The 5th annual Mage Unconference is a self-organized event where the attendees suggest topics and the agenda is created by attendees voting on what topics they want. If your topic is chosen then you have approx 45 minutes to give your presentation. The topics can be a presentation or a discussion. You can also do hall topics and ad hoc topics. (Ask me if you want to know more)
This was my first time attending MageUC and I wasn’t sure what to expect. From the moment I walked in, I was met with a welcome and a badge and a T-shirt with my name on it. It is obvious that a lot of care and preparation has gone into this event. It’s funny when I travel most places people automatically greet me in English. Whether I go to India, Mexico, Bolivia or Scotland. They assume I speak English. If I go to Germany or the Netherlands they greet me in German or Dutch.
I wrote two topics and offered to join two more. One note to self, if you want to attend other topics then don’t volunteer for everything. Everyone voted on the topics and we then had an opportunity to say two sentences about our topic. Somehow both of my topics were chosen but fortunately, the other two were not.
I came completely unprepared, meaning, I didn’t prepare a presentation. My first topic was on Project expectations and reporting. My second topic was about keeping teams happy. Fortunately, I had a slide deck for the first (Midwest PHP 2018) and the second I demonstrated OfficeVibe.
Important note on Jokes. I have been giving presentations in Germany since 2014 and I have tried to make the audience laugh each time. I never had success until this time when I didn’t try. I did find this reference to humor in Germany. I think I need to be bluer.
Some other notable topics were from Christian Munch who discussed migrations and certifications. I also attended Vinai’s Closjure presentation. I saw a great talk on Riptide and managing Docker. I hosted a discussion on requirement management (Which could have lasted 2 hours) and finally Anton’s HR Toolbox. The HR toolbox was very interesting and I am hoping he will share some of the templates that he uses for these.
I attended the pre-party after a nice run around the city. I will admit that I was so jet-lagged that I don’t remember a lot about the pre-party other than it was fun. The event party was at Meyers, which I think is a traditional German pub with a 9 pin bowling ally in the basement. I know that Tadge loved the 80’s music that played throughout the entire evening.
My rating on the event 5/5 or 11/10 start. The organization was impressive as was the food and all the drinks. Thank you to everyone who made me feel very welcome.
The conference was sold out and sells out every year. I would recommend buying your ticket now.
Please read Tadgh's article here, he has a fantastic summary of the event. (Better than mine)