As we start a new year we are reflecting on some of the events from 2022, one of those being Full Stack Europe in Antwerp, here’s what they learned and why they believe attending conferences has huge benefits for employees.
Every October (well without COVID-19) Full Stack Europe takes place in Antwerp, Belgium bringing together hundreds of developers from around the world.
The event is made up of 2 full days of talks from some of the leading developers and engineers in the industry.
This year we sent 3 of our very own developers to find out as much information as they could about various different topics from quantum computing to CSS.
We’re committed to ensuring our teams are able to constantly develop their knowledge and recognise that this isn’t always through completing an online course or watching a video online.
So when Joel, our Full Stack Developer entered and won 2 tickets through a twitter competition, we purchased another and sent Joel, James, Senior UX Developer and Ben, Senior Developer on their way to their first ever Full Stack Europe.
We spoke to them on their return and here’s what they had to say..
Which was your favourite talk from the event?
James: “For me, my favourite talk was on Day 1 from Belgian artist Dries Depoorter on Surveillance Art, Dying Phones and Fake Likes. This is because it was engaging, it was very funny and inventive. The combination of hardware and software with the original ideas made it incredibly impressive but also quite scary as it highlighted possibilities with modern tech.”
Ben: “I agree with James, for me my favourite talk was from Dries Depoorter. It was fascinating to learn about some of the work he’s done this year.”
Joel: “Although Surveillance Art was a great talk, for me mine was the talk on Advanced Git Magic from Pauline Vos, it really gave me some food for thought about our current processes at Adzooma around version control, visibility and debugging in case something goes wrong.
What were your biggest takeaways from FSE?
James: “There’s a lot of key takeaways I could list but to encapsulate them into one, it helps you to try and open up your mind and contribute towards being a good all round engineer rather than just a capable developer.”
Ben: “Personally, I felt like FSE gave us a lot that we can incorporate into our day-to-day development, documentation and culture and made me think about how it is our responsibility to pass that knowledge on as efficiently as possible.
Joel: “My biggest takeaway was learning that it should be okay to challenge the decision making processes when it comes to new feature requests and that actually we’re not alone, as a development team, where we’re juggling maintenance of a legacy platform, looking to improve it and build new features for our users.
What were the main benefits from FSE?
Joel: “Surprisingly you don’t really think before the event about how much downtime you have and it was really great for sparking conversations about Adzooma such as the technical direction Adzooma is headed and the things we need to do to get where we want to be in 1, 2 or 3 years.”
James: “Yeah, I agree with Joel on that, this was a massive one and I think the change of scenery and different culture and surroundings added to it, we had a lot of time for discussions to flow and essentially realised we’re all on the same page with a lot of things.
Joel: “Another benefit for me was that the conference in particular was very broad, it wasn’t just technical but also looked at soft skills, like how developers and designers can interact with their users to better understand their needs and use those to develop better features or improvements to a product.
How do you feel attending a conference differs from learning the information online?
James: “For me, it’s that different way of learning and as we said previously, it gives you downtime to really spark some meaningful conversations with your peers rather than when you do an online course alone as it can be quite isolating.
It also gives you a whole list of new people to follow on social media, people who you can continue to learn from and build connections with.”
Finally, how does it make you feel that you’re able to attend these conferences through the business?
Ben: “It’s great, as an employee, it’s inspiring and makes you feel invested in by the business. I personally think it’s a really attractive perk to be able to offer.
All in all, it sounds like our team had a great time at FSE, we’re looking forward to seeing how they’re able to implement what they learned within the team and their general day to day.