Bustling crowds moved around the numerous colorful booths. Speakers boomed on bright stages. Coffee machines whirred non-stop. Welcome to DevTalks.
This could have been the opening part of a media coverage on DevTalks Cluj, happening on May 16th. Instead, the quote actually pertains to Frank Liao, one of the two international interns we welcomed this May at Around25. The other one is Simon Lesting and they both flew to Cluj for the business development internship we developed alongside AIESEC Romania.
Little did the guys know that, soon after their arrival (Frank's from the U.S. and Simon's from Germany), they were going to have a first-hand encounter with the state of the Romanian tech and entrepreneurial community.
And not only did they agreed to attend, but they also shared their impressions - which you are free to check as follows.
“Being my first time in Europe, it’s been quite an experience taking everything in. Working in Cluj has exposed me to the vibrant entrepreneurial and tech community of Romania and DevTalks exemplifies that.
Startups of all sorts, from parking apps to blockchain creators, were there to pitch their products and services to an interested crowd. It was a fantastic opportunity for the best and brightest to hear about new developments and network among themselves.
Hearing startup leaders being interviewed about their personal experiences, I realized that no matter what country they’re from, the drive and determination of entrepreneurs are the same.
Meanwhile, speakers from all industries also came to share their insights and work. Even if you were less computer-science-inclined like I am, it was still a fantastic experience to hear these speakers. Presenters were split among stages on different topics: DevOps, Emerging Tech, Web&Mobile, Datafication, Java, Product Management, Automotive.
My personal favorite was the Emerging Tech stage. I got the chance to hear speakers on VR & AR, Machine Learning Workflows, Internet of Things, AI, and recommender systems.
Not only did I get a chance to learn new things, but I got an overview of industry and developmental outlooks for Europe in the future. Hearing non-North American viewpoints and opinions was very refreshing to me and allowed me to gain a global picture of many emerging technologies.
Cluj’s growth as the ‘tech hub of Romania’ has fostered a unique and fast-growing entrepreneurial environment. Getting a chance to take part in a conference like DevTalks was quite an eye-opening experience, and I would highly recommend attending when you get the chance. And if you run into a guy named Simon from Around25, tell him Frank says “Save some coffee for the rest of us”.
“Even though Around25 is a product development agency, I have had nearly no idea about software development in the first place. Therefore, I was concerned when I first heard that I had the opportunity to attend DevTalks Cluj.
But even as a non-tech-savvy person, there was much to see and to learn from a business development perspective.
There were inspirational keynotes on how the digitalization and the millennials challenge current leadership strategies, what a fearless leader means and how to tackle ongoing business disruptions. On top of that, I listened to and discussed about existing or upcoming trends like VR/AR, fleet connectivity, Blockchain and many more.
It was amazing to see the diverse startups and exhibitors showing their latest products. I enjoyed the most getting in touch with entrepreneurs and learning what were the main challenges from their point of view when it comes to starting your own business. It was inspiring and motivating to hear them share their experience.
At the end of an exhausting and interesting day, there is nothing more to say but to recommend all of you to attend the next DevTalks. Who knows, you might as well find me in the startup area, drinking a lot of coffee and learning about the experience of some Elon Musks to-be”.
It only took a suggestion from my part for the guys to share impressions from their first big Romanian tech event, which is a testament to their professionalism and involvement in the whole internship process.
What caught my eye after reading both materials was the coffee situation. So, curious as to how Simon would respond to Frank's pledge ("Save some coffee for the rest of us"), I asked the former for a reply. Which came in this form:
I was secretly glad the banter seems to be strong between these two and I gathered one indeed needs loads of coffee in order to keep up with all the action unfolding at DevTalks.
If you'd like to see the interns in action, check out our Instagram! they've completely taken it over.