React Alicante - The international React.js conference in Spain - Interview with Victoria Quirante

Interviews

React

Conference

There are plenty of events out there. What is it like to organize one? I know it's hard work based on what I've seen.

To get more perspective, I'm interviewing Victoria Quirante, one of the organizers of React Alicante, a new React conference organized late September in Spain.

Can you tell a bit about yourself?#

Victoria Quirante I’m a Telecom Engineer from Murcia, Spain. I graduated from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, doing my master thesis in computer vision at the ETH, in Zurich.

I started as a web developer back in 2008 and founded Limenius together with Nacho Martín in 2011. There we provide consulting, training and development services to other companies, working mainly with React, React Native, Elixir, and Symfony.

Apart from coding, I love playing football (soccer), swimming outdoors, and reading. I have run a couple of half-marathons, and this summer I plan to kayak around the island of Menorca in eight days.

How would you describe React Alicante to someone who has never heard of it?#

React Alicante is an international conference focused on React.js and React Native hosted in sunny Alicante, Spain. Its first edition is going to take place on September 28-30, 2017. There will be one workshop day for beginners and two conference days with more advanced talks and case studies.

What does React Alicante offer?#

It offers the opportunity of spending a few days improving your developer skills, meeting people from around the world, and enjoying the food and warm weather from the Mediterranean coast of Spain.

Regarding the content, the event will start with two workshops on Thursday, where participants will learn the fundamentals of React and React Native and code their first application in both technologies. The conference itself will take place on Friday and Saturday. It will be single-tracked, with 7-8 talks each day.

The venue is a nice hotel (with a terrace pool!) close to Alicante’s port. Lunches and coffee breaks will be served at the hotel. We will also have refreshments at the end of each day, and a closing party on Saturday.

How does React Alicante differ from other events?#

Our idea is to make sure that the atmosphere is delightful for everyone. In my opinion, when organizing an event like this, there are two things that you need to care of: the quality of the talks and the quality of the networking opportunities.

People attending want to learn, but they also want to have a good time and the chance to meet other developers. I think it is important to make that easy for them. If they finish the weekend not only with lots of new ideas but also with a few new friends, the experience is much more valuable.

With that in mind, we are trying to attract people from as many different countries as possible. I honestly believe that things are more fun when you are surrounded by people from different places, and we are trying to create an event with an emphasis on that.

Apart from that, three keywords: sun, beach, and paella. ;)

Why did you decide to arrange React Alicante?#

It has been a combination of a few things.

After trying other front-end options in the past, we have been working with React already for a couple of years, and we are thrilled with it. We believe that both the React and the React Native developer communities should be growing in the next years, and we thought about helping a bit with that.

On the other hand, in the last times, we have been attending a good amount of international conferences as speakers. Thanks to that, we have got a good picture of what other events offer, as well as an idea of what things work best for all parts involved: attendees, speakers, and sponsors.

Finally, I think that in Spain there is room for an event like this and that Alicante is the perfect place to host it -because of the weather and the good connections by train and plane, thanks to being a popular tourist destination.

To sum up, we thought that it was the right time and the right place to do it.

What next?#

The conference has just been announced, and the initial feedback has been really good, we are excited about it. But there is still a lot to do.

We already have some confirmed speakers, and the call for papers will be open until June 30th. We plan to announce the full program on July 4th. After that, we need to make sure that everything gets in place for this first edition.

What does the future look like for React Alicante?#

We would like to turn it into a yearly event that many front-end developers out there want to attend.

But of course, the first step is to focus on making this first edition a great experience for everyone attending and taking part.

What advice would you give to programmers getting into web development?#

Do not get obsessed with just one technology or too focused on only a particular task. Specialization is good, but the web development world changes fast, and at the beginning, it is more important to get a good foundation, rather that to learn a few libraries by heart.

My advice would be to start trying to understand how everything works from a high level, then be able to implement a simple back-end and front-end by yourself.

Try a few different technologies, be open, and then start choosing what things you like most. Specialization should be the last step, not the first one. And being open to the changes and new things coming is key.

Who should I interview next?#

I would suggest you interview Forbes Lindesay. He is the creator of pug, cabbie and ESDiscuss. He has been working on large-scale React applications on Facebook, and he will be giving the workshop “Introduction to React.js” at React Alicante 2017.

Any last remarks?#

One of the most enjoyable things about being a software developer is to meet others like you, share your success and horror developer stories with them, and learn from each other. Attending events like React Alicante is one of the best ways of doing it. I hope to see you there! :)

Conclusion#

Thanks for the interview Victoria! I hope you get a lot of great people at React Alicante. Maybe I get to participate a React conference one day. :)

To learn more about the conference, go check React Alicante site.

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