Walk with me through my first international conference, EIJC’s Dataharvest!
EIJC Dataharvest was my first international conference. Although I have to say in a way it won’t count. The conference itself took place at my own school in my own country. I didn’t have to travel to get there and for me that’s something special about international conferences. A friend of mine recently went to Polyglot gathering in Bratislava, that’s what I call an international conference. But of course, this doesn’t mean that I didn’t have a great time.
I did not go to the mixer on Thursday evening, so my first introduction was on Friday. I arrived in Mechelen two hours before the start of the conference. I had to go to class for a bit and meet up with the other students from my year. I am a planner. So as soon as I got my time table I decided which talks I wanted to go to.
Let me tell you one thing: it is hard to choose from so many great subjects. I am not the most data-loving person in the world, but I do know that you can get a lot out of it. Naturally I was excited to learn new things.
At the start-up talk, we were all put into small groups to get to know one other a bit better. I was in group 14, also known as the group that couldn’t find a room to talk so we had to do it in the hallway. The leader of my group was Helena Bengtsson, a Swedish Editor for the Guardian.
On Friday I attended the Key note session about the LuxLeaks, given by Edouard Perrin. Followed by Nils Hansons’s “fact-checking: getting it right every time!”
Friday’s lunch was served in the Foyer. A bit small to house so many people, but I do understand they couldn’t very well take over the cafeteria while students were still going to class. It was a bit hectic, but manageable. It gave me and my friends a bit of time to figure out where we all wanted to go. Especially right after lunch, I had a really hard time deciding. I really wanted to go to Robert Gebeloff’s “How to not be wrong”, because being wrong sucks. Unfortunately, his session was moved to earlier in the day and unfortunately for me I missed the memo.
Instead I went to “The Internet of Things is kapputt” which was both interesting and slightly creepy at the same time. It explained how easy it is to use objects like baby monitors, toys, smartphone, and turn them into spy gear. You know some people stick a piece of paper onto their build-in webcam. I might just do the same, actually.
I ended my Friday with a very nice chat with Raf Njotea about screenwriting. Raf was a volunteer at Dataharvest and was very helpful.
Saturday at Data Harvest was just as pleasant as Friday. I started my day listening to Louis Goddard explaining on “Finding your way on the dark net”.
I do have some knowledge about the dark web from my Online Research class, but Goddard only added more information. In a way it was, just like Friday’s lecture, a bit creepy the more you thought about it.
At lunch I met Ben Meghreblian. We talked about food, the building and the incompetence of the lunch staff. Read about our talk more here.
After lunch I decided to indulge myself more into clinical related topics, so I went to “Is Your Doctor Paid by the Drug Producer”. Now this is what I call using data for the greater good. A great example of how to use data the right way and you can read more about it here.
EIJC was my first conference, but it certainly won’t be my last.