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9. 8. 2023

6 min read

WeAreDevelopers Conference 2023: Highlights Handpicked by Sudoers

We couldn't miss the opportunity to attend the WeAreDevelopers World Congress, one of Europe's biggest IT events! In this short and sweet blog, we've handpicked the highlights that our colleagues couldn't wait to share with you.

Silvia Majernikova

Social Media Marketing Manager

WeAreDevelopers Conference 2023 taking place at Exhibition hall Messe Berlin

WeAreDevelopers Conference 2023

Let's introduce WeAreDevelopers World Congress before diving into the juicy part. Picture this: in the heart of Berlin, one of Europe's biggest tech hubs, where more than 300 speakers gathered to share their wealth of knowledge and experience. Names like Dan Abramov (software engineer at Meta), Brenda Romero (award-winning game designer), Prashanth Chandrasekar (CEO of Stack Overflow), and countless other brilliant minds gracing the stage! Besides presentations, you can join insightful hands-on workshops and level up your skills in the most relevant tech topics of today's tech world.

And so what do our team members think of this year’s conference?

AI as a hot technology for this decade - Erik (software engineer)

As expected AI emerged as a highly trending topic at the conference, with a significant number of dedicated talks. But the one that resonated with me was Joel Spolsky's closing keynote (Joel is a founder of Stack Overflow, Trello, Glitch, and HASH) that highlighted AI as a trending technology for this decade.

The conference featured numerous interesting talks, although some only scratched the surface or were too general. I really enjoyed John Romero's Doom talk, Misko Hevery's Qwik talk on the main stage, and Georgii Asafev's talk on "Swapping low latency data storage under high load" hosted on the microstage, which created a great atmosphere despite a smaller audience.

Dan Abramov, software engineer at Meta, is speaking at WeAreDevelopers 2023

My learnings:

  • It's best to hunt for merchandise early to secure the items you want.

  • Despite a dislike for TypeScript, its suitability depends on individual preferences and team requirements.

Zoho Creator workshop left a lasting impression on me - Daniela (product designer)

Even for me as a Product Designer & Low/No-code Developer, the sessions were packed with valuable insights that inspired and motivated me to push my skills to new heights!

I would highlight the workshops focused on Low-code, where I had the opportunity to explore the powerful and comprehensive Zoho Creator tool. It left a lasting impression on me, and I'll definitely consider using it in my future product development.

Unsurprisingly, AI played a major role throughout the conference - even the biggest names in the industry referred to the upcoming era as the Generative AI era. The hands-on experience of building an AI product was also brought by a workshop from TinyMCE, which inspired us towards new directions and showed that prompt engineering is an iterative path.

The conference was not just about new technologies, it was also about stories, life journeys, and the importance of well-being.

Most information can be gathered backstage - Erik (software engineer)

Yes, AI seems to be the main dish now, which might be a good and a bad thing.

On the bright side, more people in the industry mean more original ideas and products. Contrary to the crypto hype, it seems easier to find actual use cases for AI in almost all industries.

On the less bright side, it seems like everyone wants AI in their product, and I think sometimes it's without added value. It might very well happen that the AI will not be able to fulfill the expectations of this broad audience in a short period. This might result in the decline of the AI's attention. It would be a shame and hopefully it won't happen. Fingers crossed!

I also noticed that quantum computers improved much quicker than I thought, which might be a game-changer in the upcoming decade.

I quite enjoyed Sir Tim Berners-Lee's talk that kickstarted the WeAreDevelopers conference with the idea of the future of the web that builds on top of decentralization and control over personal data without necessarily consuming the energy equivalent of a country like Holland (cough blockchain). He presented the SOLID specification that might get traction in the future. Let’s hope it will.

My learnings:

  • When networking, asking about nationality might be useful before spending 30 minutes speaking English with somebody from the same country you live in.

  • Choosing talks based on title and description seems to be a bad strategy, rather focus on the speaker.

  • Most information can be gathered backstage (after the talk, or during the coffee break).

I think the most significant thing a conference like this can offer is new ideas and trends. It can sometimes be challenging to find such talks, but when you do, the idea might be inspiring to the entire industry. Overall I found the WeAreDevelopers conference to be a great space for this and networking of course.

AI, accessibility and decentralization were this year’s main topics - Kristián (software engineer)

Love it or hate it, AI dominated the whole event. And from my observation, accessibility and decentralization were also some of the main topics of the event.

One of the talks that caught my attention was Reducing the carbon footprint of your website” presented by Ines Akrap. She introduced the topic of “greener” websites, which got me hooked on this topic.

Ines Akrap, web performance engineer, is talking about sustainable web design

My learnings:

  • Seeing that many people share the same interests encourages you to network. Everyone is eager to talk, share their interests, knowledge and connect.

  • You don’t have to bring extra clothes for the second day. The event sponsors get you covered! Merch is everywhere!

  • Often the most insightful talks may be on the smaller stages rather than on the bigger ones.

To summarize it, there is something new for everyone at "WeAreDevelopers", regardless of whether you are a Front-end or Back-end developer, junior or senior.

Keep an eye out for the Solid project Sir Tim Berners-Lee presented - Tomáš (software engineer)

AI, Quantum computing, Blockchain, and WebAssembly were the hottest names at WeAreDevelopers 2023. Thankfully, the talks were not about people selling their products. Instead, they were about interesting innovations in approaches to AI, quantum computers for everyone, and the ease of deploying a webpage in any language that supports Wasm.

Imagine a blockchain use-case that uses only all the good parts, without all the jargon that usually gets in the way. That was Sir Tim Berners-Lee's talk and it got my attention. Why? He took the idea of blockchain decentralization and built a specification that looks very promising. The Solid project he presented is something we should all keep an eye out for.

The second talk I would like to highlight was StackOverflow's new AI direction, presented by their CEO Prashanth Chandrasekar. It was a fascinating feeling to correctly predict the future of StackOverflow, just a few minutes before it was presented live on stage. With the huge amount of community-built data they possess, it will be difficult not to build something very useful for developers.

My learnings:

  • Choose the talks wisely. Check the speaker's background, previous experience on LinkedIn, etc. rather than the talk's name or description. Also, the speakers were noticeably better on the main stage.

  • If you want free merch, talk to people. Sometimes, all you need to do to secure that great-looking t-shirt or socks is listen. You might also be positively surprised by their product like we were by DataDog.

The WeAreDevelopers World Congress 2023 was a tech-filled adventure, featuring AI as the decade's trendsetter and discussions on accessibility and decentralization. With inspiring talks and hands-on workshops, we gained valuable insights to shape technology's future.

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