Thoughts of Dev: My favorite city for a tech event
A survey of our developer community on their favorite city to visit. Once this pandemic is over, we hope to get traveling again soon...
While we’re in the midst of a pandemic, I’m sure you can think back fondly to when we could travel and be part of some great tech conferences. Tell us about your favorite city to visit for a tech event or developer conference! Where is it and why do you enjoy it so much?
Daniel Krook – CTO, Call for Code
I live in the New York City suburbs and have hosted tech meetups in Manhattan for over 15 years. It’s a great place to meet folks from all backgrounds and experience levels and connect over great food and drinks afterward. But my all-time favorite place for tech events will always be Vancouver. It’s a very forward-looking city with an environment-first conference venue right on the waterfront, which is bustling with activity from shipping to seaplanes. Like NYC, it’s a melting pot of so many different cultures, but the weather, walkability, and natural setting are all nearby and a refreshing change once you step outside.
Cindy Lu – Software Engineer
OpenStack Infrastructure Summit 2015 in Tokyo! OpenStack puts out amazing conferences – nice venues, amazing food, top-notch speakers, and out of this world social events. I always reflect fondly on my OpenStack experiences, Tokyo was no exception. As always, the conference went seamlessly. The evening event gave us a magnificent taste of Japan. Sumo wrestlers, delicious food — from fresh tempura to natto (Japan’s infamous fermented soybeans!), live manga artists, cosplay, bonsai trees, you name it! Another event was held at Sengakuji Temple where the 47 ronin are buried. To top it off, the food was delicious; my co-worker and I always reminisce on that one amazing meal in particular. 🙂 OpenStack put so much thought and effort into treating the developers well and fostering a sense of community. This made me feel like I belonged to a greater cause from the start and fueled my dedication to the project.
Brad Topol – IBM Distinguished Engineer
My favorite tech event city is New York City. I really like the restaurants such as Katz’s Deli, the steakhouses, and getting desserts at Junior’s. I also enjoy going to a theater show on Broadway and walking around Manhattan. In the late evenings I would go to a comedy club and catch a show. I look forward to getting back to NYC when the pandemic is over!
Antony (Red) Steel – IBM Champion at Belisama Pte. Ltd.
Tough question, as I suspect most of us can find something fascinating in any city we visit, but recognise that we also need to attract the speakers/delegates. If I have to choose one, I will have to put aside my love of Japan/Korea or Asia in general and admit that I have always loved Reykjavik (Iceland). Well positioned for both the US/Canada and Europe (a bit more of a hassle for Asia/Africa/South America), stunning in winter (safe and easy to get around as hot water is piped under the pavements), very focused on the environment, with a beautiful concert hall and conference centre. I found Reykjavik to be very quirky, with an edgy fashion-jewelery-music scene, interesting museums and galleries, fantastic food (perhaps not the fermented shark) and stunning scenery. Any city with a Lebowski Bar cannot be all bad! Did I mention the scenery?
Naiyarah Hussain – Developer Advocate
London! Outside of Dubai, I’ve only had the chance to go to two international tech conferences, INDEX Developer Conference in San Francisco in 2018 and DevRelCon in London 2019. Out of these two, my trip to London was fantastic, as I had the opportunity to meet so many other developer relations professionals from all over Europe. And even some from India who had flown in, and I learned from their experiences. I also checked out the local meetup scene where there were meetups from Google Research, which I found amazing! Lastly, I had a chance to connect and learn from my fellow developer advocates based in WeWork in London and had an overall brilliant experience.
Lionel Clavien – IBM Champion at InnoBoost SA
On the US side, my best ever conference was in Anchorage: perfect scenery, nice conference center, relatively easy to reach by plane, great outdoor activities and the networking dinner could be done in an old steam train that wanders along the coast (well, at least 10 years ago 🙂 ).
On the European side, I enjoy Prague: human-sized city, easy public transport system, nice hotels, nice conference venues, good food, good entertainment options. Budapest is also a very nice option, with an even more beautiful historic center (at night, at least 🙂 ).
Megan Kostick – Software Engineer
My favorite tech event city I have ever been to is definitely Tokyo, Japan. Tokyo was the site of my first open source conference I got to attend and speak at. I loved the fast-paced feel of the city, delicious food, great transportation (those bullet trains, though), how clean the city was and the amazing skyscraper views. I was also able to meet up with some fellow IBMers from IBM Japan. They were very friendly and welcoming, taking us to great eateries and getting an authentic Japanese karaoke room experience. It’s so cool to be part of worldwide company and I definitely look forward to going back to Tokyo in the future!
David Nugent – Developer Advocate
My favorite city for tech events is San Francisco! Sure it’s self-serving, because I live in SF. I love having my colleagues and friends come visit for conferences here. It gives me a great opportunity to show them around and catch up with them. From a bike ride across the Golden Gate Bridge to a walk down the Embarcadero, to exploring dive bars near Chinatown, we always have a good time. Sure, there are some downsides. Everybody always makes sure to point out how much less they pay in rent than I do and then I weep quietly. On the whole though, it’s super fun, and I can’t wait until we’re again able to hold in-person events again — safely!
Stay tuned and we will back again soon with another dev survey! From thoughtful advice to fun hobbies, we’ll be sharing what’s going on in the minds of developers around the globe. Because it’s not just about coding and sprints. And if you have any survey questions you’d like to have answered, please let us know on the IBM Developer feedback form.