Today Mailtrust held its first all-day development conference. In my opinion, it was awesome. Not because it was great, but because it wasn’t bad. Like any first-time, there are a ton of things we can do better for future conferences, but the goal of spreading knowledge throughout the development environment was met.
When I first started coding in VB6 on Webmail.us’s corporate website, I never imagined the day I would help organize a conference for all their developers (PS - That is the corporate website when I started found via archive.org. You have to check it out). Then, communicating a new concept was as simple as turning around in your chair or waiting till everyone met up for dinner and drinks after work. With the growth of the company, communication isn’t as easy.
Our goal was to spread knowledge to everyone, and even more specifically the new people. One of the key topics today was on MySQL, a topic some of us can talk about for hours. Too often, we take that knowledge for granted. Not everyone has had as much experience with MySQL, especially hires right out of college. Getting everyone on the same page with certain topics was the goal today. Hopefully screen casts of the talks can help future hires ramp up faster as well.
But, there are always things we can improve upon. Here a list of 5 things that we can do better for next time:
Plan the setup better. Make sure everyones files are on the presentation machine, and have breaks setup so there aren’t lulls between talks.
Don’t rely on the internet. Holiday Inn’s free wifi isn’t geared towards 30 developers.
Don’t eat mexican for lunch. It is delicious, but takes away from the second half of the conference if you know what I mean.
Give every speaker enough time, and push them to fill it but not go over.
Lastly, I would like to figure out how to go more in depth with some of the topics. Maybe have different tracks so people can choose? We might need 30 more developers before this is feasible though :)
Thanks to Lindsey, Matt, and Kevin for making it all happen.