WebVR @ DevFest Siberia 2016
My first time to Novosibirsk, Russia and that too at -34˚C. When I told my friends that I am visiting Siberia in winters, they asked, “Dude, are you suicidal?”. To be honest, I was pretty worried about the weather since the temperature there is about -1 times the usual temperature in New Delhi. Anyways, I was happy to be invited to this event and deliver a talk on WebVR and A-Frame.
Devfest Siberia was one of the best and well-planned conferences that I have attended. The conference organizers were really thoughtful to have picked up the speakers from the airport themselves and provide us with a local SIM card. There were around 550 attendees. I was really surprised at the number of attendees that had turned up despite of the harsh weather. The keynote was delivered by Marcelo Quinta which was quite informative and funny. There were also some great talks by Daniel Whitenack, Florin Patan, Eduard Medvedev and Natalie Pistunovich, all of who became great friends. The event was held at Academpark which has an impressive architecture!
My session was scheduled at 4:15PM on the first day, 19th November. The topic of my session was “Learning Web Based Virtual Reality”. I was really happy to see a really healthy attendance of participants in my session. The talk was scheduled for 45 minutes including the Q&A session. We also handed out some google cardboards to the audience so that they could try out the demos as they were presented during the talks to demonstrate some key concepts. There seemed to be a huge interest in using WebVR, and it was awesome to see so many people asking great questions after the talk. A few attendees also joined me after the talk to discuss more about the A-Frame and to ask about contributing to MozVR.
During the next day, I visited various other talks and codelabs which were pretty good. The event ended in the evening with an awesome wrap up video summarizing the event. I wasn’t able to walk much around the town since the temperature was too insane for me to walk out in the open. We were usually running to and fro between the car, hotel and the venue. I was expecting that the attendees would be from near the city of Novosibirsk, however it was really interesting to know that the attendees had come from as far as Moscow and from all around Russia.
Summarizing the whole event, it had international speakers, venue was really well equipped and the sessions and codelabs were recorded. The after parties and the after after parties were crazy, well organized and we killed time with great company. The organizers were really hospitable, helpful and wonderful people. I feel that conferences from other parts of the world can actually learn a lot from DevFest Siberia. Special shout out to Leonid Kalneus and Denis Yakovlev, thank you for being such wonderful hosts. The event was wonderful and well executed. Russia in general was a beautiful place with great food, friendly people and lovely places. Thank you to all the numerous people that I met for making me feel right at home. Now I can finally say, “I have been to Siberia in winters and survived” 😀