The staff at Union Transfer was pleased.
“Were we rowdier this year or last year?” we asked Wes Smith, head of security at the Spring Garden concert hall, after our NET/WORK jobs fair wrapped up. (Last year, he called the NET/WORK crowd “depressingly peaceful.”)
He stared at us.
“Rowdy is not a word I would use,” Smith said. (The way he put it, for him, NET/WORK is a day off from crowdsurfing and underage drinking.)
Regardless of how you would describe their nature, more than 500 jobseekers showed up to NET/WORK on Tuesday to meet roughly 50 Philadelphia tech companies, hear talks from local developers and drink beer after signing up for dozens of mailing lists and collecting a lot of swag.
Here’s what else went down:
Center City agency Allen & Gerritsen brought along an Oculus Rift to show off what their office looked like.
Our Oculus Rift is pretty much blowing everyone's mind at @TechnicallyPHL's Net/Work. pic.twitter.com/Fuv8MgoB0a
— Allen & Gerritsen (@allengerritsen) February 10, 2015
Local developers gave talks on topics like Backbone.js and the importance of open source technology and making apps accessible.
Thanks so much to everyone to made it to my #networkPHL talk! Here's a link to the slides http://t.co/QsMtWmwzab
— LeeAnn Kinney (@_leekinney) February 10, 2015
People drank too much (coffee).
We found out that rapper Lushlife aka Raj Haldar works as Connectify’s marketing guru. He refuses to rap in the office, said president Bhana Grover. (We snapped a photo of him and Grover at their booth but the lighting was pretty bad since Union Transfer’s a concert venue and not a conference hall.)
Here’s a few other people we met (though some people we chatted with didn’t want their names or photos in this story because they were taking the day off from work to job hunt).
Tommy Kao, a graduate student at Penn studying education and computer science, said NET/WORK was the first job fair he’s attended in the U.S. Kao’s from Taiwan and slated to graduate this spring. His interest in edtech made him pay attention to exhibitor OnCourse Systems for Education.
We met the BenefitVault sales team (from left to right: Andrew Bezden, Brian Strauss and Mike McNichol) toward the end of the day. They described the company to us as “PayPal for insurance premiums.” It’s a spinoff of insurance software firm iPipeline and the Old City company plans to move to Center City, they said. They were primarily looking for sales and implementation staffers at NET/WORK.
Esther DSouza (left) and Jamila Johnson both work at a King of Prussia company that makes websites. They said they were worried that there wouldn’t be any non-developer positions at the job fair (DSouza is a team manager and Johnson is a content writer) but they were pleasantly surprised by what they found.
The coolest thing that Mitchell Walker (left) and Jake Riley saw at NET/WORK? Cesium, the open source virtual globe from Exton-based AGI. Both are Penn students graduating this spring. Riley borrowed a tablet from a friend for the day to show prospective employers his portfolio, which includes maps he’s made.
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