Dev Conf, Brno 2015

Dev Conf, Brno 2015 was held from Feb 6-8, 2015 in Brno and this was my first time at an international conference, glad to have this opportunity. After receiving the talk proposal acceptance mail, it was a long way to go(literally a long journey) and involved too much of planning and preparation. I started with looking at the documents required for Schengen Visa (appeared a long list at first), collected documents for Visa process, deciding on ย travel dates was not easy and then doing respective bookings for accommodation as per the travel plan. Shopping was the next step as it was chilly in Brno accompanied by snow partially, then came preparation for the talk ๐Ÿ˜› . (Following you shall not find any description of talks at DevConf but my journey)

I was travelling along with few other folks (Huzaifa, Amita, Siddharth, Amit) and we departed from Pune at 5:25am for Prague via Frankfurt. Though Pune airport is not an international airport, still Lufthansa has Pune <->Frankfurt and we opted for it to avoid the hassle of traveling to Mumbai. At Frankfurt, we rushed from one terminal to another in order to catch a flight to Prague. The flight from Frankfurt to Prague was nearly an hour and finally we reached Praha(Prague) International Airport. Inside the airport, the temperature was pretty controlled and could not feel the chill but as I moved out, the chilly winds made me shiver to the core. We had already done the bookings for the bus to Brno. The cold was unbearable while we waited for the bus. The Student Agency buses had free WiFi and coffee/tea/hot chocolate but paid water and there it was ‘Welcome to Czech!’. The bus dropped us at Hlavni Nadrazi and then we took a tram and reached our hotel late in the night at 10:15 pm. It was a long journey! All of us decided to meet for breakfast at sharp 7:30 the next morning so that we can be there for the keynote speech at DevConf.

Day 1, Early morning view from the window of my room was mesmerizing and added a beautiful start to my first morning in Brno. The breakfast was good enough, we all managed to leave for the venue by 8:20 a.m. There was little snow on the sides of the street and we preferred to walk to the venue. We reached the venue after 10-15 minutes of walk. The venue was Faculty of Information Technology, Brno. The venue was good, I liked the open space and lecture rooms, the good part was that the projector screen, wifi, video recordings were well in place throughout all the three days of conference. The keynote started at 9, we were well in time to find a place in the main room. The keynote was by Tim Burke and Mark Little. Post keynote there were some refreshments. Then the schedule for talks and workshops followed. There were five parallel tracks for talks and one track for workshop. There was live streaming in place for each of the rooms except the workshops. I attended a few talks and spent most of my time meeting new people. I would not describe what were the talks about as people can always watch the videos on RedHatCzech Youtube channel. There were around six booths on Day 1 in the open area including OpenShift, Django Girls and a 3D printer live demo as well. The open area was fairly crowded as people were interacting with each other, visiting booths and collecting some goodies. The crowd was less on Day 2 and even lesser on Day 3. Something about the food at the venue now.. The refreshments(food and drinks) were good, there were different kinds of flavored water as well as soft drinks. The drink I liked the most was Kofola which looked like coca-cola but tasted entirely different. Among all the drinks kept at the refreshments counter, it was difficult to find still water(each bottle I happened to pick was some aerated and flavored water). After attending a few talks and meeting new people from Brno, the day ended by 6:00 p.m and we headed back to reach the party arranged at Fleda, Brno from 7 pm the same day. Most of the food items at the party had meat(rabbit, duck, etc.) and there were very less options for vegetarians. We departed from the venue by 10 pm.

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Day 2, I had my talk scheduled for the first slot for the day, I managed to reach the venue 10 minutes before 9 am and as expected there were few folks who turned up so early on a morning after the party. I started with my talk ‘Choose a testing stack that works for you‘ where I covered some of the front-end testing tools like selenium, watir along with sample code for testing the basic functionality of fpaste.org. I also covered the basics of Behavior Driven Testing, brief on Jenkins and included live demo. My talk was followed by few Q&A and did get some positive feedback too wrt usage of fpaste.orgย as an example which audience could relate to. The video recording of the same (below) has only slides and my voice(you can hear some voice only after 4 minutes in the video, till then the earth isn’t rotating(wallpaper) ๐Ÿ˜› ). After attending some more talks, we went for lunch to Cattani which had nice pasta as per the Brno travel guide but apparently I made a bad choice from the menu and did not like it :/ (most of the times I picked the wrong food from the menu). Later in the evening, we walked to La Strada which one of folks mentioned had good Pizza but the one I ordered wasn’t! Ah, again a wrong choice :/ . But all in all the dinner was good, had a good time interacting with some more folks from the security team.

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Day 3, was a beautiful morning where it was snowing. While we were having breakfast, we could see the snow from the window. It was windy at first when Amita dared to go out but returned, then she took a taxi to the venue as her’s was the first talk at 9:00 am. I along with few other folks waited for the wind to calm down and walked while it was pleasant enough to walk. We comparatively took the maximum time to cover the distance as went on playing with the snow and clicking some pictures. Nevertheless we reached Amita’s talk pretty much on time like 5 minutes late or so ๐Ÿ˜› . Day 3 had another talk by Dan Walsh and also there was a workshop by Django Girls. There were very few people around on the last day. We left the venue by around 4:30 p.m bidding a bye to DevConf, Brno 2015.

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It was an amazing experience being at DevConf, also I attended QE camp the next two days in Brno which was also great, met some more folks around.

DevConf, Brno 2015 was awesome! ๐Ÿ™‚

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