DevConf.US, Boston 2018

After a successful event in India, DevConf was all set for it’s first chapter in US and that was conducted on Aug 17-19, 2018 in Boston. The venue for the conference was decided as Boston University and it was an appropriate venue for such a conference where we could also some student attendance. Given that it was the first ever DevConf in US, the attendee turnout was somewhere between 350 to 400.

Journey:

The way my journey started is worth penning down. Fortunately or unfortunately my flight was scheduled for late night on 14 Aug, which is a day prior to Independence day of India and how can we forget about the excessive check posts in and around Delhi for security reasons. The endless traffic jam on Gurgaon-Delhi Expressway couldn’t have hit me harder that day! I started from my place in Gurgaon way too early considering the evening hour traffic and to be there at the airport well in time but i was stranded in the traffic right opposite Ambience Mall, Gurgaon which is approx. 9km from the Delhi Airport and a 10-15 min drive with moderate traffic. Eventually I could see the clock ticking and traffic not moving an inch, that was the moment when I decided to walk in the middle of the expressway and see till where I can reach in order to get to the Airport before my flight departs. I dragged my bag quite a bit making my way in between the cars on the expressway just to reach a point where traffic was moving and someone could offer me a lift to the Airport. Honestly, I had not taken a lift from a stranger before but that was the need of the hour. One gentleman offered me a lift until a point from where I could get another lift, I did manage to get another lift as well from a taxi driver and reach the Airport finally to catch my flight. That day I gained more faith in humanity and believed that nice people were still around to help and we could trust strangers. Other than that, I also believed that American Tourister does advertise it’s bags nicely, the wheels were a total support that day. So, my trip started with an adventure and I was looking forward to some more in Boston at DevConf.US!

The never ending Traffic Jam on Gurgaon-Delhi Expressway on Aug 14 around 9:00 pm 😉

Stay:

The view from my room in Boston was spectacular.

Spectacular view from my room!

Day 0:

Before the main event, there was CentOS Day being organized a day prior on Thursday(Aug 16) which was attended by some people. You can find more about the talks on the schedule here.

Day 1:

DevConf.US was a three day long conference starting Friday(Aug 17) morning until Sunday evening. The Conference was being conducted at George Sherman Union Building(775 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston) at the Boston University. The Conference venue was very well thought and all the track rooms were closely located. We entered the venue and the Registration desk was right in front at the first floor where we checked in and collected our badges. There was some free coffee as well to charge you up for the day.

Welcome to DevConf!

The event kicked off by a welcome note by Langdon White and Chris Ward. The first for the day was a keynote speech by Andrei Lapets(Director of the Software & Application Innovation Lab, Boston University) where he talked about the different research projects at Boston University. There were 4 different tracks running in parallel on different topics. The best thing about the conference was that all the tracks were being live streamed and recorded. You can checkout all the videos from different tracks from Day 1:

Keynote: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96NTbI08–0

Red Hat and BU Collaboratory: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltvXeolVnVE

Application Developement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYunTMlcbwk

MAchine Learning/ Artificail Intelligence/ Serverless: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O16ST02CO0E

Systems Engineering: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JOLah8P9-o

the only photo I have of Day 1.. that’s Deepak, Swati and I 🙂
The speaker badge photo

Coaching Program:

Marina led the Coaching Program really well where attendees were to reach out to some experienced attendees and learn more. There were also Office hours where the mentors or experts would be available in the Speaker room and anyone could walk to them for any query or advice. Thanks Marina for organizing that and here is our picture together from Day 3.

That’s I and Marina

Day 2:

Day 2 was an engaging day for me as there was ‘Ensuring  Software Quality’ track wherein I also had two of my talks on  schedule. The first interesting talk of the day was by Dan Walsh on ‘State of the Linux Container Technologies‘ and the next one was mine in the QE/Ensuring Software Quality track. My first talk for the day was on ‘Web application Testing with Protractor‘ and you can find the recording here. Any feedback and comments for my talk would be appreciated. My second talk was on ‘Are there enough Learning Opportunities for a QE?‘ which was scheduled post lunch. Unfortunately I don’t see the recording of this one in the full day QE track recording, somehow it’s missed. The day had a good lineup of QE talks.

That’s me delivering my talk on Protractor

Og Michael during his talk on Selenium

Now, comes the time for the Social Event. The Social Evening was supposed to be at the BU Beach but because of the rain forecast, the venue was shifted to the Exhibition hall which was was the open area at the venue itself. The volunteers had taken all the effort to make the place party ready. Along with some food and drinks there were a few games as well including a few hoopla rings as well. I enjoyed that part the most and towards the end I thought I knew how to balance the hoopla ring for a while. The party got over at 10:30 pm and everyone called it a day.

Day 3:

Day 3 had the most exciting keynote of the entire conference which was a conversation between Chris Wright, CTO, Red Hat and Saron Yitbarek where Chris talked about a couple of topics starting from his journey with Open Source to emphasizing on topics like Importance of Diversity. I also attended the last talk of the day in QE track which was titled ‘Cynic – The missing role in an agile team‘ where Deepak talked about the three role approach called Primary, Secondary and Cynic in a project.

Deepak talking about the importance of Cynic role

You can find all the recordings for Day 3 here:

Keynote: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMzf6_tI5wI

User Experience in Open Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQF8gUh6Pmk

Containers and Orchestration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-qeZsvZFq0

Open Source and Process: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFuatRCnAhI

Ensuring Software Quality: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyCU8D5KYek

 

Question at the Pop Quiz which a bunch of people got wrong and were surprised to know the correct answer there..

It was time we all moved for the Closing note in the main hall and bid a good bye to everyone. Not to forget the Pop Quiz that was conducted by Chris and a bunch of goodies to give away to the ones who answered a couple of questions correctly. We did gather for the group photo as well, which is again a ritual at the end of every conference. It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to be a part of the first ever DevConf.US. Kudos to everyone for a successful event!

The group photo at the end of the conference!

Cheers!

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