I have spent most of this week in Mechelen Belgium at a software development conference called Techorama. I was booked as a speaker to talk about developers going into management. It’s the first time I have presented this talk, but it is loosely based on my first Pluralsight course called Developer to Manager.

Is being a manager right for me by Stephen Haunts at Techorama
Is being a manager right for me by Stephen Haunts at Techorama

The talk went very well and I had a decent sized audience which was nice and they seemed very engaged, so hopefully my talk helped them. The conference itself was very well run. The Techorama team, Gill, Pieter and Kevin have done a fantastic job of putting on this conference, and it is no mean feat to organise a conference.

All setup and ready to speak at Techorama 2016
All setup and ready to speak at Techorama 2016

Techorma was held in the Utopolis cinema in Mechelen. The idea of using a cinema for a conference is a stroke of genius. When you think about it, a cinema is perfect as it has rooms with decent seating and are customer made for projecting images and sound. I can not even begin to say how cool it was seeing your slides presented on a huge cinema screen. I always knew I would make it onto the silver screen one day!!

This was not a small conference either. The organizers sold 1000 tickets for this show, and they probably could have sold lots more, but this was the capacity for the venue. The conference was organised into lots of different subject tracks including Personal Improvement, (which is the track I was speaking on) ALM, Cloud, Architecture, Languages & Tools, Mobile and Web. There was certainly enough variety of content to cater for a diverse range of attendees.

Lars Klint talking about the Hololens
Lars Klint talking about the Hololens

As well as speaking at Techorama, I also got to attend many other sessions, and the caliber of speakers at this conference was first rate. I got to learn a lot of new techniques and I also got lots of networking done. Being a Pluralsight author, I tend to interact with my fellow authors mostly online, so it is always great to meet up with some of them in person to further strengthen our working relationships and also our personal relationships as I consider many of them good friends.

St Rombouts Cathedral Mechelen
St Rombouts Cathedral Mechelen

I also managed to get a little downtime after the conference on each day and on the Thursday morning before I flew back. Me and Lars klint decided to go exploring the local town of Mechelen and just see where our legs took us. Mechelen is a beautiful little city with some really interesting architecture. In-fact, Belgium is a beautiful country full stop. If I get the opportunity to go back next year, I might stay longer and explore a little further afield.

It goes without saying that Belgium beer is excellent and I love the fact that every beer has it’s own style of glass that it is served in. This is a great touch. Everyone was very warm and friendly and I felt very welcome. Fingers crossed I can return next year. I best get planning on next years talks!!

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