Conferences in movie theaters seem to be thing these days. A thing we like! This year’s sixth instalment of mDevCamp was the first time with comfortable seats and an unobstructed giant view of the speaker’s slides from every angle.
WWDC was no option for me this year, because we are expecting a baby at the beginning of June. Too close to be on a different continent. My condition for accepting the mDevCamp speaking gig this year was that they would be prepared that I could be cancelling on very short notice.
I had spoken at last year’s Mobiconf in a cinema, so the concept was not new to me. But my reaction this year was: yeah, it really does make sense!
The conference had 4 streams of talks running in parallel, I’d say half of which held in Czech language. I’m – of course – mostly interested in iOS and general engineering talks, so there was a good amount of interesting talks as the main course.
I loved to hear insights and techniques from people working for Spotify, Slack and Twitter. The only gripe I had was that the topic “Server-side Swift” would have deserved its own full length talk, 20 minutes was way too short for this in my opinion.
There were enough times for me to mingle and look at the side dishes, as well. For the first time I got to ride a Hoverboard, play some VR games on HTC Vive and I got myself a chair massage twice. The 4 theaters on the other side of the hall were dedicated to relaxing, placing 4-player Xbox games on the huge movie screens and later in the day, for showing a soccer match. They even had the first Microsoft Hololens on site, but due to some charging issues I couldn’t try it.
I had been working on my own talk for about 2 weeks, with the final slide being added when I got to the hotel after the warm-up party on the night before the conference. I was excited by seeing my talk very well attended. My talk, like all others, will be put online by SlidesLive, eventually. But I will put my own version up because I find that this does my fabulous animations the justice they deserve.
Just before the end of the conference there was a session of lightning talks which were done in a way how I didn’t see them before: Speakers had only 5 minutes each and then the presenter would start to clap. When the audience then joined in the clapping the speaker couldn’t but smile and leave. This time though – with almost all lightning talks in Czech – they distributed small radios with an earpiece where there would be an on-the-fly translation of the talks. Awesome!
Being in Czech, of course there had to be an after party involving beer and goulash. This was done in the brand new headquarters of Avast. We got transported there on several travel busses. I have seen quite a few company headquarters in Silicon Valley, San Francisco and Ireland. Avast’s HQ keeps up with the best of them.
I’m sad to hear that the conference main organiser Michal is going to take a year off to travel with his family and further his studies of Workplace Happiness. There might not be another mDevCamp because of this and because they fear that they couldn’t top it any more.
mDevCamp 2016 was a blast! Thank you for having me as a speaker next to many other great ones.
Also published on Medium.