We could not be more excited about having our first inaugural industry conference, {Unscripted}. Though with the current pandemic, our original plans of having us all together in a fabulous physical location is unfortunately not possible this year. We realize that a big draw of going to a conference is not only the great material to learn but the connections made in the hallway track [e.g meeting folks] who are also on the technology journey. 

A goal of {Unscripted} is to foster those connections and lasting knowledge around software delivery. We have lined up a great set of speakers from many different organizations and perspectives to help everyone increase their knowledge in software delivery. From the organizer’s table, we have collectively been to many virtual conferences this year and wanted to share a few learnings and how to make the most of your experience at {Unscripted}. 

One More Zoom? – Virtual Conferences 

With our days filled with what seems like being on a continuous virtual meeting, fatigue can certainly set in looking at your screen all day. The last thing you probably want to do is to head to another virtual conference where you are switching between the conference and your day job which ironically might be another virtual meeting platform. When selecting the virtual platform for {Unscripted} we were adamant that it didn’t feel like a glorified webinar for our attendees. 

When we surveyed peer engineers at peer firms with our State of Developer Satisfaction 2020, learning and development were top concerns for engineers in this new way of working. With limited ability to attend in-person internal or external learning opportunities, the rise of the virtual conference became necessary. If this is your first or nth virtual conference, finding what works well for you is the most important. 

Virtual Conference Tips and Tricks 

The beauty [or downside] to a virtual conference is that you don’t have to travel to see them. You’re able to attend from the comfort of your own home – sweatpants and slippers for the win! However, in your working from home journey, you certainly know the distractions or focus that working from home can bring. 

  1. Attend sessions that have an impact or pique your curiosity. We recently published the agenda for {Unscripted}. Make sure to block off time for the sessions that interest you the most. If you happen to miss a session don’t worry, they will be on-demand immediately following the event and available for at least 30 days after. 
  2. Participate where you can. The speakers and panelists will be available to answer questions during their talk or panel. Be sure to chime in the virtual chat. 
  3. Connections are sometimes hard to make in virtual conferences.  In our virtual event platform, we encourage you to take advantage of some of the great networking opportunities like creating a short intro video so people quickly learn more about you and make sure you select your areas of interest so the platform can recommend like-minded folks, sponsors and resources to connect with. 
  4. Make sure to take breaks throughout. You do have a day job so finding the right balance is one of the biggest benefits of a virtual conference. 

Like any conference, the conference is designed for you, and {Unscripted} is no different. 

{Unscripted} is Your Conference

For {Unscripted} we have developed two tracks; Simplify and Scale. The ethos of Simplify Track is to teach folks without experience in the approach/technology and leave you with a foundational understanding. In parallel, the ethos of the Scale Track is to teach folks a more opinionated methodology/approach from real-world experts and leave you with what worked and has not worked for them. There are a few different formats for learning and connecting. 

  • The sessions which are presented on specific problems, technologies, or approaches run in two parallel tracks. 
  • The panels which are conversation focused around prudent topics are meant to bring everyone together and not run in parallel. 
  • Round tables can now take place in our virtual platform which is designed for participants to engage in freely throughout the day. 
  • Participate in an {Unscripted} Harness University for free training on the Harness Platform. 
  • Our sponsors are diverse and represent a wide swath of technology. If you have not heard of one of them or the technology that they represent, they would love to connect. 

With those simple tips and tricks, you are well on your way to success at {Unscripted}.

Looking Towards {Unscripted}

We are excited for every attendee to {Unscripted}. The success of the conference would not be possible without you. As the time comes closer, we will continue to post more, and you will have the ability to log into the virtual platform to take a spin. Be sure to follow {Unscripted} on Twitter, and if you have not already, make sure to register.  

Hope to see you there!

-Kari, Tiffany, and Ravi