Trip of a Lifetime

Attending Flutter conferences in Europe

Trip of a Lifetime

I spent September 2023 in Europe - my first time travelling overseas.

I was there to attend Flutter & Friends in Stockholm, and the Flutter Firebase Festival (F3) in Prague. I had an amazing time.

Flutter & Friends was a markedly different experience from your typical conference.

Day 1: Social activities. There was a selection of activities to choose from to take part in during Day 1.

Flutter & Friends Social at Skansen

After that, pre-arranged groups met for dinner around Stockholm. After that, there was a quiz night that all attendees were welcome to attend, groups for the quiz were self-organised.

I have a lot of admiration for this structure. If you attended a social activity, dinner, and the quiz, you would have had a conversation (and if your experience was like mine, a real connection) with at minimum a dozen of your peers before the conference kicked off. Brilliant. Genius. World class.

Day 2: Conference day. Day 2 had a reasonably close resemblance to the typical conference experience, although a number of exhibits from sponsors that helped give it a different kind of atmosphere. Games built in Flutter were on show. There was a ring-toss competition!

I particularly enjoyed learning more about Shorebird.

Main Session Hall at Flutter & Friends 2023.

Day 3: Workshop day. There were multiple tracks of workshops (hard choices to make!!) and took place in the offices of companies in the local tech scene. The catering was great and another change of scenery was most welcome.

In particular, I learned a lot about theming from Mike Rydstrom.

Making the most of the Polaroid camera at the Flutter & Friends 2023 Afterparty

Overall, Flutter & Friends was hands down the best conference experience I’ve ever had.

At the end of the month was the first Flutter Firebase Festival, a two-day event held in Prague. As someone who works with both Flutter and Firebase extensively, I was particularly interested in the content of the presentations.

Day 1 featured a number of presentations from members of the Flutter and Firebase teams, and what stood out to me is that the Firebase team are regularly made aware by the Flutter community that there is a lot of interest in Dart support for Firebase Functions. I would love to see it happen. I think it would have a materially positive effect on game development in particular, where one person may be the artist and the engineer and the salesperson.

One of the halls at Flutter Firebase Festival 2023

The most distinctive feature of Flutter Firebase Festival for me was the QR code game. The codes were hidden throughout the venue, and there was a lot of potential to get really invested in it - there was a leaderboard, codes would possibly grant you a prize, and finding the codes was occasionally a very challenging exercise. They could be on the wall, under your seat, inside the speaker’s podium, even hidden on your attendee badge!

Flutter Firebase Festival 2023 Post-Conference Tour of Prague

I had a great time at both events, and I’d love to return in the future - maybe next time… as a speaker!