About the Geek Sessions

Bonjour à tous!

This is an article written by António Lopes, Software Engineer @ MD3.

Today I want to talk about our fourth Geek session (yeap, fourth!), prior to this type of “events” we had 3 presential sessions – open to the general public, something like a “meet up” if you will – two of them were related with Elasticsearch, on the first one we had people from big companies attending ( :sweat_smile:), and another one about Python. All of these sessions were presented with both internal and external guests but with the pandemic situation, we had to change the game. It’s important to know how this all comes up.

It begins when a small meeting (3 – 4 people) turns into a big meeting (a substantial increase number of people 10 – 15) that show interest in knowing how one of our internal projects – Keywords – works and what it is. This ends up being more like a technical presentation followed by a discussion and ideas related to the project itself and all the technical part surround it. It was clear (at least for me :another_sweat_smile:) that people want to discuss/talk about subjects that they had a direct or indirect interest in or understanding.

From this point on, it was created a space where people could talk/discuss internal/external/personal projects and/or interest areas in a “non” formal away but rather a semi-formal way within a “podcast” structure – moderator, speaker and public – if you will – it’s also important to say that Geek Sessions are not Webinar because structure and goals are different – it’s not lecture type of thing!

Geek Sessions’ main goals are to allow people – mainly from the company – to be aware of or to know new/old subjects that might (or not) be related to problems in their current works/interests and share or expose interests to the company and community.

It’s not exclusively for developers because it aims for subjects from design to development. It aims to reach as many areas as possible within the company realm – and world. smile:)

In the first two sessions, we had Sérgio Bernardo on “Gamification” – a very interactive presentation about the importance of gamification in many areas – and on the second it was Rodrigo Sá Pessoa on “Research and development of a functionality for image recognition for mobile applications” – a showcase of his own master degree thesis. Although the initial purpose was to have internal people talking to the internal crowd it is up to guests to say if they want or not to have an open session to the world!

In our third session, João de Sousa e Silva on “Accessibility on Healthy Aging”, he is a specialist in computer software accessibility and his session focused on the importance of it and its applicability in new apps/computer software. This type of subject is very important for tech companies such as ours, this goes from design to development because the user interface and user experience go hand to hand, besides it can make a project be better or worse than any others that exist in the market. We need to be prepared for this and as João said “…it’s a huge market with loads of money…. although this needs to be well done and executed with commitment”. If you have more interest please check this nice review.

And now our fourth session, Vera Ferreira on “Preserving, discovering and exploring the immaterial cultural heritage in the digital era”, is a linguist with a specialization in endangered and minority languages. She brought us a very interesting subject that is the importance of language globally, locally and how technology is helping to prevent the extinction of some of those languages. Interest? Check this review, it also contains the video presentation and some of the points discussed.

When it comes to numbers on the last sessions we had an increase of attendees around 20% (being 40% external to the company) and for the social networking the engagement also increase a bit, this may not seem too much but have in mind that in this new era is more important people to know that exists rather participate… unfortunately? (unfortunately? :thinking_face:)

Anyway, I’m not sure about these numbers/statistics or have any type of know-how about this so please confirm with our communication team or here for a better understanding! (they have more information and insight about this. :sweat_smile:

As it was said before, session subjects can vary a lot and do not need to be directly related to our work within the company but all accepted guests and subjects need to have a common goal of bringing something to the company and for the community.

João was the first external guest, Vera our second guest, but more is to come, some arrangements are being made.

If they work well we will have subjects from design to music, physics and artificial intelligence… :evil_laughter: Ahh, before you go as it was said to all company’s employees – If you want to speak or say something about a cool subject you are more than welcome to bring some and talk about it! Don’t feel intimidated, let’s enjoy and learn together with an awesome chilled audience! :smiley:

By the way a quick note about the “Geek” definition word:

Someone who is very interested in a particular subject and knows a lot about it.

Much love, keep rocking, namaste! :fist_bump: :pray_hands: