Volunteer Story: Alexander Duchene

Volunteering at the 2013 C++Now conference was a fantastic experience.

The wide variety of talks from expert speakers were the most obvious benefit. I had heard about many of them and used some of their projects before, such as Joel de Guzman’s Boost.Spirit parser library. Hearing him go beyond the basics and discussing the design and implementation was amazing. Similarly, Eric Niebler’s talk about Boost.Proto was as much about library development. These details are something that I could have never found in documentation or raw source code.

However, the talks from speakers I had never heard of before often proved the most interesting because they explored topics I hadn’t even thought about before. These ranged from theory-based discussions on applying lambda calculus to low-level explorations of cross-compiler binary incompatibility. These talks greatly broadened my horizons and have inspired me to explore topics I hadn’t heard about before C++ Now.

The focus on the future of C++ surrounded by the community shaping it was incredible. The increasingly adopted C++11 standard was a constant theme, but upcoming proposals (such as C++14) were also discussed. These discussions went beyond mere presentation of ideas to debate over details and larger implications, giving me a new perspective on programming languages.

In between sessions, speakers and other attendees shared tips and experiences. All of the attendees had knowledge to share. Although the talks can be seen online, nothing can compare to being surrounded by over a hundred C++ enthusiasts.