Three weeks ago I attended my very first Craftconf in Budapest. Originally, I didn’t know what to expect. The list of speakers looked awesome and it appeared more like a community conference than a big corporate event thanks to its location in an old railway museum. It also mostly ended up being that although there were some aspects that made it feel more like an industry- than a community-event. Things like a huge sponsor-hall, dedicate sponsor-talks (which had some great and some not so great sessions among them).
Topic-wise, there was quite a nice mix: Containers and micro-services are two huge topics in the community right now. They were also a big here with probably more than one track throughout the conference days being allocated to them. Luckily, there were other topics as well, from tool design to XP, from functional programming to TDD. Also included were talks related to DevOps and Ops which I enjoyed were much as I’m kind of moving in that direction more and more over the last months.
Personally, I missed talks about documentation, though. Perhaps that is still not seen as an important part of the craft but maybe this will change eventually. I mean, there were lots of sessions about Agile and related topics, so there is still hope 😉
That being said, I took quite a lot home with me. Prometheus, for instance, had been on my to-do list for a while and after Craftconf its priority got raised quite a bit. Kate Heddleston gave a talk about internal tooling (which is my current job) and the importance of usability and accessibility here, something I had started to think some time ago but now was far more in my focus.
A quick word about the location: I already mentioned that the event took place at a local railway museum. There was even a train dedicated each morning to transport a huge number of attendees from the Nyugati station there… slowly but we eventually arrived 😉 There were three large session rooms with the biggest even featuring secondary displays for the people in the back. Additionally, three tents were available for “smaller” sessions. Luckily, there was water everywhere and on the way between the sessions it was hard to get around the BBQ stations and the one booth that sold Kürtőskalács.
The acoustics especially in the 2nd and 3rd large hall weren’t that great as the were quite next to each other and so sound spilled over. Eventually, the organisers provided wireless headphones which solved that situation quite nicely. It felt weird not being able to listen to the speaker directly even-though they were standing directly in front of you and I can’t imagine how that looked like for them, but it got the job done.
Will I come back? I’ll definitely try. I didn’t get to do a lot of networking simply because the event was just too big for me. Every time I left a talk I started looking for a quiet place (which there was luckily plenty of) and after the last talks I hung around friends. Perhaps next year 😊