I lately had the chance to go to two technical conferences in February 2023, each geared in the direction of open supply software program. I used to be a presenter at Config Management Camp, in Ghent, Belgium, and an attendee at FOSDEM in Brussels, Belgium. This article goals to spotlight my experiences on the conferences and to give you some recommendations on how one can take advantage of such a chance every time it arises.
Have a function
Different individuals attend conferences for various causes. Some persons are presenters of a sure matter or space of information or curiosity. Other persons are attendees that wish to acquire information from these talks and to community with different like-minded people. There are additionally attendees which might be representing their corporations. You most certainly fall into one in all these classes. Knowing what you want to acquire out of a convention is step one to a profitable convention go to. If you’re a presenter, it means being proficient in no matter it’s you’re presenting. If you’re an attendee, you need to have a way of what you need out of the convention.
Know the venue and schedule
FOSDEM is a big convention with at the very least six thousand individuals attending it in a span of two days. Not surprisingly, for a convention catering to such an viewers, a lot of talks occur on the identical time. It is subsequent to not possible to attend all talks which might be of curiosity to you. Usually, such giant conferences are hosted at a spacious venue like a college or a convention middle. Because the realm is so enormous, the talks are unfold throughout the venue primarily based on particular subjects. The talks have a hard and fast schedule, so that you might need to maneuver rapidly from one aspect of the venue to a different. The map of the venue is definitely accessible on the venue’s web site. It is smart to reach on the venue a bit early on the primary day and familiarize your self with it. This helps save time if you find yourself speeding out on the finish of 1 speak to hurry to a different.
It’s one factor to focus and benefit from the speak whereas it is occurring dwell. However, your thoughts can solely retain a lot. Sure, of us attempt to use their telephones to the fullest by taking footage of the slides which might be being introduced (together with the speaker). This is sweet when you want to rapidly replace on social media in regards to the speak that you’re attending. However, it is not very efficient for note-taking. Usually, the fabric on the slides is minimal. But if the speaker explains one thing in depth on the stage, you would possibly miss out on the reason. I like to recommend carrying a notepad and a pen with you always. You may even carry your laptop computer for note-taking. The thought is to make fast one-liner notes about fascinating tidbits through the speak so you’ll be able to revisit them later. You can at all times ask the speaker questions towards the top.
Network and collaborate
A convention might be the most effective place to hang around with like-minded people. They are interested by the identical subjects as you. It’s finest to utilize this time to grasp what work is being finished on the subject of curiosity, see how of us resolve fascinating issues, how they strategy issues, and get a pulse of the trade usually. You are on the convention for a restricted time, so ensure that to get launched to of us engaged on issues that matter to you. This is an effective alternative to collect info for speaking with them later. You can change private info comparable to electronic mail, Mastodon, LinkedIn, and so forth.
Make time for cubicles and swag
Most technical conferences have cubicles from totally different corporations or upstream tasks desirous to market their services and products. To appeal to extra walk-ins on the cubicles, a wide range of swag gadgets are sometimes saved as an attraction accessible free of charge (typically). These goodies are often stickers, cool water bottles, enjoyable devices, gentle toys, pens, and so forth. Be certain to gather them so you have got one thing on your co-workers and pals again house. Visiting cubicles should not be simply in regards to the swag. You ought to use this chance to speak to individuals from totally different corporations (even when they’re rivals) to grasp what they’ve to supply. Who is aware of, you would possibly get information of future tasks!
Traveling for a convention should not be nearly work. It can also be about taking a break out of your standard busy schedule and stress-free. Chances are you’re touring to a unique nation or metropolis that you have not visited earlier than. The convention, talks, and technical discussions are all necessary. However, they’re solely a part of the entire expertise. The different half of the expertise is the journey which opens one as much as one other nation, its tradition, its individuals, the meals, the language, and a unique lifestyle. Take a step again and revel in all these experiences and make lifelong recollections. I like to recommend discovering some well-known landmarks to go to on the place of your keep. You must also attempt the native delicacies, or you’ll be able to simply chat with the locals. In the top, you’ll uncover one other a part of your self that you just thought by no means existed.
Write about your expertise
Once you’re again from the convention, do not simply overlook about it and return to your common schedule as if nothing occurred. Use this chance to put in writing about your experiences, and share which talks you discovered the most effective and why. What are the important thing takeaways from the convention and the journey? You ought to doc what you discovered. You ought to attain out to the individuals you met on the convention. You also can comply with social media posts on issues that you just might need missed out on.
Conferences are one of many perks of the tech trade. I recommend everybody go to 1 someday throughout their profession. I hope this text helped shed some gentle on how one can take advantage of when visiting a technical convention.