April 24, 2023 | Monday

The first day at the Dev Forum

Day 2 of 7. Sharing the experience of meeting my team in person, then hitting the village with the family.

In January of this year, I was blessed with the opportunity to fly to New York for a work conference. I hadn’t been out there since I was a kid, so once they broadcasted the invite, I knew I had to give it real consideration.

In real life

Rewind back to last year in the spring of 2022.

The Quantum team at IBM held their first ever Developer Forum, which I missed out on for various reasons. So when whispers of a second forum began circulating through team channels, I quickly applied for a seat at the conference, even without knowing the full details.

To provide a bit of context: I’ve been serving the Quantum Community team for several years now. My team is globally distributed, but most of who I work with are based in the US and Europe.

As a cross-functional team, we operate in tight collaboration on a daily basis. It’s no wonder that over the years, we’ve all grown fairly close as colleagues.

For months leading up to the event, I had anticipated what it would be like, to finally meet my team in person. And though I couldn’t wait to finally shake hands, exchange laughs, and see how tall people were in real life, a part of me was still nervous for some reason.

Maybe it has to do with the fact that for the first time in my life, I was in this situation of meeting a ton of people that I already kinda knew, but haven’t seen or really met, and it would all be happening at once.

The two things I kept reminding myself: just be regular, and just be yourself, and everything else will go smooth.

And it did.

Fortunately, meeting the broader team was way easier than I thought. The energy was great, people were genuinely nice, and we were all happy to finally connect in real life.

Before you knew it, it was time to work.

The Forum

Simply put, the Developer Forum kick-off was spectacular. I don’t think I’ve ever been among so many scholarly human beings in one location, throughout my entire life — it was an interesting thing to observe.

Several blue sticky notes with ideas and sketches, posted on my laptop
Capturing a few quick concepts

Not only did I thoroughly enjoy the working sessions and talks, but I was lucky to have had held great conversations with new team members and external attendees alike.

My biggest takeaway was this rejuvinated motivation to learn more about how I could serve this emerging industry. I ended the first day with contributions towards different projects, newly established connections, and another level of fascination that I hope to leverage as I continue learning the field.

Watching our colleague, Eddy, present our work in the dev forum main conference room
My good colleague, Eddy, presenting our work