My Experience With Tech Conferences
3 weeks ago

As a cyber security apprentice, I recently attended my first tech conferences. I attended an internal one by Amazon, and an external one by Tech Show London. Before this, I was scared to attend anything external, it was a mix of imposter syndrome and all round just lack of confidence to explore new environments. However, I came out of both feeling more inspired and motivated than ever.

Here is a quick overview of my experiences and why I’m never going to miss another one!

Amazon Apprentice Tech Summit:

Amazon's internal tech summit provided a platform for apprentices like myself to gain insight  from both external and internal industry experts. The agenda included topics, ranging from innovation in tech to the future of Amazon Alexa and AI, and even delved into cybersecurity insights—a personal highlight for me. We also gained valuable insights into the workings of BCS (British Computer Society) and explored innovation within AWS.

Normally, I would dislike sitting and listening to people talk for hours at a time, however it really makes a difference when you're invested in the topics and actually have similar motivations. This one conference made me realise how much I had previously missed out on by thinking that they were ‘boring’.

This conference served as a catalyst for my personal and professional growth. It also made me eager to work on my public speaking skills, as I aspire to one day inspire others just as the speakers did for me.

Tech Show London:

My journey continued at the Tech Show London—an expansive event that showcased multiple facets of the tech landscape, from Cloud and DevOps to cybersecurity, Big Data, AI, and Data Centers. The scale of the event was honestly overwhelming, there was so much going on at once, activities including talks, competitions, and generous giveaways. It was a huge difference from the small internal conference I attended at Amazon, however it definitely helped me get out of my comfort zone. As someone who isn't the biggest fan of talking to strangers, I used the merchandise - stickers/notebooks etc as my motivation for talking to people, and I ended up coming away from the event with enough stationary to last me until I finished my apprenticeship. Focusing on this helped me learn a lot about other companies and industry sectors that are out there, and I was also rewarded with a pen or some other branded item at the end of each discussion.

There was an abundance of talks, however two stood out prominently for me: a captivating session by Anne Boden MBE, detailing her journey in founding Starling Bank, and an enlightening discourse by Professor Brian Cox, an individual I'd been wanting to see in the flesh for many years!

Reflecting on my initial reservations, I realised how much I had underestimated the potential impact of tech conferences. Engaging with professionals from diverse backgrounds not only broadened my horizons but also improved my confidence.  I would definitely recommend attending, whatever your motivations may be for it, get yourself out there!

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