Ricardo Costeira is a Software Engineer from Coimbra, Portugal. For the first time last year, he attended DevFest, the largest developer community-led movement hosted by Google Developer Groups across the world. To celebrate DevFest 2019, we want to share with you Ricardo’s story and how he went from writing code to finding community.
Ricardo (left) and a fellow GDG Lead plan DevFest Coimbra.
1. How did you first hear about DevFest? What inspired you to join?In 2018, after living in Coimbra for 3 years, I didn't have any friends outside of work that were software developers. I longed to fill my life with more people that understood my passion and decided it was time to make a change. So I took to social media to see how I could connect with more like minded thinkers. Eventually, DevFest showed up on my feed. Out of nowhere, I saw this crazy event in Coimbra packed with bold leaders, energizing speakers, and profoundly creative exercises. I never expected that being with a community would get me so excited. I got a ticket on the spot.
2. Can you tell us about your first experience at DevFest?
It was exhilarating - out of this world. When I first walked in, everyone talked to me as if we had known each other for years. Big smiles, loud laughs, and deep kindness were all around me. As someone who is relatively shy and a loner by nature, I was stunned when I felt myself saying, "I belong here, I'm home." That very same night, I looked up the next event I could attend. Since then, I have attended 2 other events, signed up for 6 more, and have become a GDG Lead. In other words, I’m hooked.
So how did this all change me? To be honest, DevFest brought forward a shift in my personality. I now want to be part of a community - that is a new feeling in my life.
“As someone who is relatively shy and a loner by nature, I was stunned when I felt myself saying, "I belong here, I'm home."
3. What from DevFest 2018 are you looking forward to seeing again this year?
The booths. DevFest Coimbra has booths where you can talk with different companies. It’s exciting to learn about all the opportunities to grow so close to home. In my case, it was thrilling to see just how quickly Portugal is scaling and how so many companies come to DevFest eager to talk with the best talent. Forming these relationships is what can make the difference when finding the right opportunity for you.
4. Leading up to DevFest 2019, what are you most excited for?
Lighting a spark in new attendees. I recently joined the organizational staff and I’m excited to give new attendees that feeling I had when I first walked into DevFest. I’ve found such meaning in working with my fellow GDG Leads to bring together attendees in a sense of shared awe.
5. Any advice for those attending DevFest 2019?
Just say hi. You will be surprised with how far it will take you. DevFest is not only about the talks or workshops, it’s also about the people. This community knows the extrovert and understands the introvert, and warmly welcomes both. That is to say, no matter who you are or how you code, there is a place for you here.
“DevFest is not only about the talks or workshops, it’s also about the people.”
Want to find a DevFest event near you? Check out devfest.withgoogle.com to join our community, meet other developers and learn about Cloud, Android, Flutter, Machine Learning and more.