Equinor Developer Conference 2019

It was a bonanza of workshops, talks and coding. Here’s what happened when 300+ colleagues gathered for the fourth edition of Equinor Developer Conference.

The conference is our very own in-house conference, entirely dedicated to the many aspects of software development. Spread across three days, this year's edition took place at the Radisson Blu Atlantic Hotel - smack dab in the center of Stavanger. The goal? To get to know each other, learn new things, push further ahead and most of all - have fun. 

Did we accomplish that goal? Let’s head into a recap of EDC and find out!

Equinor Developer Conference at a Glance

Calendar.svg

3 Conference Days

Speech.svg

28 Talks & Keynotes

Group.svg

300 Participants

PencilRuler.svg

19 Workshops

Individual.svg

63 Presenters

Code.svg

9 Language Sessions

All Talk and All Action

No conference is complete without some keynotes to get things off the ground  and EDC was no exception. We kickstarted the first day with keynote speaker Sam Newman, who took center stage and gave a captivating talk on microservices and serverless, exploring how these two ideas can work together. James Lewis followed suit on Wednesday, talking about the underlying principles that make microservices successful.

edc19-torstein-lundeik-11.jpg

Developers from a variety of departments attended EDC. Photo: Torstein Lund Eik/Equinor
edc19-torstein-lundeik-6.jpg

James Lewis was one of two keynote speakers. Photo: Torstein Lund Eik/Equinor

Developers from a variety of departments attended EDC. Photo: Torstein Lund Eik/Equinor

James Lewis was one of two keynote speakers. Photo: Torstein Lund Eik/Equinor

“Keynotes are tricky because you hope to broaden people’s perspectives. It’s less about practical application and more about allowing people to think differently about their day-to-day jobs. I’m hoping I’ve exposed people to some new ideas and maybe encouraged them to go and read a little more about Complex Adaptive Systems theory,” James said.

He attended both the first and second day of the conference, and was impressed by the topics attendees could explore:

“Some of the topics in the workshops are more innovative than many organizations I visit. There are several tracks about robotics for example, which isn’t something I see a lot of. I think it’s really great to see so many people passionate about software coming together.”

James Lewis

Topics ranged from the in-house app design system, how to become a post-digital enterprise, open source, deep C and much, much more.

Finding That Technical Sweet Spot

One of the presenters was Stian Øvrevåge, who held his first-ever talk at EDC. The topic was Docker, a fundamental technology for building software heading into the cloud. Stian hoped to teach people both how it all works and to challenge some mindsets.

Normally, Stian is a part of the Radix team and he’s been wanting to challenge himself and host a workshop for some time. And when the opportunity came, he decided to go for it.

Portrait of a man



“I see hosting a workshop or giving a talk as another way of contributing and help everyone get better. I’ve wanted to try it for a few years so I had to give it a go when I got the chance.”

Stian Øvrevåge

“The challenge is finding that sweet spot where both newcomers and experienced people can learn something.”

edc19-torstein-lundeik.jpg

EDC offered plenty of opportunities to talk to your colleagues. Photo: Torstein Lund Eik/Equinor
edc19-torstein-lundeik-3.jpg

The agile unconference tasked participants with coming up with a new future. Photo: Torstein Lund Eik/Equinor

EDC offered plenty of opportunities to talk to your colleagues. Photo: Torstein Lund Eik/Equinor

The agile unconference tasked participants with coming up with a new future. Photo: Torstein Lund Eik/Equinor

Variety of Workshops

One of the participants in Stian’s workshop was data engineer Ørjan Misje, who wanted to learn more about Docker and get a more hands-on introduction.

“We got both a thorough introduction and then we had different tasks to complete, such as setting up containers and creating images - which was great fun. I definitely see a use for it in me and my team’s everyday work. It was a great first day of the conference,” Ørjan smiled.

On the second and third day of EDC, participants could choose from a new variety of workshops. Some of them spanned two days, while other were one-day workshops - both gave people a proper introduction into a subject, Rhialda Spahic said.

"I like that we had a lot of subjects to choose from and that when it’s a workshop they’re longer, proper workshops, while talks are shorter. That’s the way it should be," she smiled.

Another workshop that saw an attentive audience was the Introduction to MapHub by Torill K. Gabrielsen. Equinor has a large amount of maps and geospatial data available, which is openly accessible for everyone in the company. After attending EDC last year, Torill said she could host a workshop for this year’s event. While preparing for the workshop took more time than she had anticipated, it was worth it in the end.

Portrait of a woman



“Seeing how interested the developers were in our data and what we showed them was very encouraging and a lot of fun. Hopefully, they’ll go back and test it further before coming back to us with a project in mind.” 

Torill K. Gabrielsen.

EDC Through the Years

EDCthroughTheYears-2019-2.png

Connecting People

Since our software developers are spread across different locations, EDC might just be the one time where most of them are able to get together. Sure, we can talk together via Skype but it can’t compete with meeting someone face to face.

Portrait of a man



“I especially enjoy the workshops that are a little bit more hands-on, like the robotics workshops. EDC is a lot of fun and a great way to meet people I might not meet otherwise.” 

Joachim B. Holwech

His colleague Espen Tjønneland says that in a big company such as Equinor, the conference is the only mechanism to bring together this many people. This lets people learn more about what everyone is working on or interested in.

“If you ask me, the most important part of EDC is the networking aspect. In the end, everything we do revolves around the people doing it so an event like this is really important,” Espen Tjønneland said.

edc19-torstein-lundeik-16.jpg

The dinners were a perfect place to mingle or talk shop with your colleagues. Photo: Torstein Lund Eik/Equinor
edc19-torstein-lundeik-17.jpg

You could even do it on a football field! Photo: Torstein Lund Eik/Equinor

The dinners were a perfect place to mingle or talk shop with your colleagues. Photo: Torstein Lund Eik/Equinor

You could even do it on a football field! Photo: Torstein Lund Eik/Equinor

Being Part of a Software Family

Software developers are spread all across Norway but we also have departments in other parts of the world. Jie Deng came all the way from Houston, Texas, just to be a part of the conference.



“For me coming to EDC was a no-brainer, the workshops were very interesting and they all covered different topics. Our software community in Houston is fairly small compared to Norway and I really enjoyed being part of a larger professional family here.”

Jie Deng

Portrait of a woman

Gaining new competence is a priority, especially in Software Innovation. Here, you can spend up to 20% of your time on gaining new competence. VP IT Carsten Hammershøj had the honor of giving closing remarks at EDC, and he was very impressed by the contents of the conference.

“Before you head home I want to remind you that Equinor is, and will be in the future, a software company. You all make it happen," he said.

"I’ve spoken to many of you about spending time on gaining new competence and this is what it’s all about. If you’re at EDC you’ve started that journey and I really hope you continue," Carsten added.

edc-19-torstein-lundeik-23.jpg

An intro to Clojure was one of many workshops available. Photo: Torstein Lund Eik/Equinor
edc19-torstein-lundeik-26.jpg

Parts for the robot car workshop were 3D-printed using our own printer.

An intro to Clojure was one of many workshops available. Photo: Torstein Lund Eik/Equinor

Parts for the robot car workshop were 3D-printed using our own printer.

Making an Impact

Naturally, all of EDC didn’t organize itself. Behind the three-day spectacular is an organizing committee that helped bring it all to life. They consist of managers, advisors, analysts and graduates, all pulling in the same direction. 

One of them was Jørn Ølmheim, the one who brought Sam Newman and James Lewis aboard. While the increase in attendees can bring a smile to an organizer’s face, it also presents them with a challenge, Jørn explained.

“If we’re going to organize a conference for 300+ people, we would have to look at how we do it. We had some issues with finding enough room for everyone this year, so we might have to do more talks than workshops if we’re a bigger crowd later.”

“Then other external conferences may be a better fit. But personally I’d rather have 300 people with hands-on experience in a topic than 1000 people who just sat and listened to an introduction or talk,” Jørn added. 

One of his committee-colleagues is graduate Margaux Ledieu, who saw room for improvement after last year’s EDC.

Portrait of a woman



“One of the things I noticed was that there were few women speaking, which I wanted to help improve. When you’re part of the committee you have the power to talk to different people and find the ones that could help us learn something new."

Margaux Ledieux

Olve Maudal was a keynote speaker and workshop-host last year but this year he was part of the EDC committee, as one of our most recent hires in the leading advisor team. He told us that EDC was one of many factors that led him to join Equinor. 

“It’s hard to come up with something that I would want to improve but maybe we should look at having a two day event instead of three? Not to cut costs, but then we could arrange it more frequently and get together more often,” Olve smiled.

But if you couldn’t make it to this year’s EDC, then there’s always next year. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter below to make sure you don’t miss out on more great stories from the world of software in Equinor. Until next time!

 

People

Meet the team that made EDC a reality.

edc19-people--14.jpg

Erlend Hårstad

Portrait of a woman

Kirsti Rustad

Portrait of a man

Kjell Erik Reed Anda

Portrait of a woman

Magrete Torland

Portrait of a man

Torje Mathiassen

Portrait of a man

Hallgeir Holien

Portrait of a man

Kristian Flikka

Portrait of a man

Lars Kåre Skjørestad

Portrait of a man

Olve Maudal

Portrait of a man

Thorvald Johannesen

Portrait of a man

Jørn Ølmheim

Portrait of a man

Knut Erik Hollund

Portrait of a man

Margaux Ledieux

Portrait of a man

Pål Grønås Drange

edc19-people--15.jpg

Øyvind Rønne

Related Stories

Showing stories for

Want to stay updated on Loop?