In the heart of Berlin, the pulse of tech reverberated as this year’s WeAreDevelopers World Congress took centre stage at the CityCube Berlin once again. With over 400 speakers, 15000 attendees, and 350 volunteers, the world’s flagship event for developers took place on 12 stages on July 27 and 28, 2023.
The call for volunteers starts early and can be found on the WeAreDevelopers event homepage. You apply through a short form and await notification via email to see if you’ve secured a spot. If so, you can decide what you’re actually going to do. The scope of the WeAreDevelopers conference is nothing short of grand, and so are the roles available for volunteers. So you’ll find that you have an array of different teams to choose from:
goodie bags packing
WAD lounge (WeAreDevs)
info & hospitality
online platform support
side events & networking
If you haven’t warmed up to any of those departments at first read, the Allrounder team is also an option worth considering.
As soon as you’re a volunteer, you’ll get access to the dedicated Slack Workspace. This is the platform on which most of the official communication is taking place. You’ll get further information about your particular role, job, the overall process, and your teammates there.
The short answer is: It depends.
It depends on the role you choose and the unique contributions you bring to the table. The most important thing to mention is that although it’s a tech conference, you do not need a background in tech. In general, being reliable, being able to communicate in English, not shying away from working with other people as a team, and being willing to have fun is generally enough. 🙂
So, whether you’re a seasoned tech professional or someone exploring the tech world for the first time, the skills that empower you as a WeAreDevelopers volunteer encompass a diverse range, and you’ll definitely find your unique place within this vibrant community of volunteers.
One of the roles that volunteers can take on is that of supporting the event’s speakers. You meet up at 8 AM in front of the speaker’s lounge to have a briefing for the day, setting the tone for a day filled with fun and purpose. You’ll get one of the stages assigned for the day. This means you take care of all the speakers that give talks on this stage.
Your job is to look out for a particular speaker 20 minutes before their talk. With the help of the We Are Developers App, you can filter speakers according to your stage by name and photo, so it’s easy to recognise them going into or leaving the speaker’s lounge.
It feels like a kind of head-hunting thing. When you’ve located them, approach them, be pleasant, calm their nerves if necessary and accompany them to their stage. As soon as you handed them over to one of the stage volunteers, you’re done — and the next speaker is waiting to be found.
Personally, it’s the simple joy of lending a helping hand. I just like to help out. Being part of a team, or generally speaking, being part of something larger than myself and contributing my part to it, makes me … happy. I volunteered at WeAreDevelopers World Congress because I was drawn to the nerdiness and variety of tech (and non-tech) topics. I’m always eager to learn new things, and I knew that this conference would be a great opportunity to do so.
As a volunteer, you’ll quickly come to realise that you’re not just an individual performing tasks; you’re an integral part of a vibrant community united by a common purpose. This sense of unity extends not only among the volunteers but also envelops the speakers, organisers, and attendees. For those among you who are more career-driven, networking is effortless at WeAreDevs.
Also, the ticket and food are free for volunteers 😉
Just do it. It’s a great experience. You learn a lot about how such a big event comes together; you are part of it, you grow. Also, it’s good for the CV, and you get a volunteer certificate.
From my personal journey as a volunteer, I can assure you that yes, it’s a lot of work, but also the rewards are abundant, and the memories created are invaluable. Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community, learn new things, and have fun. If you’re interested in volunteering at WeAreDevelopers World Congress next year, I definitely encourage you to apply – I will!
A big shout-out and a heartfelt thank you to the organisers, fellow volunteers, and all those who made this experience possible!