It has only been a month since my list visit to Paris but here we go again: This time a couple of friends and I went there for this year’s edition of the dotJS conference series.
Compared to the Théâtre des Variétés the Théâtre de Paris was built to accommodate about twice as many people and that was absolutely necessary with dotJS’s about 900 attendees. It was still packed beyond capacity in my opinion and moving around anywhere during the coffee and lunch breaks was annoying enough that I eventually opted for just staying seated. That being said, it was great to see the sponsors getting much more space than with the Théâtre des Variétés :-)
Let’s talk about the seats, though: Back when it was constructued (in 1891 according to Wikipedia), I guess, there probably weren’t all that many tall people around. That at least would be one explanation for why the seats felt like being designed for children or really small adults. Without having gotten a seat at the aisles I would have had to sit on the floor because the rows were far too close to each other.
According to Sylvain Zimmer of the orga team I might have had more luck with my seat on the balcony:
I had actually tried that at dotGo in the smaller theatre, but there the situation on the balcony was about the same as in the main auditorium here. A big hurray to aisle-seats, though ;-)
About the conference itself: The format was basically the same as dotGo’s with the day being split into multiple sessions with 3-4 talks each. Between the sessions was either a coffee break or a really long lunch break, which made it possible for us to first grab something to eat and then explore the vicinity and even make our way up to the Moulin Rouge. The talks had in my opinion with 20 minutes exactly the right length for a single-track conference. This way the speaker had to focus on one idea and one idea only.
While some of the talks weren’t all that great I was pretty happy with most of them being to some degree more inspirational than technical. As I wrote before, I’m not really the biggest fan of the so-called “key notes” but I still prefer talks that give me new ideas instead of discussing a topic exhaustively.
Will I come back? Perhaps. The talks were mostly good with some real gems in there, but the venue is sadly less than ideal. Paris not being what you would call “affordable” doesn’t help either. In the end, I might make this a conference I’d visit every other year ;-)