btconf2017

— 20.05.2017

Hi,

three long years after my first #btconf, my second took place in Düsseldorf early this week from 15th to 17th of May 2017.

I arrived with a colleague on Sunday afternoon and with us real ☀️ weather. We checked in, waiting for other friends to arrive and then our target for the Sunday evening was the kickoff event at Sipgate.

Kickoff Event @ Sipgate

I really enjoyed my first Düsseldorf 🍺 and meeting a lot of people from my timeline there in person.

So I discussed with Andreas about his Youtube channel and lightning systems I’m currently interested in.

Furthermore I met Stefan and his friends organizing the @scriptconf in Linz. Stefan I will come there next year and hope you give me a city guide through Linz! 😆

And there were many more cool and interesting people like Sebastian who did again a great job with the opening video for the conference and Lukas who is working on KirbyCMS and who I met last several years at a BarCamp.

All in all it was a great evening and a great feeling seeing so much known faces (again) live and outside of Twitter and grab a 🍺 with them!

After we were kicked out of the venue around 10pm we decided to grab a Kebab near the main station and then going to bed to be prepared for first conference day! Though would have been nice to stay for another hour at the venue, but I can understand the reasons for that…

Conference Monday - Day 1

The first conference day started way too early for me… I woke up around 5am without any chance to sleep again.

So I decided to explore Düsseldorf without any tourists around on sunrise 😴. After running a few miles I was finally awake and I really enjoyed a great sunrise at the Rhine. It was fantastic and I was in the best mood for attending the conference!

Note: My photo collection can be found here.

After walking back to our hotel, grabbing my rucksack and my books I sorted out for the book exchange Marc initiated we walked to the Capitol theatre venue. It started being already pretty hot and it was about getting even hotter over the next day(s)! 😅

Landed at the venue I finally met Christoph who is working for Trivago, a sponsor of the conference. I wrote him last year, after reading his slides about the CSS refactoring they did, and asked him for a Q&A online session with the local webdev people in Saarbrücken which took place at the end of last year. And now I finally met him in real life to thank him for his time. I really enjoyed had a talk and 🍺 with you Christoph! Hope we see us soon again. Maybe in Saarbrücken? 😜

The conference started to kickoff with the opening titles by Sebastian who — as I said — did again a really great job.

The rest of the conf day went by very quickly. The talks were all pretty interesting and good. Of course there are different highlights for anyone of us visitors.

Within one of the many breaks I had the chance to have a chat with Marco Zehe and Christoph Reinartz about #a11y. Unfortunately Marco had to leave at next conference day as he was getting sick. Would have been glad to have a further chat session with you Marco.

My personal three talk highlights of day 1 were:

“Breaking out of the Tetris mind set” by Christian Heilmann

“Hacking the visual norm” by Nadine Bremer

and

“Building powerful relationships by communicating with empathy” by Sharon Steed

After the last talk I met Bastian and the rest of the Kirby CMS crew to get some fresh insights on the Kirby development and I had some chance to give back some feedback to the guys. Really enjoyed their meetup.

At the evening there was free 🍺 and my friends and me decided going out for some lunch. We finally settled down at some 🇮🇹 restaurant — I honestly forgot its name — and had a nice, tasty evening.

At the end of the day when the others decided going back to the Hotel, I decided to take another round through Düsseldorf. Luckily at the end of my route I met Christian and his friend in the same Kebab house I visited on Sunday night 😜. So I paused there and had a really nice chat with them before going also to bed.

Conference Tuesday - Day 2

This time I thankfully slept quite well and woke up around 7am. I took a glimpse at my weather app which was showing me a forecast of somewhat ~ 28°C for Düsseldorf 😳. So I put on the short trousers…

I went to a nice Coffee a few blocks away and walked straight to the Capitol to kickoff the second day with Espen. And he did it very well!

I really enjoyed his talk and had a nice chat with him and his wife in the following break.

Beside of that I really enjoyed

“What we talk about when we talk about web performance” by Patty Toland

and

“Storytelling in JavaScript” by Sarah Drasner.

At the lunch break I went to an ice-cream parlor to take an adequate lunch for the weather situation… It was really, really hot! 🕶

After coming back I had a nice, little chat with Eva about her fantastic sketches, drawings. She is really amazing. You have to check out her work!

At the end of the day I had to say bye-bye to my colleagues as they were leaving for driving home. I stayed for another workshop day in Düsseldorf.

After going back to the hotel and resting a bit, I went out for another nightly walk through the city. But I went back to the hotel around 11pm as I was behind sleep and had an exhausting workshop day with Sarah ahead the next day.

Workshop Day

The day started with checkout. After that I was taking my way to the Trivago HQ where the workshop took place.

The workshop Sarah gave was about getting most out of SVGs, animating them or using them for data visualizations. In parallel Nadieh’s workshop took place going more into detail in the data visualization part.

Sarah’s workshop was fully booked and she was going through a lot of different topics as she had quite a lot material to potentially fill a 23 days workshop. But nonetheless it was quite nice to get some insights and playing around with different methods. By the way it was my first time I really tried drawing with SVG on my own by writing SVG code directly.

Unfortunately Sarah had to leave sharp around 5pm to take her flight to the next conference, so we had to rush a bit through the material relatively fast. But as I said, the workshop was helpful by providing again a broader picture when and how to use SVG the correct way.

Thanks Sarah for the workshop and the 1-1 help you provided!

Since I was at Trivago anyway for the workshop I also met Christoph again. But unfortunately he had some meetings this day and I was quite exhausted. So I didn’t want to stay too long as I had a 3h car drive situation ahead.

So #btconf started and ended in car driving for me. I was really mentally exhausted so I was really happy arriving save at home around 9:30pm.

Special thanks

A special thanks has to be made to Marc who is organizing this conference series for quite some time. I like his instinct for good talk compositions: neither too technical nor too generally spoken, always something in between and a good mix! But more than that I like the vibe and the atmosphere of the conference. It always feels like a family party and I really like that personal moment. Marc is not this kind of organizer doing everything in background and not showing up during the conf. He is always present, talking to everybody. Even when (nearly) everything is over he is around. I really like this ambitious type of person Marc is. Please stay like that and go on organizing this conference. Was not the last time I was attending… for sure!

And then there is Tobi. This crazy guy acting as a DJ two days like being on dope! His work and his appearance are a unique feature of this conference and without him the conference would not be the same. Keep on like this Tobi. You are great!

And everybody still reading this blogpost: Please, please support Tobi and make him a rockstar as he truly deserves it! 😜

Over and out,

Andi

PS: I save the best #btconf moments on twitter.