Last week, Austria Center Vienna hosted the largest number of developers from all over Europe in one place. The goals were simple: offer knowledge, opportunities for networking, spread new ideas to empower the IT scene and provide entertainment for the most wanted people of today. Well, WeAreDevelopers World Congress could be described just like that.
It all began with the introductory note from the WeAreDevelopers founders: Sead Ahmetović, Benjamin Ruschin, and Thomas Pamminger featured by applause and ovations of developer colleagues. Already overheated atmosphere, teased with a 6 months long anticipation of Steve “Woz” Wozniak appearance, who came on stage in front of 4,500 attendees at the main congress hall, entering the stage with a big smile in a traditional black shirt. Although gray-haired, Woz still bursts with energy. He made reflections on the current situation in IT, on issues with social networks and users privacy, also making inevitable parallels on history with Apple and his collaboration with Steve Jobs. After the introductory keynote, the Congress entered into a regular workflow with Joseph Sirosh‘s (Microsoft) lecture addressed on the latest breakthroughs in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) than about revolutionary new ideas around ubiquitous “Internet of Things” phenomena. Later on, Kaz Sato (Google) guided us through his slides based on the topic of machine learning. On a parallel level, various workshops designed for attendees were often too small for all those who wanted to learn in more proactive manner.
The second day of the Congress continued keeping up the momentum. Most of the morning themes were dedicated to cybersecurity, led by Katy Anton (CA Technologies). Afterward, the second-day culmination started, firstly by John Romero appearance on the main stage, followed by his wife Brenda Romero‘s phenomenal lecture, that caused a wave of ovation on the topic of the importance of women role inside traditionally male dominant gaming industry. After attendees spent the first part of the day recapping early morning events and prepared copies of “Masters of Doom” for a book signing session with John Romero in the Congress lobby, it was just about time for Mate Rimac. Incredibly likable, he made a real show out of his keynote, presenting the major importance of the role of developers in the growth of Rimac Automobile company. Laughs, applause, and full hall of participants who skipped their lunch break to attend the lecture of a young visionary from Croatia. The day could almost end after Rimac came down from the stage, but that was not the case, as Ada Rose Edwards (Samsung) provided us with lecture on CSS, then Zeev Suraski lecture about PHP, and at the end of the day panel discussion about the use of e-commerce technology for the purpose of improving retail sales at the stage designed for top managers and attendees from business sector.
The last day of WeAreDevelopers World Congress, also known as “Joel Spolsky Day”, due to the fact that he started and ended up the day with two different events where the Stack Overflow founder had the main word. In addition, Angie Jones (Twitter) addressed the audience with a high-quality lecture on various approaches for AI solutions testing. By the end of the day, attendees could listen to a talk by Nicolas Haunold (AirBnB), who reflected on his not so long time ago hacker history in connection with Apple, with his attempts to get back control of users over iOS devices. After Joel Spolsky closed the congress at the main stage with his stand-up, throwing jokes about various congressional topics, lecturers and audience, he accompanied cheerful, but tired audience from the main hall. On the other hand, the WeAreDevelopers team (consisting of approx. 300 people) made a very impressive parade for all congress participants. The parade made of staff team escorted congress participants all the way up to the exit with cheers, applause and confetti. 7,500 of them.
WeAreDevelopers World Congress in its 4th edition surpassed all expectations of European developer’s scene. By scale, in terms of space and number of participants, it was the largest European Congress for the most sought-after profession of today. WeAreDevelopers, once again, demonstrated that they are one of the most important communities for developers, as well as, for the overall ICT sector development. Expectations for next year? Probably, the way they spoiled us for the past 4 years, twice as better and bigger.
Written by Adnan Pavlovic