Video Q&A is a new experiment: you video-call me and ask your practical management question, I try to answer, the entire dialog gets recorded and published on YouTube. Let's try!
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This is where I'll be talking soon. I'm updating this list very often, but still, follow me on Twitter and on Lanyrd for the most recent news. Below is a list of all venues I've been talking at with my short summary of their quality. Well, not just a summary, but an evaluation. Not every conference is as good as some others. That's why I decided to give them some feedback, at least here (see below).
This is a very opinionated and subjective list of conferences, which I attended recently, as a speaker. They rate us speakers, why shouldn't we rate them, right? The best rate is A+, while the worst is F-.
XDSD: Meetings-Free Software Development Methodology; DevTernity 2016; Riga, Latvia; 1 December 2016; video. The size of the event was perfectly right, the audience was motivated, organizers were actively involved, I did like it. What I didn't like was food and lack "social glue" between presenters, attendees, and everybody involved. I'm sure next year they will do it better. Who is a Software Architect?; BuildStuff Ukraine 2016; Kiev, Ukraine; 21-22 November 2016; slides, video. It was probably too big to be managed right. The Lithuanian part was a bit better, while Ukrainian was not so great at all, maybe because I don't like that Olympiski sport center. Also, in Vilnius there were maybe 15 people at my presentation—this was just sad. What I did like was food. How Do You Know When Your Product is Ready to be Shipped?; BuildStuff 2016; Vilnius, Lithuania; 18 November 2016; slides, video. Seven Sins of a Software Project; TopConf 2016; Tallinn, Estonia; 17 November 2016; slides, video. The event was rather small (about 300 people), but well prepared. At my presentation the room was full. Keep Your Servers In GitHub; TopConf 2016; Tallinn, Estonia; 16 November 2016; slides, video. Practical Example of a One-Click Release; DevOpsPro Moscow 2016; Moscow, Russia; 15 November 2016; video. The event was rather small and chaotic. I tried my best to make my speech interesting, but the audience wasn't really ready. XDSD: How Extreme Is Your Team?; XP Days Ukraine; Kiev, Ukraine; 12 November 2016; video, photos. This event was organized by same people who did JEEConf. This time it was smaller, at a different place and with less attention to details, if you ask me. However, overall impression was very good, organizers definitely know what they are doing. Will try to attend it again next year. ORM is an Offensive Anti-Pattern; Øredev 2016; Malmö, Sweden; 9-10 November 2016; slides, video, photos. The event was pretty too big. I would say about 800 attendees, about 60 speakers, 6 tracks, three full days plus workshops. For that size of a conference organizers would need to do way more "social" work for speakers and everybody. I didn't make almost any connections there and most people I've met had the same problem. It's a typical issue in big conferences—you simply get lost. At this one they had all chances to make a great event, but... Aside from that, the venue was great, food was good, travel and accomodation was perfect. I will definitely try to attend next year. Built-in Fake Objects; Øredev 2016; Malmö, Sweden; 9-10 November 2016; slides, video. Practical Example of AOP with Aspect (in Russian); JavaDay Kyiv 2016; Kyiv, Ukraine; 14 October 2016; slides, video, photos. The venue was great, the size average (about 500 ppl), organizers were very friendly and motivated. I liked the event. A few things definitely need to be improved: food and the amount of tracks. There too many tracks, I guess, for the amount of people attended. Would be better to lower the amount of speakers and focus the audience on best of them. And spend the available money on better food. Java vs OOP; JavaDay Kyiv 2016; Kyiv, Ukraine; 15 October 2016; video. Trial by Combat for OOP Honor (in Russian); JavaDay Kyiv 2016; Kyiv, Ukraine; 15 October 2016; video. Why Static Methods Are Evil?; Object Thinking Meetup; Stanford, Palo Alto, CA; 9 August 2016; video. How Anemic Objects Kill OOP; Object Thinking (meetup #1); Palo Alto, CA; 12 July 2016; slides, video. Eight Maturity Levels of Continuous Integration; Salt Lake City DevOpsDays; Salt Lake City, USA; 15 June 2016; slides, video. There were about 250 people with just one track and a pretty good organization, even though the budget was rather low. I liked the event and the audience. However, the venue was not comfortable at all (it was literally a church). Java vs OOP; JavaDay 2016; Minsk, Belarus; 11 June 2016; slides, photos, video. It was a surprisingly well organized one-day event with over 300 attendees, two tracks, and inexpensive entry ticket ($75). Even though their budget was rather low they paid for travel and hotel and invited speakers mostly from abroad. The audience was well prepared for my talk, I've got many questions right after the presenation and during the rest of the day. However, the venue was not really comfortable and the content was mostly outdated. Chat Bots Architecture; GeekOUT 2016; Tallinn, Estonia; 9 June 2016; slides, photos, video. Almost everything was done perfectly at this event. There were over 500 attendees and just two tracks (when I was speaking). The venue was very comfortable, modern and located in a walking distance from the center. All the logistics were done perfectly, the food was of high quality, the team was personally there and in permanent contact with speakers. It's asolutely a must to be there again. Talk to Your Microservice Via a Chat Bot, Not UI; NDC Oslo; Oslo, Norway; 8 June 2016; slides, video. It was a very big event with, I guess, about 1500 visitors and nine (!) tracks. What was good is that they paid for all travel expenses and the venue was really modern. Aside from that, everything else was not so good. There was no focus in content, the audience wasn't prepared at all, there were many sponsor boothes, but a total lack of attention to the content. Besides that, I haven't even met organizers. OOP is Dead? Not Yet!; ITEM 2016; Dnipro, Ukraine; 3 June 2016; slides, video. There were about 400 people, 2-3 tracks and a terrible venue. Seriously, the place was a total disaster, even though it's a newly built conference center. The sound, the location of rooms, the after-talk areas—everything was uncomfortable. Also, the content was not really well selected. They invited a few star speakers just because of their names, which usually is a mistake. The after-party was good though. It seemed that organizers tried to do this event with love, but the venue and speakers, unfortunately, didn't play along. Your CEO or your programmer is the boss?; ITEM 2016; Dnipro, Ukraine; 2 June 2016; slides, video. Don't be over excited about Amsterdam; ITEM 2016; Dnipro, Ukraine; 2 June 2016; video. Micromanagement; PMDay Lviv; Lviv, Ukraine; 28 May 2016; photos, video. There were over 400 people, two days, and four tracks. The venue, the food, the transportation were rather good, taking into account ticket price. Besides that, the audience was very motivated and engaged. The only downside was a very short time slot for each talk (30 minutes), very short breaks (10 minutes) and the amount of speakers. It felt too crowded. Asided from that, I would definitely try to visit it again. Deployment Scripts Are Dead, Meet Rultor; DevOps Pro; Vilnius, Lithuania; 26 May 2016; photos, video. The organization was very good. Not perfect, but very good. There were about 300 people and four tracks (I think it's too many). The only problem was with the content. It looked like they paid too much attention to logistics and forgot about content. Aside from that, definitely a place to see again. ORM is an Offensive Anti-Pattern; JEEConf 2016; Kiev, Ukraine; 21 May 2016; slides, photos, video. The venue, the logistics, the food, the organization, the size (over 1000 people), and the preliminary screening of my presentation... everything was very good. What I didn't like is the amount of tracks (too many) and the list of speakers, which, I believe, almost copied JPoint. Would be great to see new faces. Overall impression was very positive, definitely will try to attend it next year. How Immutability Helps in OOP; JEEConf 2016; Kiev, Ukraine; 21 May 2016; slides, photos, video. Need It Robust? Make It Fragile; DEVit 2016; Thessaloniki, Greece; 20 May 2016; slides, photos, video. Surprisingly, the conference was very good. Just two tracks for about 400 attendees, motivated audience, good equipment, video recording, etc. What I obviously didn't like was the venue (not really comfortable), the mess with the schedule (my talk was delayed for over 30 minutes), and an absense of focus on some specific subject. Aside from that, it was a positive experience. Microservices as Chat Bots; I T.A.K.E. Unconference 2016; Bucharest, Romania; 19 May 2016; slides, photos, video. It was a rather small conference (around 150 people) without any specific focus. The venue (Radisson) was perfect, but the amount of tracks too big. There were less than 30 people in my room. Also, the organization was rather messy and my talk was delayed for over 20 minutes. How Much Immutability is Enough?; Bucharest JUG Meetup; Bucharest, Romania; 18 May 2016; slides, photos, video. Fail Fast. Into User's Face; GeeCON; Krakow, Poland; 13 May 2016; slides, photos. Even though it's a big (over 1000 people) and popular European conference about Java, my overall impression is not really positive. The venue was not comfortable at all (it was a cinema), there were no tables for food and we were eating lunch in cinema chairs :) The amount of talks and tracks was too big, the audience was very disfocused. What seriously affected my impression is the way listeners were leaving the rooms during the talks, check this tweet. Besides that, the organization was rather formal and messy. There is a lot of room for improvement. Continuous Integration May Have Negative Effects; Baltic DevOps; Tallinn, Estonia; 10 May 2016; slides, photos, video. The conference was rather small (around 150 people), but well organized. What I didn't really like was the food and the venue (we even had some other conference going in the next room to us). Also, the audience was not really engaged and prepared, as it seemed to me. I believe, this event may improve and become better, the potential is definitely there. Meetings or Discipline; New Trends in Project Management; Gdynia, Poland; 26 April 2016; slides, photos, video. It was an interesting event, mostly because the audience was full of questions and really interested in project management. The location, the food, logistics, etc. were good enough. I didn't really like the content other speakers were delivering. I suspect that most of them were invited there because of their names. An Immutable Object-Oriented Web Framework; JET Conference; Minsk, Belarus; 25 April 2016; photos, video. There were about 250 people. The location was not good at all—it was a cinema. Also, the audience was so serious or so shy that it was rather difficult to present. Not just for me. Also, I got an impression that speakers were invited just because of their names, not the content they deliver. Aside from that, the impression was positive. ORM - это обидно (ORM is an Offensive Anti-Pattern); JPoint 2016; Moscow, Russia; 22-24 April 2016; slides, photos, video. It was a very big (over 1200 people) and a very well organized Java conference. The food, the location, the logistics, everything. My presentation was carefully screened beforehand by the organizers and I received a few valuable corrections. The content, I would say, was not so perfect. I would recommend to look at new names in the industry and invite those who are less known but working on something hot and interesting. Besides that, the event was perfect. Объектно-Ориентированное Вранье (Object-Oriented Lies); Student Day Moscow, Russia; 22-24 April 2016; slides, photos, video. It was one of the best conferences I've attended so far. A very well organized, carefully planned, in a perfect and rather expensive location. Besides that, my speech was screened beforehand. I even had to make it over Skype and some corrections were received. What I would suggest to invite new speakers—it seems that there are almost the same faces every year. Continuous Integration May Have Negative Effects; WEBIT.Festival 2016; Sophia, Bulgaria; 20 April 2016; photos, video. It was a huge event with, I guess, over 1500 attendees. Even on my presentation there were over 150 people in the room. The location, the food, the logistics—everything was good. The only negative part is a total disfocus of the content. Speakers were talking just about everything. I didn't even understand why my presentation was accepted there :) Blame the Project; NextBuild 2016 Eindhoven, Netherlands; 16 April 2016; slides, photos, video. The event was free-to-enter, but very well organized. The location was comfortable, the audience motivated enough and the organizers really cared about the event. The only bad thing was a total absence of speakers screening. Nobody checked my presentation before and I can only assume that the same happened to other speakers. Meetings Are a Threat To Code Quality; AgileEE 2016; Kiev, Ukraine; 9 April 2016 slides, photos; video. Organization, food, location, audience, welcoming and goodbying are very good, but the content is rather poor. Most talks were rather boring and poorly prepared. Aside from that, everything was good and I liked to be there. Software Outsourcing, 10 Years Ahead Prediction; Outsource People 2016; Minsk, Belarus; 8 April 2016 slides, photos, video. The conference was rather small, but well focused. The audience was actively engaged and asked a lot of questions. About a hundred people at my talk. The quality of the location was average and my expenses were not reimbursed. Also, the content was not really well-prepared or monitored. Meetings Help Us And Kill Our Projects; Agilia Conference 2016; Olomouc, Czech Republic; 5 April 2016 slides, photos, video. There were over 250 people and just two main tracks—good setup. A comfortable location, careful organization, good food, expenses paid. The only problem was the content. Most presentations were rather boring and not well prepared. Aside from that, I liked it. Meetings And Motivation, Friends Or Enemies?; SEDC 2016; Washington DC, USA; 31 March 2016; slides, photos, video. The place was good, the food was very good, the organization was not bad, but the audience was rather old and out-of-subject. Maybe system engineering is not really my thing, but most of these guys live somewhere in 1990. And there were less than a hundred people for four tracks. Just about twenty per presentation. It's not really a conference, but more like a meetup. Microservices as Chat Bots; CascadiaIT; Seattle, USA; 12 March 2016; slides, photos. It's a very small conference, with barely ten (!) people in the room. The talks were separated in six rooms, with no specific focus on subjects. Moreover, I don't think they did any prepareation of speakers or even selection of them. Clearly, the event was there only to make money. The only thing I enjoyed was the city, one of my favorites,—Seattle. Aside from that, it was a time wasting event for me. Need Robust Software? Make It Fragile; Kyiv DevOps Day; Kyiv, Ukraine; 27 February 2016; slides, photos, video. Looks like these DataRobot (the sponsor of the event) guys care about quality and do this with passion. There were about 180 people at my speech and the reaction of the audience was rather active. What this event can improve is to pay attention to the preparation of speakers and limiting their number to just four. They had too many (six) and most of the talks were rather boring, overloaded with text-rich slides. Also, the place should definitely be changed, NSC Olimpiyskiy is just a trash. To be honest, there previous event in Fedoriv Hub was much better (I would give it an "A"). Talk To Your Microservice Via a Chat Bot, not UI; DeveloperWeek 2016; San Francisco, USA; 17 February 2016; slides, photos, video. This was a shame for the entire industry—money making event with zero attention to quality. Just random speakers, random attendees, random subjects—just anything that will help them make money on selling tickets. Talk To Your Microservice Via a Chat Bot, not UI; DevNexus 2016; Atlanta, USA; 16 February 2016; slides, photos, video. That was a huge event with, I would say, over 2000 participants and almost zero efforts from organizers to make it interesting. Talks were mostly from sponsors, promoting their own products, or from clowns making living by talking about "why writing clean code is important". Needless to say that they didn't compensate travel expenses of speakers, while making a lot of money on tickets. It was a waste of time and money. XDSD : Meetings-Free Software Development Methodology; The Entrepreneurs' Club; Palo Alto, USA; 11 February 2016; slides, photos, video. There were about 50 people in the room, most of whom were rather interested and engaged. The place was comfortable, equipment was of good quality, the focus was right on my talk, since I was the only presenter. I've got a number of leads from this event.
"Continuous Integration May Have Negative Effects"; DevOpsDays Warsaw 2015; Warsaw, Poland; 24-25 November 2015; slides, photos, video. The event was rather big, over 300 people in the room. However, the audience was rather passive and presentations were mostly from sponsors. The event was there mostly to make money, which is always a downside. The location was rather bad—an old Soviet-time hotel. "How Do You Talk To Your Microservice?"; BuildStuff 2015; Kyiv, Ukraine; 23 November 2015; photos, slides, video. The place was a total trash (small rooms in NSC Olimpiyskiy) with bad light, bad sound and lack of proper ventilation. There was no preparation of talks or any communication with speakers. These guys are just making money in a hype market. It's a shame. "What keeps us motivated and why we get lazy"; Distributed Agile Teams, Flock 2015; Berlin, Germany; 19-20 November 2015; photos. There were less than a hundred people in total, separated by, I guess, four rooms. A rather small event, but participants were active. Agile is in general a very boring subject, maybe that's why the event was also rather slow, despite all the attempts of organizers to make it fun. "Continuous Integration Is Dead"; Kyiv DevOps Meetup; Kyiv, Ukraine; 19 September 2015; photos, video. "CI is DEAD. Or is it?!"; San Francisco DevOps Meetup; San Francisco, USA; 23 April 2015; video.