ADD 2011 in the fight for efficiency

    The efficiency of Russian IT conferences is extremely low. You can say no at all. First of all, it is low for speakers and sponsors. But even ordinary listeners make little use of the conference facilities and miss unique communication opportunities.

    Perhaps the first to notice this problem are the organizers of ADD 2011 . I’m still full of impressions from participating in it, and I want to write why it’s worth the habrayuzer to look at the next ADD.

    A few words for those who have not heard about ADD.

    ADD is a conference for programmers who love their work. The Application Developer Days conference is an event implemented by experts in the field of software engineering, designed to bring together individual professionals and the IT community on one site. The symbol of the conference isa crossed woodpecker , which symbolizes that only interesting reports get to the conference and you can not be afraid that you will fall asleep from the manager of a suction SaaS, Agile, ISO9001 or CMMI.

    I will begin, however, in general with another. Let's learn communication in general and at conferences in particular. This is so helpful!

    You, I think, already know about the problem of non-communicativeness and silence. On Habré recently there was a good post about the harm of silence . But here it is actually more and more global. It's not about programmers. We were just all massively taught to live quietly, quietly do our business, endure inconvenience, wait for someone to notice them and correct them. To clarify, I will start my article from the end. Namely, how I came back with ADD 2011.

    I managed to get on the train St. Petersburg - Makhachkala. In principle, I did not care what kind of train, because my trip ends in Tula. Someone will think, so there, I suppose, the people were strange. No, fellow travelers were normal. The temperature was abnormal. In St. Petersburg, the temperature dropped to 6 degrees, and there was an oak tree in the car. I did not even undress. So he sat in a jacket and hat.

    The stove is not heated. The conductor rushes sausage around the car, settling various issues. Handing out linen, filling out some forms brought to him. A lot of children from sports competitions are traveling in the car, and he, together with the coach, is trying to seat them. Children run, jump, climb each other to visit the shelves and confuse everything. The conductor attaches belts for children so that they do not fall from the upper shelves at night. In general, such a fuss is normal. I look at her, and I understand that he is not up to the stove now. Quietly sitting, freezing. And I'm not freezing alone. Children, too, are all in hats, although they jump. Older ladies whisper in the cold and wrap themselves in a blanket over their clothes.

    We already drive an hour and a half, and now the fuss is gradually ending. The conductor returns to his booth and a line of stiff passengers for hot tea is immediately lined up for him. They sit, warm their hands on glasses. Well, I think it should warm now. Since so many people came to him for tea, I didn’t want to complain about it. Moreover, a couple of mothers with small children are traveling. And they always take care of the heat. I sit on a chill, a rodent bought at McDonald's.

    Three hours later, I feel that it has not become warmer. And I'm going for hot tea too. Dialogue:

    - Something is all cold and cold. Give me some tea, please. Something your stove does not expand. It still doesn’t warm. Can I somehow add power there?

    - So she does not drown now.

    - (Pause. Big eyes. Emotions. Inarticulate lowing).

    “Is it cold, right?”

    - Yes pipets! There are all in hats. In clothes, they wrap themselves in a blanket! Run for tea! Dubak!

    - Ay, ah. Well, it’s necessary ... But I didn’t notice something. Well, I'll go flood.

    I WAS THE FIRST WHO PAY ATTENTION IN THE CAR TO COLD! And you say that programmers are not sociable and quiet. We are the same as everyone. And perhaps even more advanced. We at least notice that there is a problem of non-communicability and are trying to do something with this. We write articles on Habrahabr about it, we read books in the spirit of “The Art of Easy Talk,” we attend conferences. Well, at least we’re doing something.

    I will return now to the discussion of conferences.

    It’s a huge misfortune that conferences remain almost unnoticed by most developers, despite the useful reports and useful people present. It is clear that everyone cannot attend the conference. Yes, this is not necessary. The bad news is that there are no chain reactions on blogs and twitter. A couple of records and all. This is terrible. The efficiency of the entire conference is 1% of the possible. Those who hit quietly listened and dispersed. And the end.

    Why is that bad?

    Why it is bad for sponsors, I think it’s clear. About what a wonderful stand they had, and no one but the participants recognized the product. They were not praised or scolded in forums. Silence.

    This is bad for speakers. They are going to find those interested in their topic. They want to get feedback, comments, learn something new on their topic. But after the report, only a couple of people come up to them. And those who would like to communicate, they simply are not here! They do not know anything about the speaker, they do not know about this conference and the report.

    This is bad for the participants. They often do not know who is who, who to listen to, who is not. Visiting reports is often random. They do not know how great it was in Hall N1 while they were sitting in Hall N2. They do not discuss reports in forums / blogs after the conference and do not find out that somewhere they misunderstood / heard something. But the speakers love it so much when they are discussed and are always ready to explain.

    The sad picture. The first to seriously think about this issue are the organizers of the ADD conference.

    They are trying to increase the efficiency of the conference. To do this, they do three very important things. They try to prepare people before, give information on them as fully as possible during the conference itself, and to maintain communication after.


    They write notes ( example ) about previous reports. This helps people know in advance who they are interested in and who should talk with, what to prepare for communication. They prompt the speakers to make themselves known in the places where they communicate (blogs, twitter, forums and so on). It turns out that the listener can already know in advance what and who is waiting for him at the conference. This is just great!

    In the process

    This information is on the website and in the handed out books about each of the speakers. This is a great time for presentations, allowing you to normally ask questions and discuss them. These are regular coffee breaks and laid tables with sandwiches. It’s great to see groups of people talking at conferences. This is just great! Come next time, you will like it!


    This is the rendition of recorded conferences. Moreover, the video is very high quality. It is so great when you can see what you could not visit. Organizers well done. And to everyone who was, I urge you to write, write and write about what was interesting. Discuss on blogs. Praise, criticize, well, at least something. The more feedback we create, the more interesting relationships we can find. In the discussion process, you will find people with common interests.

    What is important, anyone can make a report. Yes, there is a contest where reports are selected. But I assure you, it’s really possible to get there if you have an interesting topic. This is an open community, not a bargain, where everything is shared.


    Write a little about your conference blog. Anything. This can benefit in the most unexpected way. Even the one who scolds you can suddenly prove extremely useful. I have had this more than once. If he scolds, then this topic worries him!

    Yes, squeezing something out is hard. But otherwise, we all will freeze at our computers, letting in the warmth of communication, new opportunities, unexpected vacancies.


    Thanks again to all the organizers of ADD 2011 ( SQALab , BYTE-FORCE ) and who helped them.


    I myself made a presentation " Static Analysis of C ++ Code ". Here I posted a presentation.

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