Anton Semenchenko: impressions of the trip to the conference CEE-SEC(R) 2014

October 23-35, 2014 in Moscow, there was a 10-th anniversary conference of CEE-SEC(R). This conference gathered a lot of IT-professionals of different fields – there was and guru and point-specialized technical ones, QA, BA, managers and sales managers. The same was report themes. Lectures were read at five halls simultaneously at about 100 reports were read from about 150 lectors. The reports were in different forms – blitz, classical 40-min long, long-timing ones, master-classes, etc. Most palpitating were introduced in a form of panel discussions.
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Conference organization was on a high level. Personally, I’ve enjoyed the fact that there were iOS and Android apps created especially for that event, that let listeners to score reports or work of a chosen lector in real time. Reporters, at least for me, was important and interesting to see how does the curve of success or unsuccess and interest changes depending on what’s happening on a particular stage. Especially I was interested in the curve of «popularity» of my own report; I was trying to highlight the topic from different angles, but that kind of comprehensive story-telling from every position lead to at first, unjustified, and boring results, and «popularity» curve started to go down, but 5-10 minutes after report started, practically by exponent raised up – listeners understood that such kind of a prelude was a necessary thing to understand the main topic.
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Detailed elaboration of the event was a pleasure. A lot of contests starting from “doing nothing” to “solving logical problems” made everyone interested, not only technical professionals but souvenir-girls or cloakroom-girls too. They’ve tired their skills and do their best to solve those near-olympic problems, and, actually, some of them succeeded. I hope, we can see those curious girls as listeners or even reporters at next conferences and not at roles of highly-respected staff.
The place itself created a cozy and constructive atmosphere. Digital October – are the out-of-use plant-rooms of Red October Factory. Historical manufacture building created at 19th century with classical high ceilings and red brick. The center of Moscow, view to Moscow-river, view to controversial Petr’s monument, and Kremlin near it. All those things create a hard-to-describe but very specific atmosphere.
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Managers of that event created everything for unofficial talks. Besides amazing view, comfortable chairs and creation of cozy and small places for talks to 10-15 people, a lot of attention was devoted to absolutely pragmatic but nevertheless necessary nuances for an effective dialogue: a ton of coffee, tea, non-alcoholic and alcoholic (at evening banquet) drinks, tasty dinner, well-qualified service, communicable waiters etc… It may seem that all that stuff are just simple material things that not worth mentioning for specialists that came from all over the world to share their thoughts and get inspiration for their work… but to have a really effective communication there should be special conditions for such kind of communication and managers of that event fulfill all of them. Especially that was seen at day 1, when there was a huge banquet where everybody talked about reports and get to know each other till late night. Even if the dialogue was fluent and easy – all the time it turned to conference route and discussion of questions closely connected to our specialties and jobs. We are all professionals and love our job that much that could turn every discussion to our favorite IT-theme.
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My topic was «When it’s time to transfer from Agile to Waterfall». At first sight it could be seen that main thing is provocative, nevertheless title is just clearly tells us about main theme of the report. Because it tells us when we can use Agile, when we can’t do that (talked from the opposite), which specific, and not abstract problems does Agile solve, what is the cost of solving those Agile problems, what conditions should be implemented to transfer from Waterfall to Agile and from Agile to Waterfall and this transfer to be profitable and justified, reasons, first of all reasons of money, easy to count, why and when does we need to perform that transfer, close to topic metrics of readiness to transfer, specific examples, which help us to perform that transfer, that will speed up fulfilling those conditions needed to perform that transfer and let us build a huge basis for that transfer.

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That report was marked as number 7 from more than 100 nominees with integral rating as 4.5, in case that the best report, that was first, took 4.7. It can tell us at least that topic is up-to-date and practically in demand. I am to work on a lot of things, and I’m not telling that this win is 100% deserved – all the reports were so different in manners of telling, structure and other stuff that talking of actual success or failure of those different themes is practically impossible. But I’m definitely happy that my work was marked so well and I hope that listeners will accept my future reports like this too.

I think that not only contents, but the form of presenting can help the report to get that kind of a high mark. As pros to that guess I can provide “popularity” curve swing of the report – only shape but not dry contents could create such huge drooping of emotions – at first, due to academic kind of reporting, “popularity” curve started to decrease and then, rose up almost by exponent.
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P.S. Michail Tsepkov’s impression of the conference in context of Agile and Waterfall, and about my report.
P.P.S. Photos from the event
P.P.P.S. Photos from master-classes

Anton Semenchenko

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