On May 23rd, the fifth year anniversary of the Techorama Belgium conference was held in Antwerp; their biggest edition yet, with over 1500 attendees. Our very own digital hero, Gerald, was invited over to do a session!
The conference was hosted in a cinema, which is a great setting for a conference like this. The rooms are big enough to hold a large number of people and the screens are ginormous which is an absolute pleasure for both the presenter as well as the viewer.
For the second time in a row, our colleague, Gerald, now had the privilege of speaking at Techorama. “It is really a great honor to be invited.” Gerald tells us. “There are so many great names on the agenda: Donovan Brown, James Montemagno, Kasey Uhlenhuth, and of course, local heroes like Marcel de Vries and Roland Guijt. You cannot go to a conference and not bump into at least one of these great people” he continues.
Gerald’s main focus is developing cloud-oriented, cross-platform apps and his session this year was all about that. “In my session, I’ve talked about using the Azure Cognitive Services in a Xamarin app”. For the ones that don’t know the cognitive services yet: they are basically a set of REST APIs that you can call upon for some very powerful artificial intelligence capabilities. For instance, you can use the cognitive services to detect faces in a picture and even someone’s emotion. Or maybe you want to know what objects are in a picture, it can do that for you as well.
“By the means of a few funny sample apps, I teach the audience how powerful, yet very simple, the Azure Cognitive Service are to use” Gerald continues about his session. “Detecting if something is a hotdog or banning duckfaces from a made-up social media platform is not very useful, but it does show you how very easy it is to implement powerful features that are normally exclusively available for billion dollar companies.” he explains.
"Great examples are already available, for instance an app that helps blind people to see or detect cancer in an early stage by taking a picture of a mole. That is life changing stuff and now available to everyone that has a good idea and a credit card.”
One of the reasons that makes Techorama so loveable is the attention to detail. “As a speaker they arrange a great hotel for you near the venue. When you arrive there, there is a hanger on the door saying that tells you ‘your Techorama journey starts here’. And for this year, there was a giftbox with some great gifts and my speaker badge. It’s little things like this that makes you feel special as a speaker” Gerald explains.
Not just another conference, but a full experience where you are wow’ed and can’t wait to tell all your friends. This is also true for the speakers. “The people who speak at conferences like these are a relatively small group. Because of that, I keep meeting the same people everywhere in the world. And don’t get me wrong: that’ is great! It’ is so much fun being able to talk to them and being introduced to people I only knew from their tweets or great blog posts.” Gerald tells us about being a speaker. “It is a true privilege to be invited all around the world while doing what I love”.
Techorama Belgium will be back in 2019 on May 27-29th on May 27 through 29, 2019, again in Kinepolis, Antwerp. And did you know there will be a Dutch Techorama this year as well?! This wonderful conference in all it’s glory will be held October 1st-3rd in the Cinemec cinema in Ede. Of course, DotControl will also be there for the Dutch edition to absorb the knowledge. For more information and tickets, check out: techorama.nl