The city of Barcelona is currently host to many tech events thanks to a growing IT community, and a brand new conference about software engineering is one of them. This might be the first edition of Polycon, but it’s not playing around with what it’s going to do. It has a clear goal, straight-forward approach and a software-agnostic philosophy that doesn’t get in bed with any specific coding language, just with the discipline itself, and all that it entails.
Marc Morera is the man behind the upcoming event, and he’ll prove why Polycon is here to stay. He’s confident about what the conference has to offer, and why it’s worth your time. Akuaro World is an official media sponsor of the event, supporting it and covering all sorts of related content. And so we had the chance to ask Marc a couple of questions about what exactly will happen in the Axa auditorium on the 6th and 7th, what makes Polycon different from other events, and what has fueled this initiative.
He makes it very clear: this is something born out of passion for the art of software engineering. And you can tell.
What is Polycon’s intention? What does it want to achieve?
Polycon is a conference centered in talking about the latest software architecture. The goal is pretty simple: to provide knowledge to CTOs and whole teams in order for them to take better decisions on future products or refactoring processes.
For that, we look for the best among hundreds of speakers, with topics that interest people and that, more than being a trend, present valid and viable options for small and medium sized companies, taking responsibility into account as well as each one’s reality.
How many people do you expect for the event?
The auditorium can host 600 people, and our goal is to leave that same auditorium without a single empty chair, even though we can’t forget that this is the first edition of many, so we’ll do our best to get as close as possible to those 600.
What kind of themes do you want to discuss during the event?
This year we have a presentation about Symfony’s new version, which promises very potent structural changes. In fact, one of the most important software cores will come.
We’ll also have our ration of Elasticsearch and Neo4j, a graph technology that has been growing during the last few years.
Words like DDD, CQRS, Event Sourcing and microservices will also be heard in the melody, and we have a keynote about functional programming and another about React.
What differentiates Polycon from other tech events?
I wouldn’t say “look for a difference”. A conference can be looked at in two ways. The first one is like a product, to make money and ride that dollar. If you organize a conference that way, you have to be very careful about being different because your objective is to have the maximum benefit.
Another way to organize a conference is “for the love of the art”. I’ve done some conferences already, all of them for that reason, though in those cases they had an open source mentality. I don’t get anything, and it’s even possible for me to lose money. But I did them because I felt passionate about them.
Polycon is done by a company, and even though our objective isn’t making money, it also isn’t to lose money. That’s why we found a balance between making everything affordable and get to the end with a somewhat positive balance.
This allows us to have affordable tickets compared to all the rest [of the conferences], with especially cheap sponsorships, the ability to give part of our tickets to the community to be raffled, or being able to have great relations with our speakers, like paying for their trip in case they’re coming from out of the country.
Referring to the topics themselves, we always try to work with a single “track”. We give this track all of our love and that’s why we have less speakers, while everyone else keeps watching the same number of talks.
We also work with just four talks a day (I personally believe that eight is too much) and a daily free workshop. We don’t include food because, in reality, the price added to the tickets, at least in my experience, usually covers a meal that’s unsatisfactory. We make sure that the conference takes place in a place which offers many restaurants, so people are free to go where they want.
How do you see the Spanish developers’ community compared to other countries?
The truth is that I can’t exactly say. My curse is to never have worked outside Spain, and every time I travel to a conference, I’m in a more of a proud posture… so that’s why I really don’t know how it works in other places.
For what I’m told, we are , and we’re more than competent with our skills.
I would love to confirm that, one day.
Do you want to make Polycon an annual event?
Polycon will be an annual event, for sure. And we’ll work all year round to make each year bigger, more inclusive with the communities and technologies and more interesting for everyone.
The next October 8, after the workshop we’ll have on the third day, we’ll start preparing the 2018 edition, and we promise that it will be a blast. In fact, we already have very high speakers and surprises that will surely impress more than one person. But, as I said, this will be in 2018.
Right now we’ll have our first edition and it will be a success, so I’m encouraging everyone to come be part of our experience. We promise not to be a disappointment.