SmartNinja: key takeaways from WeAreDevelopers congress

SmartNinja team attended We are developers congress in Vienna where we got to spend 3 productive, fun and educational days together. Since members of our team come from different backgrounds and do not share specific interests, we managed to listen to a great number of talks. You can read key takeaways that stayed with us after the congress.

Steve Wozniak opened the congress

Jobs, jobs everywhere, …

A couple of years ago, all we heard were predictions how big of a developers shortage will stumble upon us in 2020. As we are approaching this year it gets clearer every day that predictions were correct. One of the main takeaways from the We are developers congress is that there are more things that need to be developed than there are developers.

Since the workload of each developer rises from day to day, demands for efficient work strategies and ways to cope with stress are increasing as well. So, psychological and strategy oriented talks were amongst the most visited. We witnessed standing ovations after Dennis Traub shared his personal story that didn’t contain any tips on technology but was primarily a roadmap how to deal with depression.

3 busy days of meeting interesting tech people

It is clear that there is one thing companies must understand. Developers are not machines and even though the workload is bigger from day to day, longer term winners will be employers who will work on developing the full potential of their team. Focusing on life-work balance and employees well being is a must.

It looks like technical knowledge had its moment, now it’s time to make room for soft skills and add a “people factor” to technology.

AI and AR on first track…

Even though tech world seems to be focused on people lately, technology itself is not on pause. Quite the contrary, different areas of technology are developing very fast.

Artificial intelligence is slowly changing the way we work and communicate with one another. Sooner or later we will not be able to distinguish between a meeting organized by a human secretary or machine. And in no time our very own personal assistant (machine) will help us lead more efficient life — it will calculate which flight is best for us and what seat should we seat in so that our productivity will not drop (based on time, weather, brightness, our habits, …).

Future is bright for creative people as it seems more and more dull jobs will be handled by AI.

On another side, AR (augmented reality) is taking its game to a new level.

Facebook is expanding the use of AR in the Camera for Facebook as Elise Xu explained. Shout out to all the marketing people: make sure to catch the talk when it will be published on Youtube (link) and prepare new strategies based on unlimited options AR capabilities will bring.

Closing speech by Joel Spolsky

Developers opinions above management

We were all used to the management of the company dictating which technologies will be used by their development team, but as Jonas Jacobi from IBM mentioned, tides are changing. There is an interesting shift happening. More and more companies rely on developer team’s experience and let them make decisions on setting up environment, choosing language and tech stack, etc. After all, they are the ones that will be building a product.

If you are a remote team, try to spent some fun time together

Since SmartNinja is a fully remote team the most valuable takeaway is the fact that even though we were busy listening to different lectures all day long, spending some good time together strengthened our relationships. We work great as a remote team, but now we’ll do it even better!

Happy SmartNinjaHQ team :)
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