I previously shared how having a culture of continuous learning is vital to the health and growth of our engineering team here at Dashlane.
If we’re not learning, we’re stagnating.
One way this mindset manifests itself is in our investment in and dedication to sending engineers to conferences and hosting engineering Meetups in our Paris office.
Attending these events presents great opportunities for engineers to:
- Learn and discover new skills, new practices, and the latest news on our preferred programming languages and development platforms
- Meet other smart people, create relationships, and extend professional networks
- Expand horizons by training on new techniques and learning about how others are innovating in their field
I’ve made the choice to allocate a significant budget for conferences. My goal is to have every Dashlane engineer attend at least one conference every year.
In 2017, we had 106 participants attend 33 different conferences. That’s an average of 2+ conferences per member of our 48-member engineering team.
How can we afford to send so many engineers to so many conferences? By squeezing every last inch out of our budget.
We look for early bird tickets to get cheaper prices, use promo codes that are shared through Meetup communities, prioritize local conferences that don’t require travel and associated travel costs, take advantage of the French government training budget, and we attend as many free conferences as we can.
We even have a “Conference” page on our intranet where we track all of this activity and make sure we are meeting the goal of sending all engineers to at least one conference per year.
Our top conferences are among others: the Dot conferences (DotSwift, DotJS, etc.), AndroidMakers, WWDC, nCrafts, ReactEurope, JSConf, SSTIC, FrenchKit, LaProductConf, and Agile en Seine.
I mentioned that we are quite active in the Meetup community. Many of our team members attend Meetups on their own. But we try to host Meetups in the Dashlane Paris office on a regular basis, as well.
We hosted eight Meetups in 2017, including the C++, CocoaHeads, ProductTank, and Security Meetups.
We are lucky that we can host up to 60 participants in the Paris office. We offer food and beer after the talks, and of course share Dashlane promo codes for all the attendees. Hosting Meetups is something our engineering team loves, and we hope to continue doing more in the future.
A best-case scenario is when we have the opportunity to be speakers ourselves. In 2017, we had at least one speaker at 17 different events.
And since we’re very active in engaging with the engineering community and hosting Meetups, we’ve established ourselves as thought leaders.
This is good for us, as we have the opportunity to evangelize Dashlane and build awareness around our engineers, team, product, and brand; and it’s good for attendees who get to learn from our mistakes and our triumphs in order to improve their craft, learn new skills, and test new methodologies and processes at their place of work.
How do we become speakers at so many events? Submitting Call For Papers (CFP) to relevant conferences is the most visible way—but not necessarily the easiest. We also contribute to the Brown Bag Lunch group in France. For instance, we were recently invited to speak at Younited-Credit or Vente-Privee. (And of course Meetups are an especially valuable way for less experienced public speakers to practice in front of a smaller group.)
Thankfully, our team continues to learn and grow. If continuous learning is one of your key criteria for a job, take a look at our open positions and reach out to us!