Kasvu Open Forum
We didn't make it to the finals and weren't impressed by the quality of the feedback given. This event totally made up for it. This is definitely something they can improve on the next year. The last thing you want to do is to discourage some potential idea or company. After all Kasvu Open is in the business of creating new business.
Djangocon Finland 2012
Thoughts on "Kaleva.fi - how we replaced 10 years of legacy code in one year"It was particularly interesting to see what Kaleva.fi looks like from "outside" in terms of DevOps. I participated in the project as a software designer during the past year for a period of a few months. So I got to know certain bits of it quite well. I never really looked into the overall infrastructure (too busy staring at my code :) ), though.
There were many interesting tidbits in Markus' talk. Especially the bits on scaling the service were interesting. It's quite different to develop a service used by hundreds of thousands than something that has only a few users. You get a lot of new problems to solve.
Thoughts on other talks
bongaus.fi - Spotting Service Powered by Django
In development of bongaus.fi we noticed Pareto principle applies quite well here. It takes only perhaps 20% or so time to get the relevant bits done. The rest is just tweaking and dealing the corner cases. And boy that sure can take time.
Another important thing to pick out is the value of pivots. Even if you are doing something and going to a certain direction, doesn't mean you should be going there indefinitely. It can pay off to adjust the trajectory and try something perhaps a bit different. I believe the willingness to pivot is one of the key attributes of startups that become successful.