#bonded2014 – the first OTTO tech conference

„To code or not be“ – Johannes Mainusch

„Projects only become successful the moment you commit yourself“ – Ali Jelveh

„The value of a Software Architect is inversible proportional to the number of decisions he makes“ – Erik Dörnenburg

Those are some, by far not all, quotes from the first OTTO tech conference.

What did we do ?

The Otto Group consists of about 120 companies. Several of them focus on eCommerce and IT. So back in January 2014 we decided it could be worth establishing an event, where all OTTO e-commerce folks can gather up. A tech event for tech guys from tech guys. We believed such an event would provide an opportunity for

  • Networking – getting to know other people, with similar objectives and project-settings always increases the likelyhood of learning about mistakes before you make them
  • Sharing knowledge – whenever people meet and talk about things they believe in, this is a great source of leeching knowledge
  • Inspiration – learning what other related companies do always contains pieces of inspiration for your own business

With further help from our „Knowledge Manangement“ department we came up with a plan and our vision became more and more real.
In the following weeks we tried hard to engage tech folk at OTTO to sign up and to complete our event schedule.

On 24th June our vision became reality and about 75 technology guys gathered up at Loft06 location in Hamburg-Bramfeld.

We spent a whole day together, listened to 5 keynotes from prominent speakers and had interesting discussions in 12 working sessions.

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We had great tech talks in parallel e.g. from Guido on our bespoke Lhotse shopping platform and from Christian on BDD („Behavior Driven Development“).
Those were the most crowded talks where many discussions evolved and many questions were answered.
Shopping42 told us about their project „rebuilding a search from scratch“ and their approach for „getting online shops to a responsive layout“.

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Almost everyone was very amused when Dennis from Shopping24 came up with the top misspellings experienced in their search queries (see image above).

One if not the most involving session was for sure „Sketchnoting“ from Kristina Kiwitt. Many attempts of increasing sketchnoting skills were posted (see here, here and here). The whole conference part was concluded by the talk of Ali Jelveh about „how to start up“ where Ali gave us the key message „A project can only become great, if you commit yourself to it“.

Of course we also had time for some „networking“ with all the OTTO tech competence gathered up.
Lunch dates were made, email addresses exchanged and almost everyone stayed for „Currywurst & Bier“ dinner. Judging from all the feedback, the buzz on Twitter and questions such as „when is the next conference?“ we are happy with the results.

With the great variety of talks as well as the great variety of visitors (we had guests from 11 different companies of the Otto Group) the whole event turned out to be what we had hoped for – an interactive and inspiring day for tech guys in the Otto Group.

 

Über

@BjoernKaiser, Frontend Evangelist, Webperformance jedi, Teamlead Software Engineering @ otto.de, dad of two, husband of one.

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