I rarely talk about attending or speaking at conferences, but sometimes you just have to point out some extraordinary events.
Just two weeks ago I had the opportunity to join some folks at Porto Tech Hub, a one-day, two-track conference happening in Portugal. Like many conferences, the Tech Hub had speakers from various fields talking about new and upcoming trends in software development. With me being the odd bird standing out, talking about CSS and engineering in front of a .NET heavy audience. Judging from the feedback however, they enjoyed my little excursion into custom property territories.
Porto is a city with a booming tech scene. Lots of great start-ups and IT companies working super successful in the international market. It reminded me a lot of my home town of Linz in that regard. It might not be the capital of the country, but has the most interesting software companies and the best jobs for developers and designers.
But the companies from Porto managed one thing that rarely any other city is capable of: Some of their biggest players (Farfetch, Blip and Critical) joined efforts to form a non-profit organisation in Porto to strengthen the city’s efforts of growing even more. Together they want to ensure that Porto is an attractive place to work in, and also to encourage new companies to select Porto as their main location for their new offices. Instead of competing over the next employee, they create an environment where everyone has benefits from. This is outstanding!
The conference I was speaking at is the prime example of their efforts. The atmosphere at the event was relaxed. People from different organisations and companies got together, enjoyed the talks and had lots of fun in-between sessions. Some of them – even though they never met before – even went out to dinner together after the beer party.
For me, this was exceptional. I’ve attended lots of conferences before. At some of them I didn’t meet a single new face amongst 3500 attendees, and at some others I was immediately welcomed into the inner circle of a huge community. Porto Tech Hub sure falls into the latter category.
And I’m sure this has a lot to do with the exceptional organisation done by Diana and her team. There’s the saying that “Quality is the time spent on detail”, and you could find this love for detail in every single piece of the conference. Venue, speakers, sponsors, rooms, party, even down to finding the perfect coffee.
Thank you for having me, Porto, and thank you Diana, Luis, Ines and all the others for creating such a great environment and such a loving and welcoming atmosphere. Thank you for letting us feel the true Portuguese hospitality!