Saturday 4th of March, 2023. It was finally time to attend a conference I was really looking forward to. The speaker line-up was promising, with the amazing Scott Hanselman closing the show. On top of that, a fantastic venue and a full room completed that fantastic experience organized by Living IT.
Regarding the sessions, I loved all of them, for different reasons, let’s take them one by one.
Roy Osherove – The good, bad and beautiful of writing blockchain-based smart contracts.
NFT, Blockchain and all these modern words appear more and more often on my twitter-timeline but to be honest, I have not given them a try yet. Roy explained how he created Legato to tackle the big issue of artists having to climb a mountain in order to gain profits from their music. (Speaking of which, Roy creates AMAZING music, you have to check it out).
What I kept from this session is what I can do with the blockchain, what kind of applications I can build (some examples in the image above) and why I should care. Very interesting session, great speaker, valuable insights!
Nyari Samushonga – Running to Stand Still
This one gave me the chills. Being the community-lover I am, I was deeply moved by Nyari’s session. Nyari Samushonga is the CEO of WeThinkCode a tech academy from South Africa. Nyari explained how most people in South Africa fail to reach college and how WeThinkCode gives them better chances of entering the tech industry by providing them education, mentorship and more.
Nyari explained why waiting is important and why rushing is a bad move and how letting things take their time unlocks precious benefits.
Linus Kvarnhammar – Hacked on National Television
This one was of those I was really excited to attend. I have watched the Swedish series Hacked, where Linus alongside with Jinny, David and Jesper break into “safe” and “protected” networks, PCs and other digital environments.
Cybersecurity is one of my passions and I was delighted to see how a professional pen tester approaches their target. Very interesting and fun session, indeed!
Dylan Beattie – From Hot Metal to HTML: The story of typography
I did not know what to expect from that session and to be honest, I was a bit unsure how this would be relevant to a tech conference. And how wrong I was…
Dylan is a fantastic performer. I have never seen another session where the speaker delivers unstoppably for the whole duration of the session. Extremely well prepared, Dylan knew his whole session by heart and it was full of interesting facts and useful learnings.
I would never have imagined how much of the old inventions (such as typography) still exist in one way or another in the ways computer handle typing nowadays. This session really stood out due to the amount of information it offered! Kudos Dylan, legendary performance!
Pelonomi Moiloa – Protecting machines from us: Lessons from the majority world
Responsible AI, scary scenes from the future and how it all (still) depends on humans. This was the subject of Pelonomi’s session. I appreciated how Pelonomi went into details to explain how AI-models are trained and how feeding a model bad data, will create a bad model.
Most of the learnings of this session were not completely new to me but it is always nice to confirm one’s ideas. Also I loved the local references (such as the one in the image above).
Scott Hanselman – Mentorship vs Sponsorship – Systems thinking and stories
Undeniably, this was the session everyone was waiting for, me included. Scott is a legend and I took my place on the front row as early as I could. I never imagined that Scott would be so fun to watch; this man has a fantastic sense of humor.
However, behind the jokes, Scott delivered some amazing learnings. Demolishing the hustle culture Scott explained how peace of mind is important and a requirement for good things to happen. He also spoke about inclusion and how it differs from diversity.
Most importantly, Scott talked about how sponsoring takes one further than just mentoring. Mentoring means offering advice, while Sponsoring means offering opportunities. It might sound trivial but I never made the connection before.
I enjoyed Scott’s session a lot and feel blessed for having the opportunity to watch him live. I hope it happens again in the future!