Impressions of DevFest Siberia

DevFest Siberia was a great experience. Let’s summarize some great memories.

Let’s start from our impressions of Russia. Our stereotypical thinking has changed totally — it is a myth that Russians drink a lot of vodka! We’ve spent 3 weeks in Russia and hasn’t seen anyone drinking vodka at all. People has been drinking beer or wine instead. It also surprised us how tasty this beer was. Honestly, they have really good beers in Russia.

Beer was great in Novosibirsk

Our impressions about Devfest Syberia Conference were very positive as well. It was located perfectly: Akademgorodok is called Siberian Silicon Valley. It serves both as an university and as a location for different innovative companies. It looks modern and innovative, both inside and outside.

Akademgorodok - Siberian Silicon Valley

On the photo you can see windows placed in the floor. Yes, you can go there and stand on them. First it is pretty weird feeling, you feel like you’re going to fall, but then it becomes really funny to watch people walking on the bottom.

Look down from glass floor

We love the vibe of the conference. Atmosphere was amazing! Even before speeches have started, people have been already having fun. There was a lot of attractions like speaking robot, VR games or Android gingerbreads.

Nice conversation with robot
VR games open all the time for everyone
Android gingerbreads
JetBrains yoyo

People were also playing Blacklight — mysterious hacking game made for this conference. It was including not only puzzles on the website, but also actual puzzles that had to be solved at the conference. Might sound like a small thing but it included lock picking, robot arm, network sniffing with Wireshark, Tensorflow programming, and a lot of fun.

People playing Blacklight

We were really inspired by the speeches. We enjoyed different styles of them — from funny histories of pixels by Martin Splitt to inspiring and reflecting presentation by Natalia Neverova. She showed the state of art deep learning algorithms and how incredibly they have evolved in last years.

It doesn’t matter if you were looking for inspiration or for deepening your knowledge, you could always find something for you. You could learn from scratch about Go execution tracer on Dave Cheney talk, or you could deepen your knowledge about Android Support Library thanks to Marcelo Quinta and his great talk in which he dived deeply into this subject.

Whole conference was a great experience. My mental image of Siberia changed from some mysterious and dangerous space into close and funny place that was filled with enjoyable experiences. I will definitely go there again next year.

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