Ronan spoke to Darragh Curran, VP of Engineering at Intercom about next weeks Intercom event Building Intercom run in conjunction with CoderDojo in Vicar Street.

What is it?

Building Intercom is an engineering show made by engineers, for engineers. All the speakers are engineers who work hands on building the Intercom product. Their talks will shed light on how everything we do at Intercom begins with identifying the problem we’re solving and then working collaboratively to solve it.

Based on our approach to identifying and solving the right problems creatively, we have built a product that people love and have grown a business that today supports over 20,000 customers, and powers over 400 millions conversations a month.

Our engineers have spoken at some of the biggest technology conferences around the world (e.g. Re:invent, Velocity, SRE Con, Lisa) – however, for this event, instead of going deep on specific technologies, we will instead zoom out a little and talk about how we apply what we know to problems we choose to solve.

When is it on and where?

Building Intercom will be held at Vicar St on 29th Nov. Doors at 6.30pm – show at 7.30pm sharp.

How does it differ from other Intercom events?

The big difference is that this is engineering specific. What’s the same is that it’s honest, it’s about sharing lessons learned, it’s got a fun production and it’s about like minded people spending time together.

As engineers, we’ve been involved and supporters of the engineering community in Dublin, hosting and attending regular meetups and events – as our engineering team passes 100 people and we expand engineering in Dublin, San Francisco, and London, we wanted to start sharing on a bigger and more public stage.

We are really sweating the details making sure it’s something authentic and speaks to engineers, you can get a taste of this by reading about the thought that went into building the site for the event.

What was the inspiration to start it?

Our other events have been really successful in igniting conversations around building companies and products. We hope our audience has learned new things from these events – we certainly walk away from each event having learned new things from our customers and the other product builders who attend the events.

With Building Intercom we hope to expand on that and focus on builders so we can sharpen our ideas and learn from other people in the community. Given, the success we’ve experienced and the stage we’re at, there’s also a feeling of responsibility and excitement to champion the good product work coming out of Dublin. This city has a vibrant and rich tech scene and we want to do everything we can to propel it forward and establish Dublin as a key tech hub where meaningful work is being done.

What can people expect to learn/see on the night?

They will learn first and foremost how we think about engineering. They’ll learn what problems we solve and how we solve them – and how this approach has been a key to our success so far.

The talks use real life examples to shine a light on this approach and the audience will understand why we build the way we do and what we’ve learned along the way. Just as we did on our world tour this year we’ll be sharing the mistakes we made as well as the successes.

Why Vicar Street as a venue? What do you think of the trend for tech companies to hold events in the same kinds of venues as rock concerts etc

To be honest I’m not sure it’s a trend or that we speak to it as a trend as much as it’s the best way to spend time with people and share information. Vicar Street is traditionally successful for comedians and musicians but it also makes sense for us. After all, it’s a show. We always look for space that is comfortable, casual and fun. We want the space to reflect the collaborative, interactive and creative way we build things and we think the Vicar Street venue does just that.

All proceeds are going to CoderDojo. Is coding for kids something Intercom feels passionate about?

 We’re passionate about the impact of technology. Tech is at the forefront of change in every industry in some way. So many careers are shaped by technology and CoderDojo helps expose kids to tech and computers as a creative thing they can be passionate about in a fun and inclusive environment. We’ve always maintained a connection to CoderDojo – we were founded at the same time, both came out of Dogpatch Labs and have supported each other along the way. 

How can people book tickets / when does it usually sell out?

People can book tickets by visiting our event website, Building Intercom. We’re not far from selling out but there’s still time to snap up a ticket.

Tickets: €10, €7.50 (Students) – All proceeds to go to CoderDojo

Anything else you’d like to add / we should have asked?

Just to say that our business is expanding rapidly and we are building out product teams in Dublin, London and San Francisco. R&D teams at every location will work on really important products that solve our customer’s’ problems. As we expand it’s really important that we continue to be connected to the best and the brightest talent in these communities.

Pete O’Shea: Community (EMEA) & Events, CoderDojo Foundation  pictured above added:

Intercom has always been big supporters and an inspiration for the CoderDojo movement! We were humbled to hear they are donating all proceeds of this event to the CoderDojo Foundation. This will directly help us continue to grow and support the movement of over 1,500 coding clubs for kids in 80 countries around the world! From all of us here at the Foundation and the CoderDojo Community, we want to say a big thank you to Darragh, Megan, Intercom and all of you attending this insightful event.

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