is not what Dmitry is specializing in. And how did the interview go? It's up to the viewers to decide, but they were delighted: they write in reviews that thanks to both of them, it turned out to be lively, intelligible, informative and fun.
Unless the timing in 45 minutes was called insufficient for such an interesting conversation. But the feeling "too short" could be partially corrected in the discussion area. As at our conferences, each speaker after the speech answered the audience's questions in a specially designated place where it was possible to communicate properly - and many speakers there were directly surrounded.
The video of the reports will appear on public access later, but for now we sent them to the viewers who filled out the feedback form. It is long, and some have raised objections. But without a valid reason, we would not do so: after all, a long form we increase the work not only for the audience, but for ourselves!
What is the reason? The fact that without a detailed feedback is not obvious, as in the future make viewers better. For example, how do you know which reports you liked the most? Judging by indirect signs like revitalization in the hall, the "best" will be only "the most fun", and the more thoughtful will obviously lose. But with feedback it's much clearer: we derive an average rating for each report, and they can be compared.
So thanks to the audience who made the ratings, we compiled a list of the best reports TechTrain. If you participated in the festival and got a video, you can decide on it what to watch first. Here are three leaders:
Vitaly Fridman with the theme "Patterns of designing smart responsive interfaces" . Vitaly, known as the creator of Smashing Magazine, loved the viewers of our HolyJS conference last year. But it was obvious that his bright performances about interfaces can be liked not only by JS-developers, and the first place according to the viewers of TechTrain confirmed this.
Dmitry Zavalishin - Practices and Project Management Case Studies . By name, you might think that the report is relevant only for managers. But in fact, he could interest anyone who thinks not only about the code, but also about how this code appears in real teams on real projects. With the processes we all face, the book "Mythical man-month" is to some extent relevant for us all - and this report too.
Eugene Borisov - Myths about Spark, or Can Spark use the usual Java developer . But this is an example of a "report for a specific audience", already by the name of the JVM-oriented world. Given that among the dzhavistov for a long time a giant authority, a high rating in this case, hardly anyone surprised.
The rest of the top 10 will simply be listed:
Complication of the game (Sergey Abdulmanov, Mosigra)
debugger; for developers (Denis Mishunov, Independent Consultant)
Full transparency in the company (Mikhail Samarin, Futurice)
How data is transformed into knowledge and why it is possible to dream is one of the most important skills (Ivan Yamschikov, ABBYY)
Exploration with Ivan Yamshchikov (Dmitry Puchkov, Oper.ru)
Session blitz questions (Andrew Breslav, JetBrains)
Evolution of paradigms (Roman Nevolin, Careem)
After the report of Vitaly Fridman, the official closing of the festival took place, but for some participants this did not end: Dmitry Nazarov invited all comers to an improvised after-party in a nearby establishment, and from Telegram-chat TechTrain we learned that the participants who already came from Petrozavodsk wanted to come home again to gather. And I suppose we ourselves do not know about all such activities, so you better tell us about them!
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