WeAreDevelopers Congress Vienna 2019

On November 28 and 29 I was in Vienna for this year’s WeAreDeveloper Congress in the Hofburg. The event consisted 4 tracks with more than 100 speakers who gave presentations and workshops about IoT, cloud, blockchain, and AI topics. There was also a dedicated track for business topics. No idea, what happened there as I focused on the IoT & Cloud track ;-)

Hofburg "Festsaal" (long before the first talk) which housed the main track

There I had a couple of highlights right on the first day: A talk by Vladimir Nišević and Pablo Kübber about the Austrian telco-provider A1’s path to modernizing their technology stack using microservices and micro frontends. Every frontend there has it’s own backend service in order to make local development easier and also to facilitate migrating from their old stack. The frontends (called “widgets” in their terminology) are then combined into “desktops” where they try to do all the work without iframes. Good stuff :-)

Next, Josef Hammer from my alma mater (University of Klagenfurt) gave a great overview about the various stages of edge computing and some of the tools and services that are available to developers there.

Day 1 ended with a big party… that I skipped in favor of some beers with coworkers at 7stern Bräu. This also had the advantage that I could get enough sleep for next day’s talks. Such as…

With their talk “Stracciatella Mousse” Björn Wendland and Tobias Schröder from Metro|Nom showed how Metro nearly fulfilled an order for 99,999 packages of Dr. Oetker’s Stracciatella Mousse. It all sounds like an accident but until they gave their talk they didn’t know whose fault it was. At least it was a nice example of how to use your monitoring stack to detect anomalies (as sweet as they may be), though.

I also want to write a little about the event itself, though: This was my first time at a WeAreDevelopers event so a couple of things came as a surprise to me. Chief among them was that there were multiple ticket-tiers where only some of the attendees got lunch. The rest of us had to buy their meals from the local caterer at Hofburg; €5 for a small sandwich is definitely not something I’d do more than once. With 40+ partners/sponsors snacks and refreshments outside of the popcorn handed out by A1 should have been possible…

Another surprise was the content of the goodie bags: Alongside the conference booklet there was only a single sponsor goodie (soap bubbles …) and a 0.5l water bottle by Vöslauer. Seems like I was not the only one who was slightly unhappy with the water situation because on day two there were tons of Vöslauer refreshments available throughout the venue.

For the next time I’d also prefer if the seats weren’t so close to each other. Especially, when you want to take notes and be able to also decipher them afterwards a little more elbow-room would be appreciated 😅 That being said, I’m not sure, if this was the right event for me. It was simply a bit too commercial for my taste and somehow the sponsors felt a bit out of place. Only few, like Barracuda, were showing off their products that might also interesting for developers. Still, €99 for the early bird ticket is a good price for what is offered. Next time I’ll bring my lunch box, though 😅

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