Lester is an Engineering Manager at ImmobilienScout24 responsible for the Communications Platform and Profile teams. Originally from Mexico, Lester has lived in the United States most of his life, studied Computer Science at the University of Washington in Seattle. He has worked in software engineering for 15 years as a developer and manager. We sat down with Lester to talk about his experiences at GOTO Amsterdam, what he learned from the event and Scout24’s future plans to attract tech talents.
Why did Scout24 decide to take part in GOTO Amsterdam?
Lester: We felt it was important to sponsor GOTO as unified group between AutoScout24 and ImmobilienScout24 to introduce ourselves to the community of European developers likely to be present and create a dialogue about opportunities to work together. It was also important to showcase the work we are doing to stay technologically relevant and keep our competitive edge since we are such a visible market player for our segments. For that, Christian Deger presented a talk on Microservices stories from the trenches to walk the audience through the AutoScout24 journey of transforming a Datacenter monothlic website into a Microservices platform in the cloud. By telling the story of the technology accomplishments behind our successful businesses in an open forum and approaching developers directly about opportunities to work together we could do our part to attract a pipeline of technical professionals to help Scout24 grow into the future. In return GOTO offered us a place to hone our collective presentation skills with elevator pitches, presenting, and announcing prizes. We were also able to attend talks ranging from solving technical problems to strategies for communication in technical organizations.
What did Scout24 do to attract visitors at the conference?
Lester: To break the ice with developers we offered some nice prizes. With our interactive Java quiz, developers could test their skills at our booth for a chance to win one of two quality books. We also raffled a 128GB IPad amongst all attendees who registered with us. Erwin de Wolff of Comtrade was the lucky attendee to win that.
What was your role during the conference?
Lester: I was responsible for organizing our Tech presence at GOTO and ensuring our story is told to developers at the conference. This meant crafting a compelling story about how we have thus far quietly built a secure, scalable, data-driven technology stack to power relevant connections between consumers and sellers for autos and properties on our platforms. I also organized the prize giveaways and graphics for our booth with the help of one of our talented in-house designers.
What are your impressions of the conference?
Lester: The goal of the conference was to expose technical professionals in the software development ecosystem to a mix of ideas as broad as the challenges in their careers. I can appreciate the difficulty of curating such a range of relevant and interesting speakers. Despite the complexity of organizing such an event with so many attendees, presenters, and sponsors coming and going, we all felt it went smooth with no surprises or need for improvisation. Except for a minor lack of fresh air in some of the talks due to the tight spaces in the historic Beurs van Berlage building, the entire event was comfortable and very well hosted with interesting food and beverage options constantly flowing in. The conference even featured everyone’s favorite developer evangelist – Uncle Bob, who made himself accessible to everyone on the floor. He even came to our booth to say hi and I had a nice conversation with him about Chicago and life back in the US.
What are the key takeaways for Scout24?
Lester: We had several key takeaways and some learnings to improve on for next time.
We learned people are genuinely curious to learn about your company and if you convey a message about interesting things they care about, they will reciprocate with questions and seek to learn more. People are also not shy about sharing contact information with you if they feel you truly want to talk about something meaningful like an opportunity to work together or compare notes on approaching similar challenges. For the next time around, we identified some low-hanging fruit; business cards for example, which we normally operate without, but would have helped for people just passing by in a hurry to attend a talk. In addition, we will ensure involved teams include conference activities in their quarterly planning, this will hopefully smooth out the curves of activity in the weeks leading up to the conference.
In a nutshell, we learned a lot, connected with our developer audience, and started telling our tech story and look forward to doing that again.
What are the next conferences that Scout24 will take part in?
Lester: We will be looking at events such as Techcrunch Disrupt Berlin, QCon, Javazone, Amazon re:Invent and Cloud Summit so just come over and talk to us. Our team looks forward to seeing everyone there.
See what´s currently hapening at Scout24! @ https://boards.greenhouse.io/scout24#.WVOcuITyipq