16. Oktober 2020
The DOQ* took place on 08 and 09 September 2020. While this conference has essentially already existed for 5 years, every year is exciting and different. This year we not only changed the name, but also carried it out remotely.
Facts & figures:
200 participants from 22 Group companies. 20 sessions and 2 keynotes with 3 external speakers in 1.5 days.
Why the name-change from ‘Otto Group DEV meets QualityConf’ to ‘DOQ’?
The name change was important to us to highlight even more strongly that not only developers and quality specialists, but also OPSers as well as all mixed-discipline colleagues are warmly welcome.
Simple – Corona! We planned to maintain the ‘conference atmosphere’, and were really excited to find out what a pure online conference feels like as well as the challenges it brings.
What does ‘conference atmosphere’ mean?
For me, ‘conference atmosphere’ means that I have more exciting sessions on offer than I can follow in parallel. To me, the term also means you can exchange ideas with others.
Did the sessions work out as planned?
The roughly 200 participants had a large selection of sessions to choose from, comprising two keynotes and parallel streams with a total of 20 sessions on topics such as multicloud, AI, automation, tracing, testing and much more. The very positive overall feedback we received on the content, depth and breadth of the sessions speaks for the diversity and expertise within the Group, and the calibre of the speakers themselves.
At this point I’d like to say a heartfelt thank-you to all speakers! It was great that they accepted the challenge of presenting – without the usual immediate feedback from the audience.
The two keynotes from GitHub (‘Scaling DevOps – GitHub's Journey from 500+ to 1500+ People’) and Thoughtworks (‘Your dashboard sucks – and how to fix it’), with around 120 simultaneous attendees each, had the highest number of participants. The slot that interested most colleagues at the same time was the session ‘CSI: OTTO, A Microservices Murder Mystery’ with about 60 participants.
And how did the exchange work out?
We all noticed that remotely it’s difficult to socialise and trigger active person-to-person communication. We had a lot of digital meeting rooms open; however, the hurdle to starting a brief personal chat feels higher if you can’t see your discussion partner for real.
I am curious to see what ideas we develop in the Group in order to create relaxed small-talk situations better – because the Community was unanimous about holding this kind of conference again, with a remote section!
Holding a conference completely remotely is good for saving travel expenses. It’s perfect if you can only reserve small time slots and just want to ‘jump in’. In the same way, if you aren’t getting anything from a session you can simply jump out without attracting too much attention. Sessions can be organised much more flexibly because overlapping sessions are not a spatially limiting factor here.
As in normal working life, virtual socialising and networking is much more difficult. We still have a lot to reconsider and learn, so that hopefully there will soon be ‘digital icebreakers’ just like those in the analogue world, such as: “Is this seat still free?"
See you in September next year. Stay curious!