Do people go to conferences to get knowledge? Umm...no!
Reflecting on DevGAMM Vilnius
Back in pre-corona times, there was common knowledge that if you want to do business at Casual Connect Amsterdam, you’d better book your meetings for the first part of the first day since many folks would be just stoned for the rest of the time.
Something very similar happened in Vilnius during DevGAMM a few weeks ago. It was a beautiful sunny week, many people visited the city for the first time, then there was a great party plus a series of after parties with conference guests ending up helping to close local pubs at 4 AM.
I believe, it is a good thing, a beautiful thing. People had a wonderful time, over spammed their Instagram feeds with photos and selfies and will totally return next year. But it was a little empty at the DevGAMM talks on the second day and it was harder to meet people.
I feel we all can admit by now: conferences are usually a tool for people to travel on a company budget with a long tail of optional agenda:
find a job
In the audio, however, we focus on the knowledge part of DevGAMM and conferences in general.
Can modern developer conferences serve as a place for junior talent to get knowledge? Lera and I go through different formats and think aloud about the best ways to convey knowledge and reflect on how we’re facilitating knowledge sharing at Gamedev Camp.
In the audio, we focus only on the junior talent but truth is, it is the mid and senior talent who can afford to go to developer conferences that often cost 400 EUR and more to attend (yeah, travel and accommodation cost too).
Can they expect to get knowledge?
Here’s the story. Somehow I got invited to an academic gamedev conference a while ago. There were scholars explaining their research papers in a conceivable way. Each talk started with the scholar declaring their academic achievements and then it was I introducing myself as a regular human who didn’t know how he was invited.
I learned a lot at that event. Like that during the talks everyone was in the room listening, not networking. Mad world.
How to make a conference for senior technical professionals
Context to why I chose this cover and an alternative cover picture