More than just a conference
As a last hurrah of EDC, there was a presentation with some of the different workshops. At the very end, before people headed for their flights back home, there was a summary session on-stage with a few select participants.
“One thing that sums it up for me is that I had a really good time. I liked the keynotes and the workshops were good but what I enjoyed the most was the feeling of being part of a community,” Magrete Torland, Sector Manager of Software Innovation, said.
“I also get to meet people across locations and organizations in person, which makes it much easier to reach out to them afterwards. It’s hard to put a value on that but I think it’s very important.”
Per Olav Eide Svendsen came from Petech Johan Sverdrup and was very pleased with the kind of bridge building that EDC enabled.
“I really liked EDC but I’d hesitate to call it a conference, because it’s much more than that. I really like the concept of learning while networking. Next year I hope there will be more of us from outside SI, because we need to build more bridges between the strange silos we live in."
Per Olav Eide Svendsen
(Photo: Torstein Lund Eik)
A great yearly meeting
You can ask managers and organizers what they thought of Equinor Developer Conference, but we’re out to get the real down-low – straight from the developer’s mouth. So, armed with a camera, a pen and some paper we hit the floor to find out what the developers thought.
One of the first people we met was Margaux Ledieu, a recent hire to Software Innovation in Stavanger. While she thought there were some talks she couldn’t relate to directly, it still felt like it would be useful in the future.
“Getting to meet so many people was definitely a highlight. I meet a lot of them at work but it’s different to see them in an informal context and get to know them better."
She had signed up for a variety of workshops and said the mini-workshop in 3D printing was something she especially enjoyed.
“It was a good introduction to the topic and we even got to create and print something! Overall, EDC has been great content and great people from a great organization,” she smiled.
“But for new people I think it’s a little hard to mingle and some ice-breakers would be nice. I also think that 2-days workshops are a little long and would perhaps consider shorter workshops,” Margaux added.
(Photo: Torstein Lund Eik)
Worth the expense
While we were wandering around the conference floor we met Kjell Einar Mikkelsen. He’s working out of Trondheim and was happy to meet his colleagues from around the country.
“I really like that we developers can meet like this once a year to share experiences and be social together. I really believe it’s worth the expenses,” Kjell Einar said
“The quiz was a highlight, with our team doing a fantastic job. If it hadn’t been for the “Nobody Knows” 15-point bonus we would have won, as we were only 1 point behind the winner,” he said with a big grin.
While Kjell Einar had attended the previous editions of EDC, it was the first software developer conference Yu He had been to. She used EDC as an opportunity to learn more about Python.
“I know Python on an apprentice level but I got to attend the Intermediate Python workshop, which showed me the fancy parts of Python. It gave me the courage and interest to continue to learn it,” Yu said.
“The opportunity to learn something new is definitely a highlight. But it’s also very exciting to know that people in Equinor are doing fun stuff in IT in addition to their daily work.”
There’s always room for further improvement and Yu told us she wished there were clearer requirements and backup-plans for the workshops.
“I didn’t have the required cable for one workshop only to find out there were plenty available later on, and in the Unreal Engine workshop the login server was down. It wasn’t the organizers fault and nothing we could do, but it would be nice if there was a Plan B for when these things happen,” she said.
“And it would be very nice if the hosting city can change every year!,” she added
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Building Equinor 2.0
Sveinung Rundhovde had also flown in from Bergen to take part in EDC and was pleased with the interesting content.
“One of my highlights was the Unreal Engine workshop – I was amazed when Jens showed how he could relatively effortlessly, using existing tools, include surfaces from a reservoir model into the game we were developing. Suddenly, we were running around in a reservoir!"
“For next year, an improvement would be a soft-serve machine like they had at NDC Techtown,” he laughed.
“Other than that it was all perfect – kudos to the committee and speakers!”
There’s no doubt about the fact that EDC is a great way to meet colleagues and learn more about relevant topics. But it could also help in evolving Equinor.
“I think it’s important that we continue to invest in building EDC - it’s enabling us to see that we as a community are an important contributor in building Equinor “version 2.0," Marita Midthaug said.
Marita was, like many others, pleased with the conference programme this year and enjoyed the combination of lectures and workshops. This gave her the opportunity to learn more about new subjects and topics both theoretically and in practice.
“I can imagine that it is difficult to know where to “set the baseline” as we as a community might seem to be homogeneous at first sight, but are still quite diverse when it comes to interests and skills in technical details and soft skill capabilities,” she said.
Ready for the Next EDC?
“I think it was very well organized and very helpful for me to both learn and meet new colleagues,” Alex Zili Huang told us.
He didn’t get a room at the hotel at Sola and had to stay in Stavanger, which made it a little difficult to get to and from the hotel.
“For next year, it would be nice with a hotel closer to the city center or Equinor’s offices. I wouldn’t mind more data science topics such as deep learning, R, math and statistics either,” he smiled.
We’ll see if next year’s conference might feature a soft serve ice machine, more workshops and perhaps even a brand new city?
If you’re curious to learn more about the thinking behind arranging EDC you should read a couple of the stories below.
Either way, we hope to see you next year!
(Photo: Torstein Lund Eik)