UPDATE: Just write an article about anything and win an online ticket for Craft Conf 2022. Click here for details!
- Maudience: Dear Reader! Miki likes to write. Miki likes to write a lot. The whole team tried to persuade him to write shorter articles, but Miki couldn't stop doing that. Last time he wrote an article with 42 minutes of reading time. So instead of writing less, he hired me to make sure our readers could get the most out of our articles no matter how much time they had.
So in order to make your life easier, I have created a table content like thingy for you.
- Click here to learn a little bit about Miki's present!
- Click here if you would like to know what Miki and his brother Tomi got for Christmas several years ago!
- If you want to know which were Miki's favorite games back then, then click here!
- Miki was the perfect examplar of impostor syndrome and he is also an introvert so Miki did not attend conferences for 39 years. Click here to learn more about it.
- Miki's first conference was a disappointment. Click here to find out why.
- If you want to know how Miki fell in love with conferences on second sight, just click here!
- Click here if you want to know the short answer to why Miki is attending the Craft Conf 2022!
- If you want to know the long answer to why Miki is attending the Craft Conf 2022, then click here!
- Do you want to have a Google spreadsheet with which you can quickly create your schedule for the conference? Click!
- Are you only interested in the 20% ticket discount? Just click here!
- Do you want to have a free ice cream coupon for the conference? Just click here and claim it from our good old friend Rick!
- Do you like endless loops? Click here!
Who Am I?
I am Miki Szeles from Hungary, Budapest. I am a father, a husband, and a soon-to-be happy dog owner.
Software Engineer in Test (SDET)
I am a software developer with 15 years of work experience, from which 8 also included leading the dev and test team. At the moment, I am working as a Senior Software Engineer in Test using Selenide for E2E automation, Karate DSL for API automation, and Gatling for performance testing.
I am developing software the agile way, but in addition to that, I made my whole life agile.
By introducing short 15min - 3 hours
sprints walks with a retro at the end, my life has changed completely.
No matter what I am doing, I am improving rapidly thanks to the very short feedback cycle.
I believe learning is the most crucial skill of humans. In case we can learn fast, we can become better rapidly in anything we are doing.
Cause of this, I am focusing on improving my memory and reading skills.
You can read more about being an agile human with super learning, super memory, and super thinking superpowers in my article: How You Can Become An Agileish Super Learner AKA How You Can Become A Super Thinker AKA The Proof Of Concept (POC)
That's more than enough about my present, but if you still want to know more, I recommend reading this Hackernoon interview: 'I Open-Sourced My Thinking Process': Meet HackerNoon Writer & Test Automation Engineer Miki Szeles!
My First Contact With Computers
I will never forget the moment when a few weeks before Christmas we were jumping on our parent's bed with my brother Tomi. We accidentally jumped so high we saw a box on top of the wardrobe. We got really excited, so we tried to jump even higher to see what was that. Then we suddenly saw it, and we couldn't believe our eyes.
It was the long-desired Commodore 64.
I do not have to tell you we were so excited we couldn't wait till Christmas, so we begged our parents until we did not get it.
That was the moment when I made first contact with computers.
My First Programming Experience
In the beginning, we were only playing games. I had many favorites like Giana Sisters, Bruce Lee, Pirates, Defender of The Crown, and Ugh Olympics, just to highlight some of them.
It didn't take too much time, and I wanted to create my own games. There was a guy in the town who could program, so I asked him to teach me programming. He gave me 3 Commodore 64 programming books called Hetedhét, so I started to learn BASIC from those books.
I remember I was drawing pixelated graphics in a notebook, trying to figure out how the hell I could display them on the computer. I have to admit I did not really understand the binary system back then, but still, I was able to draw some sprites on the screen.
That is how my software development career started.
I won't bore you with the other details, so let's fast forward to the beginning of 2022.
Why I Did Not Attend Conferences
Despite attending meetups and code retreats several years ago, I have never attended a conference. When my son was born, I even gave up visiting the meetups as I wanted to spend as much time with Levi as I could.
I played with the thought of attending a software development conference, but in the end, I never went for multiple reasons:
- I was an introvert. The thought of being together with hundreds of people whom I do not know scared me like hell.
- My previous company did not support me in any way to attend a conference. Neither with extra free days for the time of the conference nor with conference tickets. I do believe sending your developers to a conference is an investment. It is an investment as the knowledge they get can benefit your company. If you do not support them, then 2 things can happen. a. They will simply not go to the conference. b. They attend the conference in their own time using their own money. If a developer cares about his/her future a little bit, then sooner or later, he/she will ask for the price of the extra knowledge he/she got from the conference. I guess I do not have to explain why it is better to sit down to negotiate the salary in the case in which you supported your developer to get that valuable knowledge. CraftHub, the organizer of the Craft Conf conference, even created an email template that helps you convince your employer to support you in visiting the conference. Just click here to download it!. If I wouldn't have a ticket, I would use the reasons from the email template to convince my employer personally to support me in attending the conference.
- I was the perfect exemplar of the impostor syndrome. I was working on neural code (almost every piece of code is connected to nearly all the others) with outdated technologies. Looking through the job ads just made me feel worthless. Seeing all those long lists of technologies in those ads ensured me that I am one of the world's worst developers despite loving programming since I was 10. I knew I had nothing to do at a conference where great developers from all around the world were gathering together. It might sound funny, but that was my reality not so long ago. Luckily, in the end, I decided to start at another company, and since then, I have been thriving. I can do my daily job pretty well as I am using cool and very effective frameworks like Selenide, Karate DSL, and Gatling. Leaving behind my impostor syndrome, I realized no matter what level I am with programming. I can benefit a lot from visiting conferences. So at the beginning of 2022, I started to look for worthwhile conferences
My First Contact With Conferences AKA Love at First Sight? Nope!
Well, as it might happen, the first one was not the best. It is possible I had too high expectations, but it is also possible it misled me with her kind words.
She told to me we had a great future together but in the end, I realized she was living her life in the past, not looking forward to the future at all.
Despite this, she had many values, but all in all, we weren't a perfect match.
I will always remember her, as she was my first one.
My Second Contact With Conferences AKA Love at Second Sight
Since February, I have been attending the data analysis course at Budapest University of Economics and Technologies (BME) as an external student. It was by accident I got aware of this opportunity.
Our tutor István mentioned a conference which is about artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) including deep learning too, of course.
This conference was the Reinforce AI conference.
I got very excited, but the excitement went away pretty quickly as I realized I only had 3 days of vacation left as I had to book all my other days at the beginning of the year. As AI and machine learning are not (yet) closely related to my current job, I couldn't ask for support from my company.
After looking at the talk topics, I still decided to invest three vacation days in this conference.
By now, I can tell you this was one of the best investments in my life. Without it, I would know almost nothing about the current state of AI, and without visiting the conference, I wouldn't write this article now. More about that later.
Reinforce AI was a 3 days long conference featuring talks of great experts from all around the world. As I later got to know, it was organized by Felhő, Anna, Médea, Károly, Barna, Vanda, Viktória, Anna, Renáta, Fanni, Bianka, Réka, Kata, Barbara, Veronika, Vivien, Marcel, Martin, Emilía, Kristóf, Gergő and László. They are the people behind CraftHub.
CraftHub organizes conferences on various topics. I stole the short descriptions from their site. I hope they won't be mad at me 😊:
- Craft Conf: Craft is an inclusive conference about software craft, giving tools, methods, and practices that can be used in the life of a modern developer or company. This conference serves as a compass for new technologies and trends shared by international experts.
- Stretch Conference: An international platform and community for leaders and managers to share stories and hands-on solutions and explore new trends and ideas to lead, fail, learn and stretch.
- Crunch Conference: A conference for people working as Data Engineers, Data Scientists, or simply interested in how to utilize data to develop their business. No matter the size of the venture or job description, everyone can find exactly what they need.
- Amuse Conference: An international conference and learning platform about user experience, product design, user research, service design, creativity, and more. An event dedicated to UX practitioners, product managers, frontend developers, designers or market researchers of digital products, or anyone who is simply interested in what’s happening on the other side of the screen.
- Reinforce AI Conference: This conference brings together world-leading experts on AI and creates a platform for discourse, innovation, and networking. It provides opportunities for learning and discussing the different fields of AI, such as ethics, production, and the future of artificial intelligence.
- Impact Conference: Impact Conference brings together people who are passionate about building amazing, high-impact products. The perfect conference if you aspire to become a Product Manager, Product Owner, Product Leader, Business Analyst or if you are simply an enthusiast who is eager for knowledge, ideas, and best practices shared by world-renowned experts.
I just read the descriptions of these conferences at the time of writing this article, but I am pretty sure I will do what I can to visit all of them.
Most probably, I will have to take out unpaid holidays, but that seems a fair price in exchange for what I can get from these conferences.
However, most of them are not closely related to my current daily job (being a Software Development Engineer in Test). I believe you can achieve great things if you combine not closely related things.
As I am always looking for these opportunities, I usually find a way to combine them. Thanks to this, my water droplet photographs came to life by combining software development, hardware tinkering, and photography. photo
Turning back to the Reinforce AI conference, I have to tell you this was the most eye-opening event I have ever attended. I got insights about not just the present but also the future of AI.
The first speaker was Richard Boyd, who is the CEO and founder of Tanjo Inc. His talk was the most astounding technical speech I have ever heard, and I am sure it will take some time to listen to another address that can take the first place.
If you would like to know what I have heard, just read my Would You Freak Out If You Could Talk To Dead People? - Miki Szeles's Report on Reinforce AI Conference article.
Many other talks followed Richard's speech on various topics like real-time sentiment analysis, synthetic data, AI singularity, responsible AI, time series analysis with deep learning, interpretable AI, AI ethics, and more.
I took notes during almost all the talks, but I am almost sure I won't have time to write articles from them, so I have uploaded my draft to my GitHub.
All in all, this was the story of how I fell in love with conferences at second sight. Click here to return to tableish contentish!
Why Am I Attending The Craft Conf 2022 Software Development Conference? AKA The Short Answer AKA Cooperation with CraftHub, the organizer of the Craft Conf conference
Three weeks after the conference Anna Dalma Kajtár sent me a message on LinkedIn.
Anna told me they had really loved my article about the Reinforce AI conference and they would like to cooperate with me.
She asked me to write an article before the conference and after the conference too.
After a few rounds of negotiation, we came up with a deal that is beneficial both for CraftHub and myself.
This is the short answer for why I am attending the Craft Con 2022 conference.
Why Am I Attending The Craft Conf 2022 Software Development Conference? - The Long Answer
The first answer is a true story, but that was only the beginning. As soon as I got the offer, I started to think about how I could get the most out of this conference. So let's see why I am attending the Craft Conf in reality.
Spending 2 days with my friends
During the 15 years of my professional career and during my university years, I have met many exceptional professionals. Some of them became my friends.
Unfortunately, life has carried us away, and I am meeting regularly only a very few of them.
This is why I decided to make Craft Conf the place where we will meet each year. Cause of this, I asked for conference tickets from CraftHub instead of money in exchange for my technicalish writing.
It is not easy for me to find time to hang out with my friends, but in case we can not just spend time together, but we can learn a lot in parallel, that really makes this reunion a great opportunity for meeting with my pals. Hopefully, their employer will support them with paid vacation days.
Four of my friends and hopefully my brother Tamás will come with me this time, but I hope they will come next year too and hope other friends will join.
Listen to talks of familiar faces
I have to admit I only know three names from the 70+ speakers.
My life was quite a rollercoaster ride during the last few years, and I couldn't focus on keeping up with the continuously changing software industry.
I improved myself by Udemy courses and reading technical articles but as I was mostly interested in test automation, I did not face the speakers.
Craft Conf is the perfect opportunity to get back on track, so I will definitely listen to Michael Feather's, Dan North's, and Ivett Ördög's talks.
Listen to talks about topics I am most interested in
2019 was the last time when Craft Conf was an offline event. Back then, there were 81 speakers and around 2500 visitors.
Then Covid came, so there was no Craft Conf in 2020, but one year later, CraftHub organized the event online with 84 speakers. More than 1200 software developer was interested in Craft Conf 2021.
To be honest, not all of them were Software Developers, as many Software Designer, Agile Coach, Business Developer, DevOps Engineer, Engineering Manager, Front-end Developer, Product Manager, and Software Architect visited the event too.
I am pretty sure most of the talks will be outstanding, but I still would like to highlight some of the talks:
- Dmitry Razorionov - How AI/ML shapes EPAM into the Adaptive Enterprise (Epam)
- Eric Brewer - Open Source Security: The World Needs Our Help (Berkeley)
- Jessica Kerr - Gamification without the Garbage (Honeycomb)
- Linda Rising - About trees, agility, and me (Independent consultant)
- Marian Hartman - Using Empathy to Make Tests Easy and Code Safe (Dig Deep Roots)
- Meri Williams - 5 Things I Wish I'd Known Sooner About Scaling Teams (Chromerose)
- Rebecca Allen - Making big changes feel small: technical evolution within an organisation (Liveeo)
- Matthew Lavoie - Assumptions on the Road to Success or Failure (NASA)
- Matthew Phili - No (Lab) Jacket Required: Designing Experiments for Learning (Pfizer)
- Mohammad Aboullaite - Move fast Build things… Safely! (Spotify)
Networking with other developers
Well, I am not sure about that. My friends will be there, and I am pretty sure I will see a few familiar faces, but I am still an introvert so we will see.
CraftHub is organizing a networking party on the first day, so most probably, I will give it a try. Or not. I do not know yet.
To ride dodgem with my friends
I fell in love with dodgem when I was a child. Unfortunately, I grew up, and I thought it was awkward to play dodgem as an adult, so I gave up doing that. Luckily I have an eight years old son, Levi, so I can play dodgem again without feeling wrong about that.
The good news is that there will be a dodgem at the conference, and they will borrow a kid who sits beside you to make sure you won't feel awkward in the dodgem.
Ok, I have to admit that would be more awkward, but luckily they are not planning to do that.
Based on my experience, three common things are enough to start a relationship that might end up in a friendship.
Loving software development, being interested in conferences, and having a car accident together are more than enough to start a conversation. Especially as car accidents make people talkative, just don't forget your neck brace at home.
Your Craft Conf Planner
I got a Google spreadsheet from Anna Kajtár in which the complete schedule is included. I made a conference planner with which you can easily create your schedule by simply highlighting the ones you will attend. Click here to access the docu! You just have to create a copy of it, and you can start planning.
20% Craft Conf 2022 Discount
I've almost arrived at the end of this article. I just want to write one last closing section in which I am providing a registration link with a 20% discount on the price. I just have to figure out what to write so that I will use the Pomodorish technique.
I'm a big fan of the Pomodorish productivity technique in which a 5min-15min
smoking coffee drinking session is followed by a 15min to 2 hours long writing/programming period, depending on how long the flow remains.
If my son comes after 15 minutes to play something, then 15 minutes, but if my family is sleeping or I am at my workplace, the flow can remain even for 2 hours.
As I almost finished this article, I will go out now to come up with some witty closing words. Up till then I leave here a video about the Craft Conf 2019 conference:
Believe me! I tried it! I tried it, but I couldn't come up with something funny. I have seen 1 hooded crow, I've walked 2 blocks, smoked 3 coffees, met dame Sophie 4 times, and meditated with my new Muse S for 5 minutes, but nothing came into my mind.
So here is the link. Just click here to register for Craft Conf 2022 with a 20% discount!
Thanks for taking the time to read my article. Before I leave, please let me give the mic to my marketing expert, NoShare.
NoShare: Dear Reader! In case you found this article boring and useless, then please do not share it as we do not like negative marketing.
But in all other cases please share it with your social media friends, so they can they might get inspired to visit the conference.
Miki, NoShare: Thanks! Have a nice day!
- Minnie: Pssst. Miki! Are you still here?
- Miki: Sure. I am always waiting till the end of the movie since Marvel started to put teaser trailers after the cast list.
- Minnie: Me too. I love those teasers. Shouldn't we create our trailer?
- Miki: That is a great idea.
- Minnie: What should it be?
- Miki: There will be a Craft Conf giveaway soon on my Hashnode-powered blog.
- Minnie: Cool. How can the readers get info about the giveaway?
- Miki: The details will be out in a day on my blog, and I will also update this article when I have the link.
- Minnie: Wow. I want a ticket too. How can I participate?
- Miki: You have to write articles, but more on that later.
- Minnie: I love that. Bye for now.
Maudience: Minnie, Miki! The Craft Conf giveaway article is already out. Click here for details!
Miki, Minnie, Maudience: Something good will happen to you today!
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