We kicked off November with a visit to St.Petersburg, where we participated in the Joker Conference 2017. Joker is a definitive conference for Sr. Java Developers. It is a platform for them to network, discuss common issues, and learn new things. The 2017 conference was attended by over 1,000 participants! Now, where else would we want to be?
Held on 3-4 November 2017, Joker had over 30 eminent speakers presenting and participating in over 40 talks and panel discussions. Most of the topics were about performance, parallelism, testing, distributed systems and high loads, and the future of the platform.
Spartez was represented by Anna Walicka & Patrycja Kiljańska from the Talent team and Paweł Murawski, Alex Chystroprudov, and Ilya Zinoviev, who are software engineers. Ilya, who has relocated from Samara, Russia to Gdansk was the star of our booth! He spoke to visitors in Russian and told them about life in Spartez, our products, living in Gdansk, and the ease and pains of relocating.
Our booth, as usual, was extremely popular. We were visited by over 500 attendees who asked us about Spartez and the current openings. They also had a lot of questions about the relocation process, taxes, and facilities, which we were happy to answer. They also loved getting our swag and were amazed that they could just get it!
This is where we noticed a visible difference between conferences in other parts of the world and Russia. Visitors to the stall expected to solve a puzzle or go on a quest to be able to win the swag, while in other conferences, we are expected to just give it away. They were really surprised to receive swag when they asked us questions or filled in the application form. This was a great learning for us and will help us plan for our next conference participation in Russia. Oh, did we mention, thanks to our team work, we solved a puzzle and won… a pen!
Another interesting takeaway was that, not a lot of people know that the Jira Server is developed in Poland. Most attendees were surprised to hear that it was actually developed in Poland!
Aside from attending and participating in Joker 2017, we also spent a couple of days meeting people and investigating the local IT market in Russia. The people we spoke to gave us some great insights about the local market which, combined with our own experiences, is going to go a long way in helping us understand and tap into the market.
The Spartans were there to create increased brand awareness, meet senior developers, talk to participants about our products, and promote Gdansk and Spartez as an amazing place to work in (which they are!), and we think we did make quite an impression!