My first ever programming conference - BeJS, 13th Of May 2022, Brussels

My first ever programming conference - BeJS, 13th Of May 2022, Brussels

Sergii Kirianov's photo
Sergii Kirianov
ยทMay 24, 2022ยท

6 min read

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We just moved to Porto after a really rough time and finally started settling there and then. My friend, one of the organizers of BeJS slid in my DMs and asked me if I wanna join them at the conference that they host in Brussels, Belgium. I mean, of course, I want!

Travel

Take off ๐Ÿ›ซ

I was really lucky, that it was taking place on Friday, cause I had our company team meeting next week and wow, I've managed to get both! Talked to my boss and he said that the flight from Brussels to Antalya is easier to find, so they will book me both to Brussels and from Brussels. Great! That is done!

Pack the luggage, get on a train and I'm at the Porto Airport.

Hm...how to say...If you know me, most probably you know that I have been a seafarer before and I traveled the whole world since the age of 18. I can't tell you honestly, but I'm pretty sure I had at least 100+ flights, most probably way more. And still....I've got two bottles of Vinho to do Porto or simply Portwine to my friends in Brussels and put them in the cabin bag ๐Ÿฅฒ๐Ÿ”ซ Well...at least airport security had a pleasant evening.

Bought two more bottles at the Duty-Free shop, I can't leave my friends without a present ๐Ÿ˜

The whole flight I was writing the draft for my 6 months as Software Developer and Advices for beginners.

Offtopic, but, WTF has happened with the low-cost airlines? They don't even offer water anymore?! Geez...There will be times they make us stand in the airplane, I'm sure.

Hello, Brussels! ๐Ÿฅฐ

Arrived around 10 PM, and it was not Brussels actually. A friend told me they have two airports, one is a low-cost EU airport and another one is a huge International airport. Luckily, my boss has booked a bus ticket for me.

Met a friend of mine (she's actually my boss's wife, but it's really hard to write every time ๐Ÿ™ˆ) and we went to their home. Honestly, I've been exhausted and after a short chat, I went to sleep, because I had to wake up at 06:30. You know, I'm not a morning person...AT ALL.

bruhh...0630.jpg

Yes, I bought this shirt for a conference ๐Ÿ˜

When we left the building I found out, that weather in Brussels is lying to you. When I checked the forecast in the morning it said that the maximum temperature for today is 20 deg. Celcius (if you're from the US, it's warm). Now it's the time of my favorite but. But, it will be in the evening, like at 6 PM or so. Imagine me, in shorts, in this funky shirt and backpack walking at 10deg Celcius. It felt like my nipples were going to cut the universe in half. Brrrr....๐Ÿฅถ

Here am I, BeJS! ๐Ÿง‘โ€๐Ÿ’ป

I finally arrived at the conference hall, where I met my friend Omar - producer of the conference and my good friend! Hugs, smiles, Portwine ๐Ÿ‘€ Got my badge and they even made me an exclusive merch T-Shirt with my initials on it!

got_my_badge_.jpg

I was a bit shy since I arrived in Brussels and I didn't even ask for coffee in the morning. Okay okay, I was very shy. I got my hands on the coffee machine - mmmm....more coffee, less water, no sugar - that's how I like it. Two times. Overall in a day it was 5 or 6 times, but who is counting ๐ŸŒ My gears don't turn without coffee. So okay, I love coffee, let's get back to my shyness.

Few bodies approached my shy curtain and start speaking with me. "Getting better I thought", turned out they are just a company that is hiring developers and sponsors of the conference. After a few minutes of talk, other developers arrived and I was out of interest ๐Ÿฅฒ More and more people arrived and they started creating small chat groups. "That's me in the corner....."

Though, MC really liked my SpongeBob shirt and even mentioned it from the scene a few times ๐Ÿ˜ Btw, shout out to Clo Willaerts for her great work!

Speakers, Talks, and Audience

Debbie_is_opening_conference.jpg

As most of the speakers said after the conference that they really loved that there were not many people. Well, I think, it was something around 100 people in total and it was plenty if you ask me ๐Ÿ˜

The speakers were all great, like really. The lineup had a good balance, from complicated topics to something chill and interesting. Must admit that the most interesting topics by @debs_obrien, Michele Riva, @TejasKumar_, and Eleftheria Batsou. I had a mini-interview with Michele Riva, so wait for a separate blog with it ๐Ÿ˜‰

Finally_Eleftheria.jpg

Michele_Riva_interview.jpg

Piano.jpg

The audience was a lot into the topics, were asking really good questions and getting good answers. I couldn't resist and also asked a few, though I think I was a bit too harsh with one of the speaker and asked really complicated questions he was not ready for ๐ŸŒ

A separate spot in my heart was lunch, I finally got to know more people around and started talking part in discussions. I was really glad that people don't only talk about programming. Every speaker was really approachable for questions during breaks and I've bothered some of them a bit hehe.

Conference closing, Dinner with Speakers

Dinner_with_speakers.jpg

After all the speakers finished with their talks, the organizer had his closing talk and we all changed our clothes to BeJS t-shirts and had a group photo. Well, I hope I'll return to the BeJS Community scene one more time but in a different role ๐Ÿ‘€ A bit of booze after-party at the hall, and organizers have invited whoever wants to go for a dinner with the speakers. Must admit, except for the speakers only me and a few more people went with us. No idea why ๐Ÿ˜ I mean, drinking beer sitting next to quite famous speakers was cool. Nah, let's be honest, it was amazing! They are cool people outside of the stage too and we had A LOT of fun together. Unfortunately, I was not able to join them the next day for a guided excursion the organizers invited me to go with the speakers, cause I had a flight booked leaving for Antalya for a team-building meeting. Even though I didn't go with them, I am really grateful to Omar and Aymen for the invitation ๐Ÿฅฐ

Overall experience

IT WAS FUN!

DAT_SELFY.jpg

Hello, hello Eleftheria Batsou ๐Ÿ˜

It was a lot of fun! I have never been to conferences before, but as the guys told me, usually they are not even close to this. It was really nice to start my conferences experience with such a good one. The organizers have done a great job. Everything went smooth and seamless even though it was held on Friday the 13th. The audience and speakers were happy, the organizers were happy, and I was happy. ALSO STICKERZ!

STIKERZZZ.jpg

I spoke with my friend and they have great plans to spin the community in Belgium I wish them luck because these guys really love what they do! They have another React Belgium planned for this October and I hope to see them again, but this time as a speaker, I think I have a few stories to tell ๐Ÿ˜

I can't really describe how grateful I am for being able to be part of it!

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