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Techorama 2024: An Attendee's Perspective

Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the greatest tech show on Earth! Techorama 2024 rolled into town, transforming the Kinepolis in Antwerp into a spectacular funfair extravaganza.

As you entered the Techorama venue, you were greeted by the sights and sounds of a bustling circus, with vibrant colors, twinkling lights, and the aroma of an unlimited supply of donuts in the air. So grab some cotton candy, take a spin on the Ferris wheel of knowledge, and get ready for a wild ride through what Techorama 2024 had to offer!

The event

This year’s theme was funfair, and having never attended a conference before, I had no idea what to expect. But let me tell you: it was certainly not this!

With free drinks and food everywhere, you were unlikely to starve or dehydrate. This was very important because you needed the energy for all the networking and knowledge sharing awaiting you. Not only that, but the floor was filled with acrobats entertaining the crowd. Oh, and did I mention the free carnival rides?

The colleagues

Every year, Codit has a booth. This time we had a VR flying sim, which was very popular! The prize for the two winners was a pair of indoor skydiving tickets!

Codit’s own Steven de Lausnay spoke at the conference. His talk was about Azure landing zones, and what he’s learned from working on them over the past year. Having never worked on Azure landing zones myself, I learned a lot.

The talks

Our purpose of attending the conference was not a 48-hour marathon of free carnival rides: we had to work too! Attending as many sessions as possible was very tiring, but as a junior, it was also extremely helpful for the long road ahead of us.

As my colleagues have written about the technical talks from this year in this blog post, I will focus on the motivational talks. These talks do not attract big crowds (software developers, am I right?) but having struggled with routine, long commutes, and deadline pressure before, I thought they were very inspiring and helpful!

Jason Alba – tips on becoming a better communicator

Jason Alba is a recognized figure in the realm of professional development, particularly known for his course on Becoming a Better Communicator. This course, available on Pluralsight, is designed to help individuals enhance their communication skills, which are often cited as some of the most crucial soft skills in any professional setting.

In his course, Jason Alba emphasizes the importance of effective communication and offers strategies to become a more confident communicator. He covers various aspects of communication, from understanding what makes a great communicator to recognizing common pitfalls that lead to miscommunication. The talk was structured to provide practical tactics that can significantly impact your communication abilities.

He is also the founder of and authored 3 books. You can find the course, the basis of this talk, through his Pluralsight profile!

Arthur Doler – How to not strangle your coworkers

Developers tend to be quite stubborn, and it’s easy to get carried away, so attending this talk was an easy choice. Not only was Arthur Doler funny and engaging, but he also spoke about the most interesting topic, in my opinion.

The main points discussed were strategies for collaboration, managing confrontational styles, and using conflict as a progress tool. The whole hour was very enlightening, but he made it very clear that you could summarize it in 2 words: Psychological Safety.

Psychological safety refers to feeling safe to take interpersonal risks, express opinions, speak up, and surface concerns without fear of negative repercussions or pressure to sugarcoat bad news. It also nurtures an environment where people can share creative ideas without personal judgment or fear of stepping on toes. Overall, it should lead to better decisions and overall better performance, and therefore contributes to employee retention.

Now, how can you apply this to your own team? I’ll give you a quick summary.

  1. Open Communication: Encourage open dialogue, active listening, and respectful feedback.
  2. Leadership Role: Leaders play a critical role in modeling vulnerability, admitting mistakes, and creating a safe space.
  3. Team Norms: Establish norms that promote psychological safety, where everyone feels valued and heard.
  4. Encourage Risk-Taking: Celebrate learning from failures rather than punishing them.
  5. Build trust: Trust is foundational for psychological safety.

If you would like to learn more, considering watching his talk on YouTube!

As I said before, this was my favorite talk, so thanks, Arthur! I will take this information with me throughout my career.

The people

While attending this conference, one thing dawned on me. Even though we attend these conferences for knowledge sharing, the people we meet who inspire and motivate us are arguably even more important than the knowledge we obtain.

Arriving back home after 3 tightly packed days, I did not feel tired. I felt fully prepared and motivated for my current project in the upcoming months.

In short, Techorama 2024 was mind-blowing. I want to thank everyone who spoke at this event, your dedication did not go unnoticed! Thanks to Codit for enabling my trip there,


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