WeAreDevelopers 2019 – Day 1

WeAreDevelopers 2019 – Day 1

Berlin here we go!

It was pretty cool going on a trip together to learn new and exciting stuff. But we started with a bit of panic mode, due to the weather forecast showing slightly warm 35 degrees Celsius when we arrived in Berlin on Wednesday – the day before We Are Developers World Congress 2019 started.

It’s getting hot in here…

We arrived, we sweat, it was hot like hell. One part of us took an Uber to Berlin Mitte, the other part (the environmental conscious part) took the bus to Berlin Hauptbahnhof. Well, that was a pretty bad idea. The bus was full to the brink and we stood in traffic for a good long while. But we finally arrived at Berlin Hauptbahnhof and stowed our luggage there to get off for a little sightseeing. While one part of the Noodles stayed at a Biergarten in the shadow of a pretty old chestnut tree, the others made their way to Reichstag, Potsdamer Platz and through the Tiergarten.

Day #1 – Where’s the water?

Day 1 of the We Are Developers World Congress 2019 started off with a bit of a let-down. No free water or coffee? Paying over 3 Euros for a small bottle of water on a day with over 30 degrees Celsius not only sounds like a pretty bad idea, it certainly blew up into the faces of the WAD-team.

Interesting topics, mediocre location and a storm

The location proved to be not that suited since the Berlin City Cube kind of has two separate buildings and the stages were distributed between those two buildings. This resulted in a lot of travel time between different talks and on average we went around 15.000 steps that day.

We split up into smaller groups to get to most of the talks. “Scaling autonomy in a fintech unicorn – engineering lessons learned” by Alvar Lumberg from Transferwise lead into the topics which should be repeated multiple times during different talks: Agile, Autonomous and Scaling Teams.

Many of the talks, keynotes and panel discussions revolved around the challenges corporations face in regards to digitalization, scaling teams and (often AI supported) automation. The words “empowerment of teams”, “corporate culture”, “work life balance” were mentioned often and by quite a few of different people during the two days.

The ethical responsibilities of developers got center stage in Joel Spolsky’s talk “Building World Class companies”. He pointed out that in a lot of cases “the words written by developers are probably more important than the words written by the government”. To put this into perspective: If we – as developers – write a line of code that causes a certain platform to function (be it autonomous driving, the GPS system or the healthcare system) we better make sure we’re aware of the responsibility that lies within that line of code. People for years to come will work with and build upon the code of today.

On the first day, there was a bit of a mishap by the organizers, as a storm which was known to come at some point during the day, led to the food trucks, which were totally swamped by people, being transferred into an inner exhibition hall. “Water” and “food” somehow became a meme with even Joel Spolsky (CEO of Stackoverflow) talking about the topic of water supply during his talk.

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