React Miami was this past week, April 18 - 19. It was an opportunity our team did not want to miss out on, especially with the beautiful, warm Miami weather and beaches! Conferences are an excellent opportunity to learn about languages and frameworks, learn new concepts and ideas, network with the community, grow as an engineer, and have a fantastic time with colleagues.
If you have never attended an in-person conference or have considered attending, we highly recommend it.
Meeting new people tends to be scary for most people. There is untapped knowledge and resources out there for you, just waiting for you to go out of your comfort zone. Taking risks, regardless of the outcome, becomes a personal growth experience.
Interacting with people at tech conferences is a great way to meet others in the same industry as you. Sharing ideas and knowing that other people have the same aspiring goals as you is refreshing.
If you are not comfortable speaking with strangers, you can try the Pac-Man method. Typically at conferences, you will see a group of 3 or more. You can slowly approach the group and start listening to the person talking. It can be awkward, but you would be surprised at how often it results in a handshake and a short introduction. The method has not failed us, and it is an excellent chance to meet new people.
Kicking off the first day of the event, we made our way to a brunch hosted by React Miami. The brunch was located at the Marseilles Hotel, with beautiful scenes of the famous Miami beach.
We met some great people, and we spent most of our morning talking with other conference attendees. Brunch concluded after a couple of hours, and we headed to the conference.
The team arrived early to get badges and check out the parent conference, eMerge Americas. After our initial walk-through of eMerge Americas, we made our way to React Miami’s first talk by Nader Dabit, a Developer Relations Engineer at Edge & Node. Dabit gave a fantastic talk on “The Technology Stack for the Decentralized Web.”
Next up on the list was Lee Robinson, Director of Developer Relations at Vercel, who gave a talk on “Expectation vs. Reality of Marketing Websites.” His presentation structure captured the audience by showing live examples. Lee provided great insight into problems developers can run into when using frameworks other than NextJS.
The team initiated conversations with various types of companies. Companies attending eMerge Americas ranged from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. Notable companies attending the conference included Toptal, Vonage, and Flatfile. Each had exciting booths and fantastic employees. The employees gave great insight into the company and how their product can increase workflow. The team continued to hand out stickers and business cards along the way, growing our partnerships and clients.
Day two kicked off with a 9 am arrival to eMerge Americas. The team was able to see the best tennis player in the world, Serena Williams, talking about all things web3.
We made our way to the React Miami conference happening next door to see the one and only Kent C. Dodds, Co-Founder, Director of Developer Experience at Remix. Kent showed examples of how easy it is to get things running with RemixJS and why we should use it over other frameworks. Kent started to break down why this framework should be used in your next project.
After Jenn’s talk, the team heard an inspirational talk from Jerome Hardaway. Jerome is a self-taught developer who founded Vets Who Code. Jerome pairs with American Veterans, teaching them how to code and providing vets the opportunity to get back into the workforce.
We had the opportunity to learn more about accessibility from Isabela Moreira, a Software Engineer at Microsoft. Isabela did a great job informing us of resources to make websites more accessible and how we can use that knowledge to pass accessibility audits for the future. Isabela shared how frustrating it can be for someone when a website is not accessible to them. As a new engineer in the industry, it was an eye-opener and something that should be important to the developer community to ensure our websites and applications are accessible. It’s great to work with a team that already keeps accessibility in mind, helping clients with audits and implementing best practices.
The team enjoyed various talks for the rest of the day. We left with a deeper understanding of web3 and made new friends!
The team spent the final day of our trip co-working in one of CIC Miami’s amazing office spaces. CIC Miami borders Miami's famous Wynwood district.
Wynwood Art District - Miami, FL
The team had the opportunity to co-work together, which is refreshing because Echobind is a remote-first company—sharing ideas, pair programming, and talking about what we enjoyed during the conference and how we can implement some of those ideas in our work.
If you are looking to grow your career, Echobind is currently hiring. Click here to learn more about Echobind.
We hope our journey and insights help you when attending a conference in the future. The takeaway is to try to get out of your comfort zone yet feel comfortable. Thank you for reading, and we would love to hear about your experiences at conferences.