On September 14th and 15th, Algolia hosted our very first Developer Conference. It was two days of presentations, demos, and workshops focused on developers building search and discovery experiences for their users.
From me (Chuck Meyer) showing up to the pre-show in a robe, to the executive team crashing the wrap-up wearing party hats, we did our best to provide our developer community a fun, informative, casual, and authentic event.
We’ve compiled a recap post here of some of the event’s highlights, including embedded videos and links to the recordings of each session. There’s also a playlist on YouTube of the all the sessions. Let’s check out the highlights!
Welcome to Algolia DevCon! (Keynote and product demos)
During this year’s keynote (video above), CEO Bernadette Nixon talked about Algolia’s recently announced search.io acquisition and the future of hybrid search APIs. Then the product team worked together to build a search and discovery application for Pokemon trading cards, debuting new features like the Algolia CLI (Khalid streaming from his hammock!), on into discussing hybrid recommendation models, as well as data Connectors & Flows. Finally, we got to see search.io’s Neuralsearch technology in action.
7 Dysfunctions of Personalization Engines
Algolia Product Manager Ciprian (Chip) Borodescu walked us through his learnings on Personalization, the holy grail of customer experience, shown in the video above. He talked about some of the false assumptions around personalization, why you can’t just “throw more data” at the problem, and he then touched on some of the ethical concerns of using AI and machine learning in the context of user behavior.
InstantSearch, from its launch 7 years ago until today
A great search engine is nothing without a great user interface where users can easily interact with, find, and explore things. Algolia Product Manager Alexandre Collin walked us through the 7 year journey of Algolia InstantSearch. In the above video, he shares how far we have come and what the future holds for the front-end developers building world class Search & Discovery experiences.
Scaling Culture in a Remote World
Twilio VP of Culture Evangelism Ricky Robinett showcases amazing candor (an Algolia cultural value) while he shared some very personal stories on the importance and impact of Culture within an organization. In the video above, he shared examples from both his own, and his father’s lives, that have shaped how he sees the complexities of culture in the modern workplace.
Toward Increased Understanding: Semantic Search of the Future
Semantic search is the future, but is it the present? Algolia Principal Product Manager Dustin Coates walked us through key concepts for semantic search, (like weighted vectors), to provide a better understanding of why search engines must go beyond keywords in order to truly serve our users.
What devs are really searching for: 5 lessons we learned building a service used by 1M Developers
Openbase Founder & CEO Lior Grossman hosted a fun quiz show based on the analytics data collected as developers used their site to search for and discover open-source libraries. See if you can score 5 out of 5 on the quiz.
Expedite your implementation with Connectors & Flow
Algolia Staff Product Manager Keshia Rose took us deep into the future of data synchronization with a sneak peek at two upcoming data features, Connectors & Flows, coming later this year. She demonstrated how to extract and transform your data as you automatically load it into Algolia. You can also join the discussion on GitHub with Keshia’s team to decide what connectors to build next!
Delivering Developer Experience Excellence
Algolia Staff Software Engineer Sarah Dayan shared some of the many insights that she’s gained from her interviews (on Algolia’s Developer Experience (DX) podcast) with industry leaders from Vercel, CodeSandbox, Tailwind, and others. Subscribe to the podcast to listen to past and future episodes of the podcast on your favorite platform.
Manual work goes bye-bye with the new Algolia CLI
Algolia Sr. Technical Program Manager Khalid Elassaad ended day one by leaving his hammock to show us the serious tasks that he can accomplish with the Algolia CLI. He populated an index! He tweaked configuration! And he saved tons of times by catching bad settings early! What a great way to wrap up day one of DevCon!
Workshops and Hands-on Labs
We also hosted a series of demo labs throughout day one:
The DevCon momentum continued into day two with a series of hands-on workshops!
Sarah Dayan returned to the stream to teach us how to Integrate a search experience into a React app, while her teammate Dhaya did the same thing to Integrate a search experience into a vanilla JS storefront.