18th of June was a very looooong day for me, starting at 4 AM and finishing about 2 AM over 22 hours later. Hours full of joy, emotions, fun, laugh, knowledge and most importantly meeting in person all of these amazing people from the IT community being spread out throughout the whole Poland. 18th of June was the culmination of the Daj Się Poznać 2016 competition, where all of the participants interested in joining this wonderful event have met in the Microsoft office in the Capital City of Warsaw.
I woke up at about 4 AM and started preparing for my trip – that’s not unusual for me these days as my organism seems to have taken a different route recently and 5-6 hours of sleep, sometimes even less makes me feel well-rested. My train left at 5:43 AM and I arrived in Warsaw at 8 AM where the weather was just perfect.
I went to the Microsoft office (thought it will be a bigger building, though) and about 9 AM everything has begun. At first welcoming by our host and the man behind the idea Maciej Aniserowicz, then presentations from some offiiciels (just kidding, a very cool guys actually) of the main sponsors which were mBank and Softwarehut (thanks for these cool bricks, glasses and autographs!) and eventually we, as the “competitors” had a chance to present ourselves and our projects in front of all of the people while having 20 minutes time cap – it was like 3 presentations in a row, then a short break, then another 3 etc. (in total 15 of them).
I must admit, that honestly I did not expect that these presentations would be prepared so well – I really enjoyed all of them, some people focused more on the tech side, some on the personal stuff and their journey, and in my case it was about mixing both of these concepts together.
At 1 PM the thrill was reaching its peak – it was the high time to announce the winners. And it turned out to be one of the most satisfying moments in my life as I have managed to win the overall competition and have been awarded an additional main prize sponsored by Microsoft.
For the 1st place, I’ve received a very fancy Aeron chair. The additional prize by Microsoft was the Xbox One with 3 games – and I’m very happy about that as I’ve promised myself that if I win additional prize I’ll give it to someone who might actually enjoy it much more than I would (I’m just not playing games anymore too often, barely a CS:GO match from time to time with some friends), therefore I’ll most likely hand it over to some orphanage or foundation here in Kraków where I live.
I’ve started my presentation at 2:20 PM (it was not a requirement, yet I really wanted to try it for the first time in my life in front of the great audience of almost 100 people).
I’m quite happy with the outcome, pretty much said everything that I have wanted to, sometimes the people would laugh and I’ve received some positive feedback which I really appreciate! I only regret that our presentations had not been recorded as it would be a really nice reminder.
At the very end of my presentation, I’ve planned to have this special slide where I would mention all of the people and communities that have supported and voted for me and also talk a little bit about what I’m currently doing and how I have influenced some of my friends to start blogging and become more recognizable.
At first let me make an official thanks, but this time in writing:
- All of the community members, participants, guests and of course the sponsors.
- My family and my friends including the ones that I’ve not seen in person for a very long time.
- Noordwind which is an organization that I’ve kind of co-founded and is the best job I’ve ever had in my life.
- Netwars and Koxteam communities.
- Everyone else I might have forgotten to mention – apologies for doing so.
And here are friends of mine whom I’ve influenced in some way to start blogging:
- Tomasz Kurowski who works in a financial area and blogs about it (but also other cool things) at Marketination.com.
- Adrian Kremski who is a great Android developer and have decided to create his own blog (starting in a few days) as currently he was publishing articles only to the company blog.
- Bartosz Kuc being a physiotherapist – make sure you check him out (starting in a few days), he will definitely help you if you have some back or knee issues caused by sitting for too long in front of the monitor ;).
I’ve also mentioned that in the following days I’m going to start a brand new blog slavstrong.fit where I and my friends who work mostly in IT branch (but not only) will write how to combine a regular job with a healthy lifestyle, training, dieting etc. – as it is really not as difficult as it may seem at the glance, but for someone who is new to that area the amount of the information (quite often misleading or confusing) found on the internet might be overwhelming and we will do our best to provide a legit content with a science and research support in order to cut the bullshit, lies and myths that have been in the fitness area for many years now.
Speaking of the sport domain – do not forget to take a look at the Fortitudo which is an application that I have been working on with a friend (well, currently with a group of friends) for over a year now in a spare time after hours – we’re almost ready with open beta!
Ok, back to the point – after the finals some of us went to the afterparty but before that I’ve quickly visited my hostel to leave the prizes and my bag.
Afterparty was simply great, as within a few hours I’ve talked and get to know many people with whom I can now contact, which is really cool as it turned out that some of them also live in Kraków while at first I was a bit disappointed as I have initially thought that I’m the only one representative of the city that is proud of having the cleanest air in Poland ;).
These are not all of them of course, but I didn’t really take more photos, so shame on me ;).
One of the great benefits is that right after the finals I’ve been already (unofficially for now) invited to 5 (sic!) small conferences to talk about the Warden (look what you’ve done – now I do feel even more pressure and responsibility for maintaining that tool). And there’s also a chance that you’ll hear me talking one day at the DevTalk podcast.
This and meeting all of you are the best prizes I could have ever imagined, mark my words!
In the end, I’ve arrived at the hostel at about 2 AM, went to sleep, woke up 2 hours later, realized that maybe I should sleep for a little bit longer, then woke up again about 1 hour later (told ya, my body is crazy nowadays lol) and actually felt quite good, considering the fact that I’ve drunk some beers a few hours earlier. The speed demon Pendolino has left at Warsaw about 8 AM so I was back at home 2,5 hours later, freshen up a little bit and soon after left as usual to my BJJ training.
I’d like to thank you all one more time – for support, votes, participation in the competition, presentations, networking, great talks (in real life and on the Slack channel which I hope will be continued and even grow more).
If there will be the next “version” of such competition (and I’m pretty sure about it) for your own sake join without giving it a second thought. I’ll be glad to provide any help or guidance – just send me a message or write a comment.
Being honest, I wasn’t even considering participating in this competition in the first place. Finally, with a high level of uncertainty, I’ve registered during one of the last few days and look what happened – my life is totally different now, and I really mean that. Within the last 3,5 months, I’ve created an open source project from the scratch, wrote 40 posts on my blog, landed a dream job, won this competition, met great people, started building my name within the community, got recognition worldwide (mostly thanks to the reddit but you might also hear in the near future about my project on .NET Rocks! podcast) and on top of that lost 17 kgs while working out 8-10 times per week and still had plenty of free time even though the great series such as Game of Thrones, Silicon Valley or Peaky Blinders have been aired on TV.
Ok, I was unemployed for 2,5 months which may seem to be an advantage, yet the thing was that I didn’t ask for it in the first place as I’ve described previously in the summary.
However, once that happened I saw an opportunity here (like an investment) that I could make use of, but still without any certainty that I would get into the finals, as by the end of the February I didn’t know anyone within the community (just a few names that most of us do recognize) and had no clue how to run a blog, open source project and advertise all of that. Luckily, it turned out to be one of the best investments I’ve had in my life so far. Over a month ago I’ve started a new, great job and yes, I’m still doing most of the things that I have mentioned in the previous paragraph (actually, I’ve added even more training sessions to my weekly routine once I started a regular job in the mid-May).
My last final words – do not hesitate, amen!