#LaraconEU 2016 Was a Great Experience Overall

It all started with submitting my chatops talk to some open call for papers in April 2016. After giving the talk in CodeMotion Dubai, I felt chatops is a useful topic. Everyone working in software development can leverage it to make their life easier. My talk was a Laravel centered version of the same talk.

Talk Accepted — Woo hoo!

My talk got accepted in around mid-May for #LaraconEu 2016. It was amazing news that entailed other things to take care of. I had to sort out visa first. I want to thank Shawn for keeping like 3 months + time between paper selection and the conference. This is great for speakers like me who have to sort out the paperwork. It is also useful for speakers who get enough time to prepare for their talk.

It is something that all conference organizers should consider when organizing an “international” conference. Select speakers/talks like 3 months or more in advance.

Suggestions to conference organizers

Then after I confirmed my presence, I started taking care of the paperwork for the visa. I also had a chat with Shawn over Skype. He gave me some pointers to make the talk more suited to the Laravel Developers audience. It was super handy.

Along the same lines I have 3 more suggestions to conference organizers:

  1. Have a conversation with speaker after talk selection. Advise them about content.
  2. Don’t always strive for fresh content. The speaker might have presented it earlier. Think of how the speaker can mold it to suit your conference audience.
  3. Be adventurous with speaker selection. I agree it’s a risk to select a speaker who needs a visa to be at the conference venue. Still, if you give enough time like ~3 months things generally work out :).
  4. Give speakers with potential a chance, have that trust.

Conference Experience

Let’s fast forward to 22-Aug-2016 now, I arrived in Amsterdam. I am here in Amsterdam after 5 years, still seems like nothing much has changed here :). I can’t write anything about the workshops as I did not attend it. The organizers were well prepared. All speakers already had access to the speaker’s handbook. The telegram group was useful too.

Most speakers were staying at Park Vitoria Hotel. It is right infornt of Amsterdam Central. 15 mins train ride from the venue and I must tell you its a great hotel to be in.

Speaker’s dinner

The ice breaking speaker dinner was great. Speakers interacted and got along well with each other. I guess they also changed their selected talks to attend talking with other speakers. I want to thank the organizers of Laracon EU for the effort they put into speaker hospitality.

Conference Day 1

Day 1 on 23-Aug-2016 kicked off like half an hour late due to minor technical issues. Taylor Otwell rocked the stage as usual. One thing, I noticed is even a seasoned speaker like Taylor gets a bit nervous before going to stage. So for us rookie speakers it is absolutely normal to be nervous.

Then I attended the talk by Hannes Van De Vreken about IOC Containers. The talk was quite helpful. We took the train together to the venue. Still, I was preparing for my talk that was after lunch.

My turn was next after lunch. Ubuntu wasn’t helping much with the huge display that needed 50 Hz refresh rate. After some googling, it played out well without issues. My talk went pretty smooth and I even got a few questions a the end. I guess I managed my time well.

More pictures from my talk here.

The slides of my talk are below:

Slideshare link

I wrote a small script to pull in the latest tweet with #LaraconEu for the demo which is here.

After that I attended the following talks for the day:

  1. How to avoid database migration hell — which was good
  2. Varnish For PHP Developers — that was a bit of too much code still good
  3. One Box Doesn’t fit all — by Frank which was a different way at looking at scalability, still, it was a great talk.

Conference Day 2

I was more relaxed on day 2, I had no talk to do. Then I focused on getting the best out of the day. Below are the talks I attended:

  1. Please Understand Me by Matthias Noback — Great talk about the tussle between Mangers and Developers
  2. Lucid Architecture By Abed Halawi — Good concepts and well presented
  3. Building Realtime apps NodeJs way By Sriram — He had too many slides so I was lost mid-way :)
  4. Making the most out of MYSQL By Gabi — A great talk, good content and well presented. The experience of the presenter was visible on stage.
  5. The State of content management By Tihomir — Generally a good talk, as I told to him the contents could be condensed better.
  6. Curing the common Loop By Adam Wathan — Amazing talk a good mix of slides and live coding. Collections seems like the lodash of PHP world.

For more description of the above talks it’s best to have a look at the Laracon EU 2016 schedule.

The after party on day 2 was superb too. With live band performing and tech conversations around the atmosphere was electric.

For more photos from the conference do checkout the #LaraconEu tag with photos.

Amazing Experience

Overall, it was an amazing experience. The venue was great. Organizers put a lot of effort to make sure the speakers felt comfortable. I want to thank them. The comments I have received over JoinedIn about my talk have been very helpful, I would really like more ratings and comments :).

I am waiting for the videos like everyone else, I have some talks I missed that I want to watch. I loved being a part of such a vibrant event backed by an amazing community. Cheers!

Originally published at geshan.com.np.