After the long long wait of over two years, finally, it was possible to run the Developers Conference 2022 in Mauritius. Finally, software developers, web designers, mobile app developers and IT administrators to name a few were able to release their super powers and join the largest IT event on the island.
This year's edition of the Developers Conference was originally planned and scheduled for the first week of April 2020. We started to tease the IT community in Mauritius as early as the 26th of November 2019: It's about to happen! In February 2020 the organising team had already started with the selection of speakers: Conference submissions under review. The content team had to review over 400 submissions from over 200 speakers that we received until 31st January. And the conference website had been built by some dedicated volunteers from the community. With the Launch of Conference site by mid of February we were all settled to open the Registration for Developers Conference 2020. And, we received almost 400 registrations already, more than 200 within the first 48 hours since opening the RSVP period. At that time we were already monitoring the COVID-19 situation and development in Mauritius.
And then... we embarked on our journey for the 6th edition!
Early March 2020 came the official announcement that the country was going into lock down, and that absolutely no public gatherings can be conducted. As usual, we communicated immediately that Developers Conference 2020 is being postponed. Making the right decision isn't the easiest. However difficult it still is the right thing to do. At that time we already had over 530 registrations for the event, passing the half-way mark of our set goal of 1,000.
Virtual - that's what she said.
Following the devastating information about the COVID-19 pandemic back in March our team had been busy looking into alternative solutions. And with the right ideas, technology stack and a team of determinated community members we finally announced end of July that Developers Conference 2020 is going virtual. And of course, we kept the original idea of super hero / comic branding. Because that's what we are!
From the 9th September until the 11th September we held the Developers Conference 2020 in a virtual format using a moderated approach for each track to keep the entertainment factor is high as possible. Thanks to Microsoft Azure, Skype, OBS Studio and Youtube streaming we were able to record a total of over 120 hours of presentations and post-processed them for our Youtube channel. Check out the complete playlist of the conference. And we were super proud of our conference teasers.
At this point we would like to express our biggest gratitude and thanks to all sponsors and partners that remained patient and believed in our activities. Thank you!
The report of Virtual Developers Conference 2020 has all the details about the virtual event. The videos had nearly 9,000 views over those past three days. And back then we were quite optimistic about the future progress of the global pandemic.
We are really looking forward to our next offline conference around March / April 2021...
That's what happens when you have super powers like us.
However it got worse!
I won't refresh any memories about the global impact of the pandemic on everyone's life. For us as an IT community we continued using the virtual environment for our weekly Virtual Code & Coffee sessions online, and we kept ourselves occupied with the preparations for the next Developers Conference. Whenever it would be possible to strike again!
But how got it worse?
The founder of the MSCC and one of the (three) originators of the Developers Conference was diagnosed with cancer by mid of February 2021. Herewith, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to everyone helping my family and myself to get through the excruciating treatment and encouraged me to fight.
Sadly some of us lost friends, family members, and loved ones during those months. Those people will remain forever in our hearts and memories.
Plus, Mauritius went back into full lock down at the beginning of March 2021. Again not a freaking chance at all to organise an in-person conference in that year. And after the exhausting experience of the virtual Developers Conference we decided to remain patient and to let things sort them out themselves.
It can't rain all the time...
True. And after rain follows sunshine. At least that's what the common understanding seems to be. All this time we had been closely monitoring the general situation of the pandemic, followed the announcements of the Mauritian government, and maintained a healthy communication with our conference partners. The team asked regularly for feedback from each sponsor and listened to their suggestions and advice on how to proceed potentially. Again, our biggest wishes and heart-felt Thank You to each and everyone while keeping faith in our cause.
Around February / March we got optimistic about the whole COVID situation, with increased numbers of vaccinated people, we decided to reserve three consecutive conference days for May 2022 at the new venue - Caudan Arts Centre. You can't imagine the surprise and [censored] everyone in the organising team had when it was announced that COVID restrictions for mass gatherings would remain active beyond March 2022. What? Why? How?
Although it would have been irresponsible to keep the dates in May we also fought tough negotiations with the management of the venue. The whole economy of Mauritius had taken a huge (deep) dive and understandably fresh revenue had to be generated. We heard the noises and it was hurting us. We deeply wanted to run the next edition of the Developers Conference.
And so, despite common "knowledge" there can be rain after the rain.
Mid of July 2022 the long-awaited announcement by the government to lift the restrictions of mass gatherings came. Oh boy, what joy we had! Of course, we reached out to the venue operator asking for conference days as early as possible - three consecutive days from Thursday to Saturday. And guess what the answer was... Maybe in Feb 2023 it might be possible. Nothing available before that.
Uhm! Are you kidding me?
Following numerous conference calls with venue management, partners, and speakers as well as having had discussions within the organising team we finally got the new dates fixed for the Developers Conference: 22-24th of November 2022!
During those weeks following the decision to run the Developers Conference 2022 - the 7th edition BTW, counting the virtual one - more and more things started to fall back into place where they were expected to be. The meetings with venue management, the calls with patiently waiting partners and new ones, the planning with our suppliers, all went smooth and without further hiccups. We even managed to add new partners to the roaster. Everyone was getting more and more excited that the conference is about to happen finally. In fairness, we kept the selection of speakers and their sessions as they had been chosen back in November 2021. No need to burden us and others with more obstacles. We had quite some work during the build-up, and everyone "just" wanted to have the Developers Conference happening.
The conference website however needed a few touch-ups here and there arranging all partners and supporters, having the sections of all interested user groups posted, and announcing a few Extras for the 2022 edition. Finally, all lights on green.
All those months leading the Developers Conference the organising team run the announcements on our various social media channels - Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Our partners had been listed several times depending on their allocated sponsorship tiers, all speakers had been announced weeks ahead of the conference, and all news updates were posted online to keep everyone in the loop.
The final agenda of sessions was announced six weeks in advance.
We were ready! And yes, actually everyone was ready!
Finally Show Time!
As early as 7:00 hrs in the morning of the 22nd November members of the organising team were present at the venue. Ready to check-in attendees for the most anticipated IT conference in Mauritius - the Developers Conference 2022!
Compared to previous years, we also decided to leave the event registration open. Although we had designed badges we kept a blank space for the name. It turned out to be the right decision. Lots of people had registered already online and also received their QR codes via email. And as they were joined by friends we enabled them to register and attend, too. Happiness all around...
Choosing Caudan Arts Centre as venue turned out to be the right decision despite the high cost. This way the conference was easily accessible by car - we provided free parking -, by bus and metro - Victoria terminal across the motorway -, and by foot. Numerous attendees came straight from their workplaces in Port Louis to attend the Developers Conference.
Data scientists in the making
Sometimes called the villains in the comics - just kidding! - data scientists play an important role. Let's have a look at the figures of Developers Conference 2022.
- 975 unique attendees
- 1753 unique registrations (out of 1987 records)
- 70 unique speakers (counting 5 international ones)
- 74 presentations
- Panel discussion on Technology and the Future of Work
- Lightning Talks
- Countless raffles and prize giveaways
- 36 sponsors & partners!
The super heroes came and were busy! Huge kudos & Thanks!
By the end of Tuesday we had managed to check-in 451 attendees. Interestingly there had been waves of incoming people and thanks to fast-tracking QR code registrants and delayed goodie hand-out the queues were reasonably short and even social distancing was possible. On Wedneday we had an additional 301 registrants checking-in at the venue, and on the last day we could welcome another 223 new attendees at the conference. Of course, a lot of people came during all three days.
Totalling 975 unique check-ins during those three days, based on 1753 unique registrations online.
That's practically doubling the number of attendees of Developers Conference 2019. And exceeded our wildest dreams. Back in 2019 we were joking about 1,000 attendees - now it became a reality!
However it saddens us a bit to see approx. 45% of registrants couldn't come to the event. Clearly something we have to analyse and improve for the next one.
Community - Free of charge but supercharged!
Words might not express our thanks and gratitude to all sponsors and partners of this year's Developers Conference. Thanks for believing in us, in the organising team, in the MSCC community and everyone in the user groups. Thanks for your patience and understanding during those testing times and turns of tides throughout the months of making the Developers Conference a successful event.
Shout out to our long-standing partners and a hearty welcome to all new joiners. We appreciate your support and we are here to assist you.
We would also like to thank some of the attendees who wrote about the Developers Conference 2022. The following list is not exhaustive.
- DEVCON! by Alex Bissessur
- Developers Conference 2022 by Girish Luckhun
- What I learned at DevCon 2022 Mauritius by Kritant
Please feel free to inform us about any (blog) article missing.
How super heroes look like
Check it out here.
In case you didn't know: all editions of the Developers Conference are online using their year as subdomain.
Mission: DevCon 2023
And as you all know: After the conference is before the conference.
Every year so far the Developers Conference had a (at least coloured) theme. And we won't break with tradition. Designed and planned since months we are going to take #DevConMU to new heights!
We are going to space!
Yes, the year 2023 will be the year to explore Sol and the solar system. And in hindsight of the recently launched Artemis missions going to the moon again, the MSCC community is going beyond the moon to explore the whole solar system.
Everyone is invited to join the MSCC, its partners and all user groups to venture together with us into space and to explore the solar system.
The countdown is set for 20th July 2023!
"That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." – Neil Armstrong
Developers Conference 2023 will be a giant leap for Mauritius.