What I learned from C # /. Net developers at Go # conference

    I myself am a C # developer and did the conference for the first time. I’ll tell you how I filled the cones and got a lot of pleasure.

    This is the GoSharpMoscow C # Developer Personal Effectiveness Conference.
    She went on Saturday November 15th. It was my “first pancake lumpy” or, as they say abroad, MVP (Minimum Viable Product). I report what I managed to do:

    • fill the room 100%
    • make the conference useful for 95% of participants
    • meet the expectations of 70% of participants.

    But the most valuable thing I received from the conference was the feedback. In practice, it was a TDD with format and networking experiments. Now our team knows what the participants like and what are the bottlenecks in organizing the conference.



    A bit of history and introduction


    For those who hear about Go # for the first time, a small introduction.

    I am developing in C #. I used to work on order, then remotely in a western company, and now I am writing for my projects. I always wanted to talk with colleagues, but I was confused by the long reports, the lack of mechanics for meeting people and the cost of events. I wanted to go to a conference to broaden my horizons and communication, so I was ready to give only a small amount of money. The idea of ​​the conference and the description of the format I presented earlier on Habré here .

    The preparation of the conference took three months and began with the choice of location and the invitation of speakers. Many people supported me when there was nothing but an idea. And I am very grateful to them for such support. Time passed, the program evolved.
    The concept was this: one track, short reports, a lot of communication and an affordable price.

    The first day of Go # loomed like this: these are topics of personal effectiveness, tools for writing code, mobile development UI and a developer’s career. It turned out 10 reports and 15 speakers / experts. There are more speakers since two reports are paired and there are still experts for discussion in sections. Many saw the conference announcements (from DevExpress , TCS Bank and Luxoft ).

    And so, together with VioletTape and a large team, and with the help of industry colleagues (@ 23derevo with DotNext , sidristij with CLRium), we managed to hold such an event.



    Satisfaction Statistics


    I'll start with a pleasant one. 370 participants came. This is the physical limit of the site and each additional chair had to be obtained with a fight.

    Already during the very day of the conference, we began to receive feedback from friends and whom we invited personally. But after the event, we collected questionnaires and evaluation reports. Another part of the feedback we received in correspondence with the participants after the conference. Here is what we learned.

    The conference was useful for 96% (and useless for 4%). 15% learned “a lot of definitely useful things”, for 43% it was “quite useful”, 37% found something useful for themselves. Developers at the beginning of their careers and those who rested on career ceilings and thought about changing course got the most benefit. At the same time, 26% expected more, but for 74%, the impressions of the conference met expectations or exceeded them.

    Oral polls and survey results revealed a surprise. The most useful section was “Career .Net Developer” , although during registration, participants were mainly interested in “Effective Code Writing”.


    What 70% say - satisfied participants


    Just to quote a few:
    • “The program is excellent, quite rich.”
    • “A good balance of reports between technology and social.”
    • “I liked the format itself - no need to run across and split, trying to catch all the interesting reports. Badge tagging is also a good idea. Well, I liked the food. ”
    • “I liked the abundance and diversity of information, the informal atmosphere, the relevance of those covered at the conference. I can only advise you to continue in the same vein. ”
    • “I liked the theme of the conference. Liked the tags. I liked the informal atmosphere. ”
    • “I am a novice developer. Accordingly, I did not know much. Attending the conference, I received a large amount of new information, which is to be processed personally by myself and to increase the volume of knowledge. ”
    • "All liked it. If the format does not change, I will continue to visit "

    So, everything is fine here, so let's move on.

    Who wants to know immediately what to expect soon on the December 12th team leader’s day ( program and registration ) and what are our next plans for 2015 narrow-topic conferences (Asp.Net, Desktop / Business applications, C # Highload, Backend & API, C # Clean Code) , click on the links and scroll to the end of the article.

    And then there will be a small debriefing.



    Criticism - where we missed


    30% expected more from the conference. But this part of the participants taught us a lot. Some tips and tricks are know-how. Therefore, I will not conduct them here :). Realizing their wishes is many hours and days of work.

    Just share negative and guiding reviews:
    • “The speakers did not have time to delve into the topic, and gave only general information.”
    • “Less general words, more specifics. Roughly speaking, I already knew about the fact that CodeRush (reSharper, etc.) exists, I would like to see how they work, to see the most interesting chips live. About AOP and PostSharp, you could generally allocate 2-3 times more time, the topic is rather complicated, and again, besides the example from the postsharp.com main page, I would like to see more code. In general, to understand the direction of further development, as a developer, it was a wonderful conference. ”
    • "1. A lot of advertising bullshit in the section on accelerating code writing.
      2. The third part (about HR) was the most informative and useful.
      3. In general, DevExpress ran into ads. ”
    • “Too much commercial information from JetBrains and DevExpress. As for the direct development, construction of architecture, or interesting cases - there was little information. ”

    It was really difficult for us to give out a lot of technical meat in a short time of reports. 30% is the format overhead, but 70% is just a flaw. In preparation, we collected a lot of useful information from experts on productivity tips, but did not submit it in the most digestible form.

    The conference was held without sponsors and we simply did not control that DevExpress and JetBrains in the first section went into marketing! As the participants told us, it was necessary to make live coding mandatory. This was possible by the same DevExpress, but in the mobile development section. What to do, participants say:
    “I liked the live show of work, in addition to presentations - an application for a mobile phone in 5 minutes :-) We need to introduce similar moments to other speakers, they really push us to do it myself.”

    Format and length of reports


    2/3 of the audience liked the short reports, but 1/3 would like the reports to be longer:
    • “The duration of the report was optimal, in general, the conference did not tire, although it lasted a whole day.”
    • “Convenient format, everything is perceived without fatigue.”
    • “The format of the conference is excellent, it may take a little longer for the technical reports.”

    Technical presentations need more time. To squeeze the technical “meat” in 15 minutes is a challenge for the speaker. We tried to avoid lengthy presentations, as this would hit the general utility of time for a wide audience. But for a more homogeneous audience, we can allow long reports. And if you need several hours for a deep study of the topic, you can take it out to the training, when 2-3 speakers spend one day.

    Conclusions on the length and structure of reports:
    1. Make the report time limit flexible. Technical reports should be given more time (30 minutes) compared with review reports (10-15 minutes).
    2. At the end of each report is a section with recommendations.
    3. Mandatory live coding for reports about tools.

    Organization of discussions


    We re-complicated our discussion preparation process, and because of this, it was more difficult for us to process the content. We collected the answers in text form, then to assemble a presentation from them. And you just had to collect the slides right away.

    The opinion of experts in the discussion on stage was difficult to perceive only by ear. As an idea for the future - include a mini-presentation from an expert on 2-3 slides when he begins to speak for the first time. Then there will be a visual image of what he wanted to say.

    We should also collect questions for the speakers via Twitter broadcast (you can see here , tag # goshap14). The broadcast had to be not only announced at the beginning of the day, but also periodically displayed on the screen.

    Tags, plates and networking


    The previously announced idea with tablets worked 20%. And the tags are unexpectedly 100% - everyone liked it.
    • “Badge tags are a great idea.
      "The tables on the tables are abstractly interesting, but it can only work if there are 2-3 times more places at the tables than there are people willing to."
    • “The idea with the tables is excellent, but you had to deliver lunch separately and you needed more tables.”
    • “It's really great to go to a table with the technology you are interested in, find like-minded people around it, and speak the same language”

    For example, when asked about networking, one participant writes:
    “I liked sticking the“ PHP ”tag onto a friend’s badge :) Seriously, organizing tables for informal communication is a very correct idea, but they should have been taken out of the food zone and the question-answer session in some places more interesting than the reports themselves.”



    Nutrition


    The most difficult thing was to balance the amount of food, feed rate and cost. We had time with coffee and drinks, but with lunch it turned out like this:
    • “The Feast of the Vegan was completely displeased. But then the food made more than. Coffee is the best I've tried in my life. Now I spit on the worker :) "
    • “The supply points were clearly not enough, especially during lunchtime.”

    Other problems


    The hardest part is Exceptions. The cartridge has run out, the printer has broken, etc. We uncovered the accounting “bug”: accounting companies do not like when an individual entrepreneur is without a seal and makes a mark on the business trip as a receiving party only with a signature. What else? For instance:
    • Conference branding: didn’t do rollups and put logs in the coffee break
    • TK for the photographer: speakers were not removed against the background of the audience
    • pricing policy: a big gap between early and late price
    • contests: underestimated the complexity of accounting and debriefing.

    What's next


    We focus on creating value for the middle class of developers, team leaders and managers, rather than top developers (but more demanding and informative feedback). The product we want to develop is affordable and frequent professional communication.

    In 2015, we will make narrow-topic conferences (Asp.Net, Desktop / Business applications, C # Highload, Backend & API, C # Clean Code).
    If you are interested in social activities and have a time budget, we invite you to join. About the benefits (free tickets and meals, gift licenses, etc.) to be a report applicant, speaker and team member - here .

    Team leader day December 12, Fri


    The next event of 2014 is a team leader day .

    If you are a leader (team leader in C # or a project manager) or plan to become one, then this is the best measure for immersing yourself in context and monitoring trends in development management.

    You will hear 4 reports on architecture, 3 reports on ALM and TFS, 2 reports on source code management without TFS and DevOps tools. And also - 2 reports on specialization of labor in .Net teams. Namely, how decisions are made about grouping people into teams and dividing tasks between them.

    Format - one track, 10 reports, many breaks, earlier ending and Afterparty.

    Tulskaya metro sounds far away, but getting to it is very convenient (only 3 metro stations from the very center of Moscow and 4 minutes on foot). We adjusted the schedule and format based on the feedback of the first day. And you will find good nutrition (link). Lunch and Afterparty will be held in the OM cafe, so you can chat while sitting in comfortable chairs.

    The program and registration are here .

    // If I took someone’s comment from readers in an article, you can write to me, I will pass you.

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