First Week Into Tech: My DevCamp Experience in Tagaytay

Making the Switch: Steering into DevCamp

Just a week after stepping into my new role at Likha-iT, a software engineer with an unconventional background in Nutrition, I found out about DevCamp, held in Tagaytay’s Taal Vista Hotel on December 5-6. Diving into my first DevCamp, I couldn’t help but feel a blend of excitement and healthy anxiety. The event serves as a perfect getaway for engineers to pause their daily tasks, challenging them to focus on a different domain of development. It allows us to explore the areas we’ve always wanted to venture into but perhaps couldn’t due to various reasons.

The DevCamp provided an opportunity for all freee and Likha developers, including the newcomers like me, to “think outside of the box” and really embody creativity and innovation. This was all guided by this year’s theme, ‘ sense of speed ’.

Transitioning into the tech world wasn’t just a straightforward switch. Instead, it was a thrilling rocket launch, full of surprises and ‘aha’ moments.

All About Creativity: Teamworks and Projects 

A month before the DevCamp, participants are being asked to think of a project that they will be working on. The idea was simple: to be creative, work on any project, no boundaries. What struck me the most was that most of the developers chose to work on projects for our parent company, freee, or for Likha-iT. This showed me how much the team cared about making things better for the company. 

As I was new to the team, I didn’t have a project ready, but that wasn’t a problem. Teaming up with Rae, Josh, and Sir Norris, we brainstormed ways to enhance the quality of the tech events at Likha-iT. We thought a lot about how to make these events relevant and enjoyable for both the organizers and the attendees considering that these events will be hosted monthly.

This DevCamp had another cool aspect: for the first time, QA engineers were part of the mix, adding a new dimension to the group. Among the creative projects, a standout for me was the Sprout HR Slackbot integration by Gerard and Ervin. It was a solution to the everyday problem: it’s easy to log into Slack but we should be logging into Sprout first. If they could make this work, it would be a big help.

Beyond Coding: The Social Side of Devcamp

DevCamp wasn’t just about work; It was an excellent opportunity to foster camaraderie and teamwork. We dove into discovering each other’s passion for technology, and I found it extremely engaging to understand the problems my colleagues attempted to address. For some, like Ramel, these challenges were an exciting chance to learn a new language such as React Native.

Casual banter over lunch, fun evening outings, and spontaneous group discussions were ways we bonded. A highlight of our social ventures was sampling Tagaytay’s famous Bulalo. It’s a local delicacy, a hearty bone marrow stew that’s worth every bit of its fame. For those seeking more thrill, there was Tagaytay Skyranch with plenty of amusement rides.

However, one unusual non-work-related event certainly set its mark on the DevCamp – an earthquake. Yep, an earthquake. Even though it disrupted our day, and yeah, it did cause a bit of panic, it also broke up the routine in an unexpected way. We had to vacate the building and that just added another shared experience to our trip. Not exactly a bonus, but it did make our DevCamp all the more memorable.

Retrospection: Insights from my first Tech Event

Looking back now, the DevCamp was the perfect kick-start to my fresh journey in Software Engineering. I got to learn more about project planning and the collaborative spirit than I could ever replicate from an online course. Coming from a different background, this direct experience has been an insightful icebreaker into the world of tech.

I am eager to explore this industry more deeply and actively contribute my skills to it. Insightfully, the event underscored for me that tech expands beyond coding—it brings out creativity, fosters team-building, and above all, encourages real-life problem-solving. It’s an entire package of learning, innovating, and even a whole lot of fun! That’s the dynamic world of tech for you.

For those who want to revisit the event – check out this recap video shot and edited by Rae.

Taken using Rae’s drone

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