Cloud Developer Days conference was devoted to the development of cloud applications and was held in Krakow at the end of May. We asked Yegor Dovganich about his participation in the conference and general impressions upon his return.
Intetics: Yegor, how did you get to the conference?
Yegor: Very easy: Nadia Shyshko, our training manager, regularly sends emails with upcoming events that may be interesting to employees. In one of these lists, I saw this conference, and I got interested in the topic of cloud developing and one of the AWS directions.
Coincidentally, after participating in the Center of Excellence in the area of Cloud Development, I had a presentation that I could try to perform with. I used to participate as a speaker in Ukrainian conferences, but these were Russian speaking presentations. Speech in English was a challenge for me, and I wanted to take it. I decided to give it a try: I filled out a special form, attached already existing published article on CodeProject (the organizers asked for links to published materials in order to get to know a candidate better), set the level of difficulty, and sent it to the organizers. It all took about five minutes.
Intetics: And when did the organizers answer you?
Yegor: It was about the end of February. Actually, it took about three months from the moment of submitting applications until the announcement of the results, and when I received a letter from the organizers, I didn’t immediately remember where it came from.
The organizers asked if I could participate as a speaker. I agreed, and then we started to discuss organizational details.
Intetics: So, you had enough time to prepare?
Yegor: Yes, almost three months. That was quite enough. I didn’t have to choose between working on a project and preparing for the conference — I did both in a relaxed way. I even managed to hold a test performance in the Kharkiv office.
Speakers who perform on a regular basis said that they usually prepare three or four presentations for a year and send the ready-made presentation in the application form. I, in contrast, began to prepare the presentation only after confirmation of my participation.
Intetics: What was your presentation about?
Yegor: The topic of my speech was: AWS Analyze Big Data with Terraform. This is about building infrastructure on AWS through code which is a description of all your hardware using code. It can be done via different IaC tools such as Terraform. Terraform also allows using the multi-cloud approach, when you can have several vendors in the architecture, such as Microsoft Azure, AWS, Google Cloud, etc.
Intetics: How would you rate your level of performance compared to other speakers?
Yegor: I think I had an interesting presentation and report topic. Some lectures had a high difficulty level – and sometimes there were such details, which frankly were boring. I tried to make the session as interactive as possible.
On the first day of the conference, I listened to other speakers and realized that the presentation I was planning to perform with needed to be redone. Reports, in which there were a screen sharing and a demonstration of how the code compiles were perceived much better. Therefore, I also added an interactive part to my presentation. In this part, I showed how my code works (although, I had to fix it since it suddenly stopped working), updated everything on GitHub, and showed exactly what I did and how. Despite the fact that I changed the presentation literally a couple of hours before the speech, in general, I was pleased with the result.
The only thing I am not very satisfied with is my English. There is always room for improvement. You come up with one thing, you learn vocabulary, you try to memorize it – but in the end it all turns into anxiety, and on the stage, you say completely different things. In my subjective opinion, the level of English in post-Soviet countries like the Czech Republic and Serbia is much higher than ours. Therefore, I decided for myself that if I plan on doing something similar, I need to work on my English skills.
Intetics: How did you like the organization of the conference?
Yegor: The organization was top of the line. The conference was held at EXPO Kraków – this is a huge exhibition center, and CloudDD took up about half of the entire space. The location is very cool – this is a new high-tech building. There were well-equipped rooms for various laboratory work, each room had a full wall window. Consequently, there was a lot of sunlight. If it was necessary to change the format of the room and increase its capacity – the walls between the rooms could be shifted and space can be increased. Everything was equipped with monitors: agenda of the conference in the central hall, information about the speakers, who currently were on the stages, in each hall.
The sound quality was good, the equipment was handy, there were no difficulties with connecting a laptop, there was also a laser pointer. Usually, all these details are taken for granted. But not all conferences have it. All this confirmed the high level of the event.
It was my first time as a speaker at such a topnotch event. I lived in a hotel with other speakers and participants. We had a transfer to the conference, that was organized especially for us. And we had one chat with all the speakers and organizers. It was very convenient. For instance, if you felt bored in the evening, then the organizers invited you for a walk or dinner. In fact, they created a community for foreigners. In the beginning, organizers were taking care of our leisure, but then participants themselves started to initiate meetings and walks.
Intetics: How did you like Krakow? Have you been to the Intetics office there?
Yegor: I was in Krakow for the second time. Very clean European city. I visited the office for half an hour – we got acquainted with the team and talked for a bit. I also met a colleague from my project, Alexey Karlyuchenko, he lives there but works mostly remotely. I liked the office. It’s cozy and nice: a few rooms for developers, a nice atmosphere. The office is located in the very center of the city on the first floor of a new building, the rest of which is occupied by the hotel.