WeAreDevelopers, the name of the conference says it all. Once a year developers from around the world gather in Vienna to meet, chat and learn about the latest trends in the software industry. Rare are the places where you can see such a diverse crowd of people comes together with one common interest – software!
Opening this 3-day software festival was a man that is a legend amongst developers. A man that lives and breathes engineering and has a constant itch to find out how things work – Steve Wozniak.
When picking his latest business card, he was presented with three choices: paper, plastic, and metal. He went for the metal one, and the material has an interesting additional perk – it cuts better than the plastic knives they serve on airplanes, and it leaves a damn good impression. A man full of interesting stories and a mailbox full of “great product ideas” he has a habit of putting stickers on airplane restrooms that say “Do not flush over cities”. So If you see one, you know Woz was on that plane.
Steve held the opening keynote for the conference, and he certainly is a man with a lot to say. Touching on most of the hot topics of today, he set the stage for the next three days of dev talk.
The big one here is blockchain. Blockchain apps are being written everywhere in the world, and they are all great ideas. But, Steve compares the current situation with the internet bubble earlier in the century. Everyone was proposing applications where you can look up movies or check airplane flights, and they all got heavily invested in them. But the problem was, they were too early. Society did not transition fast enough. For blockchain apps, “It’s right, it’s on the mark but it’s gonna be in the future, like maybe a decade”.
His coding days mostly behind him, he is still trying to find ways to experiment with the world around him. He had some bitcoins, and wanted to see how it actually works, where and how could he use it. “I still have a goal, that I would travel someday with no credit cards and no cash”. But then it got too big for his taste and it was not fun anymore. He sold all but one, and never looked back. “It’s enough to still experiment with” – Woz says.
When asked about the work of Elon Musk, Woz says he is a man of incredible vision. He ordered a Tesla, but in the last week of its delivery, he bought a Mercedes instead. He got scared that his wife wouldn’t know what to do with it because it’s different from a regular car. He ultimately got one (what geek wouldn’t) and shared his impression that Elon makes things as if he is making them for himself.
A great start to what turned out to be very insightful 3 days of dev talks, Woz was (hah!) going to continue his public speaking tour the very next day. And we bet he will be putting stickers on the plane, and cutting his steak in style.