by Alexandru Pirvu
IT Days 2020
Everything changed due to the pandemic, and the way IT conferences are held is no exception. In this article, I will share my impressions on the IT Days conference and how the presentations were held in this new way of doing things.
First of all, I am going to talk about the organization of the event. There was a physical scene, where the hosts and some speakers resided. Other speakers did not attend physically, but instead they presented remotely with or without screen share.
At every moment, the program was split into four lanes, with topics from AI, leadership, security, testing, programming, HR and some others. As I am a developer, I mainly followed technical topics.
The start of day one was a total mess as the speaker got interrupted every 2 minutes for 1 minute and a half. As you can imagine, the talk could not be followed, and the worst part was the fact that the speaker was not aware of this, so he can fix the issue. Fortunately, this situation was not repeated. Another issue was that some stages were not working, so some presentations got skipped or moved to other rooms, but without notifying anyone. So you needed some luck to find the talk you wanted to follow. On the second day, the situation was a bit better, and it is worth mentioning that most of the talks from both days were recorded and made available to all the participants.
Secure Integrated Transportation was an interesting talk, which presented the security needs in the future transportation systems. In order to make use of what the digital world brings, there has to be a lot of information coming and going from one piece of the system to the other, and a lot of data gathered and stored. This level of communication represents one big reason why security has to be addressed. The threat does not stop at stealing information. Letting machines in charge of human lives means that if the machines are hijacked, lives can be in danger. There are a few accidents reported when autonomous cars were hijacked and caused accidents. Because all the problems have to be solved somehow, the presentation also contained some high level solutions.
These lanes pretty much concluded that there are great benefits from having smart transportation systems. A few of the benefits are: improved safety, democratization of mobility, fuel efficiency and reduced congestion.
As far as conferences go, it was not a complete waste of time. The automotive talks were interesting and you had Uncle Bob to answer your questions if you got lucky enough to be picked. Besides the obvious streaming issues, there is not much to improve. I think a virtual board with all the questions visible to everybody, including speakers, would have helped.
Looking forward to next year!