I had the honor to open the GeeCON Prague conference with a short keynote. I spent several months thinking about appropriate topics as I wanted to express the reasons and motivation why we have partnered with GeeCON team and cooperated to make this happen. Now that the conference is over and we all feel positive about it, my colleagues asked me to share the keynote slides with them. I feel that the slides are not very comprehensive on their own, so I am writing this short post, trying to explain what was on my mind and what message I tried to give.
Two years ago, when we started to look around to search for interesting groups, projects and events within the developer community to support and work with, we have realized that there is no conference for Java developers in the Czech Republic and there wasn’t one for at least 8 years. The last such event were probably the Java Days organized by Sun in 2006. Anyway, we set out to Krakow with the simple mission, bring GeeCON to the Czech Republic in two years. Mission accomplished. It was fun and a learning experience, I met lots of great people and I am simply happy that I have the opportunity to work with them. So let’s dig into the keynote…
GeeCON in Prague
We met for two days in Prague, with 42 speakers givin talks in 3/4 parallel tracks, more than a dozen of partners and almost 500 participants. Two days packed with information about Java, JVM and related tools and technologies.
In 2013, we started to look around for events, communities and organizations to cooperate. Cooperation with the community is important for any public company and in our case, it is about several things. First of all, any kind of such cooperation is giving you the much needed perspective on yourself. It is also giving you the opportunity to give something back and also to bring something new to your work. For us, it is also about presenting Y Soft and showing what we are doing to the public. When we started in 2013, we realized that there is no conference for serious Java developers and we set on a mission to bring one to the Czech Republic. How this came to this end is perhaps a topic for another post :-).
And so we were there and I used this opportunity to think out loud about how developer community could and perhaps should work.
Have you ever wondered why some communities work and some don’t? Well the key concepts are, in my opinion, contribution and sense of ownership. You probably think that this is just too obvious and trivial thought, so let’s elaborate.
One of the key traits in Silicon Valley is the notion of Paying it forward. This means that everybody is trying to help others without expecting to get immediate return. Help is seen as a long term investment – you do something for somebody now and somebody else will help you when you need it. The most fascinating part of this is, that this really work and not only in the Valley.
When you create something, you own it, but at some point, you need to let it go and open this, so others can contribute. And whenever you do this, you are transcending yourself to your work and letting others to share in your ownership alike.
All contributions do count – no matter how big or small they are. You can do something as small as attending a meetup or joining in a public discussion.
Y Soft is a proud contributor and we proudly share the responsibility for the state of the developer community here in the Czech Republic. We are also proud contributor to GeeCON, being a Platinum Partner in 2013 and 2014. We are having a plethora of other projects, such as Y Soft Technology Hour.
I would like you to think about your contribution. It does not matter whether you do something small or big. But it makes sense to be serious about it, because we all share the responsibility for the developer community in the Czech Republic.
The complete slides to my keynote are available at slideshare.net.