What do developers want? It's a million-dollar question and it's not easy to give a simple answer. However, developers often want the opportunity to learn and develop.
That is why they are looking for different ways to achieve it. At tech conferences, I can meet other people from the profession and participate in useful lectures. The question, then, is this: what do developers want (and expect) from a technology conference?
Conferences, summits, meet-ups, workshops, and masterclasses - some global, some local - today are practically a completely independent sector, with their own calendar, rules, and thematic choices. Sometimes it is really difficult to choose what fits best in our own vision of professional development. Of course, everyone has their own criteria, but developers seem to agree on some.
What do the developers themselves say?
Developers are a diverse group and each of them will want something different from the conference. In a conversation with some of them, we found out that it is always important for them to hear something new about technologies they are not that familiar with at lectures and workshops.
"The most important thing for me is that the topics are interesting to me, and those are the ones that I know something about, but I haven't had the opportunity to try, and even something that is completely unknown to me," we learn from a developer in the position of Android Team Lead.
He adds that in addition to interesting topics, the way lecturers approach presentations is also important.
"I like when the topic is presented in an interesting way, usually through my own experience, while presenters who just show code - or program live - are less interesting to me, because such presentations have no place at a conference. It should eventually be an article on Medium."
Another developer (iOS Team Lead) with whom we talked about this topic agrees with this.
"At the tech conference, it is important for me to learn some news about the technologies I work with or with which I would like to meet in the future. I want to see some interesting things other people are doing in these technologies. It would be useful for me to find out exactly what the companies that solve such problems do and maybe in the conversation find some new perspective for solving their own problems."
"The ideal conference has interesting topics for most people, with the fact that at least some of the topics should be a 'deep dive' into some of the technologies with not only covering the basics, with interesting lecturers who can bring these topics closer to people with different levels of knowledge" - concludes our iOS dev.
In addition to the combination of deep dive into interesting areas with good lecturers, the sharing of experiences from different companies turned out to be another important item. Namely, developers most often communicate with internal teams, and sometimes they would like to know what approach teams from other companies have to similar challenges.
Our third interviewee, a developer with many years of experience employed in a leading engineering position, says:
"If I have questions after the lecture, I want to have access to the lecturers during the conference so that we can talk about other things that are not closely related to the topic of the lecture."
A small conference, deep dives, and socializing
To summarize, developers want conferences that offer the following: interesting and relevant topics - about technologies they know and don't know lectures through their own experience lecturers who will know how to engage the audience and not just show the opportunity to talk with lecturers and colleagues.
This is exactly what Superology, a product tech company from Zagreb, wants to achieve with the SuperMinds conference. The goal of this specialized boutique conference is precisely to focus on the quality of content transmission and interaction among participants, therefore there will be around 400 of them.
This year, SuperMinds takes place on September 14th and 15th under the slogan Mind The App and is dedicated to mobile development. With a whole range of attractive names working on innovative tools, technologies, and products for iOS and Android - from Paul Hudson and Matt, through Eliza Camber, Garrick Toubassi and Christina Lee, to Ivana Lubar and Adis Mustedanagić - SuperMinds brings together experts who will exchange knowledge, solve common challenges, and engage in mutual interaction with members of the local and global tech community.
What should be highlighted at SuperMinds are smaller, specialized workshops within the conference as a place and time to work with new technologies.
Those who want to go even deeper into the subject within SuperMinds can attend two masterclasses. The first one, dedicated to conversational apps, will be held on September 14 by Eliza Camber, an Android developer specializing in voice design. The second masterclass will be held on September 15th by Matt, a developer with more than ten years of experience in the Apple ecosystem.
Don't miss the opportunity to share experiences with industry colleagues and deepen your knowledge of mobile development this September. Get tickets here.