From GNU to Doom: TechTrain 2019 Announced

    Who are these people and what unites them, in addition to hair length? Many gamers probably recognized John Romero from a photograph , free software proponents need not introduce Richard Stallman , and PostgreSQL users may know Oleg Bartunov well . Something in common is already noticeable: all three have been in IT for many years and have been involved in popular projects. But how did three people doing so many different things appear in the same image?

    The reason is that they will be at the same event - and you too can be there. On August 24-25, we will hold the TechTrain IT festival in St. Petersburg , where these three people will be among the speakers. What else will be there?

    For starters: what is TechTrain at all? It is difficult to describe the festival with one phrase, where at the same time a lot of things are happening. Let's try to push off from a more understandable conference format and explain the differences.

    In addition to TechTrain, we regularly organize hardcore conferences on specific topics ("JS-development", "testing", "DevOps"), designed for harsh professionals. And there is no doubt in their benefit. But at the same time, we realized that an event of a different format would be useful for the IT community.

    Firstly, it is not highly specialized, but intended immediately for everyone who is in any way connected with IT. This is where you can take off the blinkers of your current tasks and look back at what is happening around. This is where the tester can talk with a devopa lover, and the senior developer with the student.

    Secondly, not severely professional, but at the same time informative and entertaining. If your goal is to work as efficiently as possible in IT, then TechTrain can help you. But if you just want to hang out for two days - there’s no problem either, it’s not by chance that the dates are chosen as dates.

    Thirdly, not closed and elitist, but mass and affordable. Professional conferences, where the participation of the audience is usually paid by the employer, are worth a lot. Here we tried to reduce the price of tickets as much as the cost of the event allows.

    Fourth, large-scale and varied: if everything at the conference revolves around reports, and during their holding the hall becomes empty, then different activities for every taste simultaneously occur.

    And what exactly can be seen once August 24-25 at the Expoforum?


    At TechTrain, the reports are not as much a cornerstone as at conferences (you can stay on one and still be satisfied), but this does not mean that we think less about their quality. In a sense, on the contrary, you have to think even more. When you are preparing a .NET conference for experienced developers, it’s generally clear what the audience is waiting for and what they already know. But if all kinds of people come together from beginners to "mastodons", what reports should be in order for everyone to find it interesting? Is it possible in such a situation not to fall into either excessive complexity or the “hello world”?

    We have now opened YouTube videoslast year's TechTrain - you can see on them what to expect. Adjusted for the fact that then TechTrain was held for the first time, so we did not yet have a viewer feedback that allowed us to improve the program. And adjusted for the fact that then all the speakers were Russian: John Romero still did not have to dream of. That is, this time it should turn out more accurate and larger.

    In addition, the traditional element of our events is discussion zones, where, after the report, the speaker answers questions in detail. And when people like Stallman gather for the event , it becomes especially relevant: we think many will want to ask him, and not only on the topic of the report. So TechTrain is not only an opportunity to look at legends from the bottom up, but also an opportunity to personally learn something from them.

    Who will be performing in August? In addition to the three already mentioned people will call Yevgeny Borisov ( EvgenyBorisov ), well-known Java-developers. The remaining names will appear later - the most relevant information about this will be on the site .


    Every day, going outside the office, you can completely throw out everything related to programming from your head. But for many people, a programming language is not only a tool for making money, and other developers in this language are not just random "fellow travelers." People want to unite, arrange something interesting and share useful experiences. Therefore, local IT communities are created by enthusiastic forces who conduct thematic meetings.

    And while such communities bring people together, we at TechTrain bring these communities together by providing them with stands. They will be able to see others and show themselves by entering a new audience - and will be able to arrange some interesting activity for this audience, having spent two days excitingly.

    If usually communities hold meetings with serious reports for those who have long been in the topic, then for the stand at such an event (where there are a lot of people with different backgrounds) a different format begs: something more lively for a variety of spectators.

    And what exactly - depends on each community, they themselves are responsible for the program on their stands. For example, last year PiterJS held the “Code in the Dark” contest (blindly imposition), and DotNetRu organized roundtables where a wide variety of spectators willingly participated. We asked both PiterJS and DotNetRu about their impressions; we will release a separate post about this later.

    Communities will also have the opportunity to make a report, for this there is a special open “demo stage”. If a “regular” report is always directed purposefully into the hall, then in the case of the demo scene, you can see an interesting performance by simply passing by.

    This year we are going to attract significantly more communities than last year. If you yourself are just the organizer of such a community, pay attention to this page (and if you know such an organizer, please forward this link to him).


    Traditional company stands, of course, will also be. And if at narrow-profile conferences companies are selected appropriate (at Java-conferences there will be those for which Java is very relevant), then here you can expect diversity. Last year, one could see JetBrains (the creators of the well-known IDEs), Leroy Merlin (who have much more IT than it might seem at first glance), and the financial startup Revolut.

    Companies will also have their own platforms for presentations, and this is not only "what our company is doing." For example, in 2018, there were performances with themes like “Git flow”, and one of the speakers presented his personal project for automatically composing music in the Bach style. Then, many people passing by heard musical examples, stopped to watch “what is happening here,” and then listened to the report with great interest. In addition, there the companies announced the results of the draws - when it gathers a lot it is more convenient than at the stand.

    Last year at TechTrain there were 50 stands (counting both companies and communities), and this year we intend to bring their number to 100, and we are also working on diversity: we are interested in both startups and giants; and hardcore solutions for developers, and cool geek stuff. We think that with such an abundance everyone can find something interesting for themselves.

    Perhaps you are now thinking about whether your company should also take part in a stand (not every day you can meet a live audience of thousands of IT people). For this case, the site has a special page with information about participation.


    The list is not limited to listed - there will be various entertaining things. Visitors to the previous TechTrain can remember, for example, games on retro computers, Mosigra desktops and the Brain Slaughter quiz. There is no entertainment list for the new event yet, but the general idea is the same.

    There will be our own stand - if you are interested in anything related to our conferences, it will be convenient to find out anything there. There will be infrastructure for everyone to be comfortable (TechTrain was our first event with a zone for children).

    And besides this, another thing is important. No matter what kind of activity we arrange, it’s important for the audience not only what they see at the event, but also who they see there among other viewers. Meeting old acquaintances is always valuable, and hanging out at an event with them can be much more interesting than in splendid isolation. And here the question arises: what is the likelihood that your acquaintances will be on TechTrain?

    Our global goal is this: to make the festival the main IT event in Russia, just the very place where you can meet all the interesting people in two days. And we are gradually moving in this direction: last year on TechTrain there were about 2,000 people, and this year we forecast almost 4,000. So, if you have familiar Petersburg IT specialists, it is likely that one of them is among these thousands.


    There is still a lot of time before the end of August - does anyone plan a weekend in four months? Does it make sense to open ticket sales in advance? We think so. Someone, seeing the name "John Romero", immediately traces the date on the calendar, whatever it may be. Someone can better plan a vacation, knowing when it is worth to be in St. Petersburg. And for someone it’s more important to simply save: closer to the date of the event, tickets are gradually getting more expensive. Therefore, now on the site they can be bought at the lowest price.

    And if you are not ready to decide yet, the same site will also help you: over time, more and more information about speakers, communities, companies and activities will appear on it.

    We look forward to seeing you in August!

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