In the middle of summer 2021, we hosted one of our favourite annual events of the year - trivago Tech Week! This year’s tech week had a new, hybrid format, featuring a wide variety of talks and exchange forums, hosted both by internal talents and external speakers. To make things even more engaging, the week included virtual opportunities for talents to gather and converse across departments, a gaming tournament and a highly anticipated live-music concert to tie everything together!
Engineering Culture

trivago Tech Week 2021 in Review

trivago Tech Week (Hybrid Edition): A virtual event to promote knowledge exchange and a culture of tech excellence.

In the middle of summer 2021, we hosted one of our favourite annual events of the year - trivago Tech Week! This year’s tech week had a new, hybrid format, featuring a wide variety of talks and exchange forums, hosted both by internal talents and external speakers. To make things even more engaging, the week included virtual opportunities for talents to gather and converse across departments, a gaming tournament and a highly anticipated live-music concert to tie everything together!

This video is, of course, just a small preview of what actually happened throughout the tech week. Keep reading to see why we were excited about this event and what some of the highlights were.

What is the hybrid setup?

Over the summer we’ve gradually been working towards a hybrid work setup, so naturally it made sense to host tech week in a hybrid format. Regardless of where you were working from, everyone could tune into the sessions and we made sure to create opportunities for online engagement as well. So what did this hybrid setup look like?

  • All presentations were available on Zoom so that people at home/their desks could join too. We also created a tech week lounge space where we were streaming the presentations, so that people on campus could sit and watch the sessions together.
  • Even our social events were transformed into hybrid: the gaming tournament was streamed on Twitch for people at home, but those who wanted to root for players, could watch them play in the lounge.
  • The caliente live-performance of one of our favourite trivago bands, Josito and the Kids, followed by psychedelic mixed music by DJ Hakan, was also hybrid – those who registered for the event could enjoy the music live in the lounge and those at home joined us on Zoom.
Tech Week lounge
Tech Week lounge

Tech week in numbers

The tech week calendar was filled with presentations, forums, exchange panels and fun events. Here’s a quick overview of trivago in numbers:

  • 27 sessions
  • 3 exchange forums
  • 7 guest speakers
  • 2 external audience sessions
  • Average of 40-60 people per session (+ some in the Tech Week lounge)
  • 30+ people involved in making the event happen

Reach of the Tech Week

We love sharing knowledge and exchanging with our broader tech community, so we wanted to make sure to involve them in some of our talks and share key learnings from some sessions on social. We spread the word to an audience of over 1 million across our online tech community and opened two of our sessions for external audiences to join. We were thrilled to have almost 300 external attendees join us from all over the world and exchange with our speakers and panelists during Q&A sessions. Check out our event on Twitter to see what you missed.

Presentations with external audiences

We had two presentations from our trivago peers shared with external audiences. People signed up on LinkedIn to participate and connect with our talents. Summaries of the two talks are below:

  • Malte Wessel talked about how we built the trivago Weekend frontend with Next.js. To implement Weekend, trivago started with a whole new tech stack and shipped the first version after three months of work. In the talk, Malte showed how and why we leveraged Next.js, what challenges we faced and how we are going to further improve the implementation.
  • Dirk Brodersen showed external audiences How data grew at trivago - In his talk, A Tale of 1000x Growth, Dirk touched on how trivago scaled data operations from ~5TB to now 6 PB, thousands of daily processes, analytics and ML operations. In the panel discussion afterwards, trivago’s data experts answered many questions from the external audience about specifics of our data setup, architecture and challenges we faced and solved.

Guest speakers

We were lucky to have so many guest speakers willing to participate in and share their knowledge during tech week this year.

Among our guest speakers, we had the opportunity to watch presentations from:

  • Peter Thomas about Testing (almost) anything with the framework he created, Karate - Just over 4 years old, Karate’s success is evident in how often it turns up in blog-posts, social media mentions, job listings and tech conferences worldwide.
  • Martin Woodward from GitHub, debunking Top Inner Source Myths. In the session, Martin talked about how InnerSource works within high performing DevOps teams and he explained in detail how to make it work in companies while also touching on the problems it can’t fix.
  • Tobias Koppers from Webpack, telling the story behind Persistent Caching in Webpack 5, challenges on the way, internals and funny parts of his work.
  • Dan Boerner from Apollo talking about how teams can build products better and faster with less frustration. As an Apollo Graph Champion, Dan discussed with our peers about what is driving the rapid adoption of GraphQL and why a unified graph transforms the way companies build, deliver and organize themselves to create digital products.
  • John Cutler from Amplitude joined our colleague Alex Bleau in the Facilitated Q&A session with questions in Miro, where they covered a series of questions about Shipping faster than you learn/ Learning faster than you ship, Learning Backlogs, Balancing Divergence and Convergence when building products.
  • Jason Miller and Marvin Hagemeister from Preact tried to answer the question “What if” in their session about Continuously reimagining Preact itself. They touched on topics like What does it take to build the next generation of frameworks, How do we ensure we follow the right ideas and how do we even get those. Their talk was an exclusive behind the scenes look on the process the Preact team adopted and the future of their framework.

e-Sports trivago tournament

Esports tournament prizes

The esports night was a 2 part tournament where 32 of our talents gathered in our gaming area, put on their shiny headsets and slapped their keyboards with over 100 actions per minute to determine who could be worthy of the title: champion of the night.

Together with pizza and cocktails, our talents bonded but also fought each other through the whole night. It was never about the prizes but the fun and the honor!

We like tech and we love having fun

… and live music! The week was packed with sessions, get-togethers, and exchange panels. After sessions ended, we started welcoming people in the trivago Tech Week lounge, where Josito & The Kids were getting ready for a live concert. At the same time, our talented bartenders prepared delicious cocktails for the whole group. After the live show, our in-house DJ Hakan played his greatest mixes until late in the evening as we ended off tech week on a high note.

All in all, we started the event really enthusiastic and we finished it over-the-top excited. We learned a lot, met our friends and watched sessions together, cheered for our favourite gamer and danced till the end of Tech Week. See you next time!

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