SoCraTes BE


  10 - 13 October 2024

Book your tickets NOW!

For software crafters

By software crafters

Learn, share, practice

Join us to learn, practice and discuss Software Engineering together with like-minded passionate software crafters.

The SoCraTes unconference is an event by and for passionate software crafters. It is an unconference where software crafters get together in order to learn, teach and discuss the topics that interest them. While having a very good time!

The goals of the unconference are to learn and share new ideas, techniques, programming languages and frameworks through coding dojos, pair programming, mob programming, group discussions, workshops, presentations and so on. You’ll also get to learn what other people are working on. All of this combined with as many interesting, informal conversations as possible.

This is not a 9 to 5 conference. The learning, connecting and socializing only stops when you want it to stop. During breakfast, lunch and dinner you can freely mingle with all the participants and continue those interesting conversations. Well into the night.

So if you are passionate about software development this is definitely the unconference for you. Talk and socialize freely with many different passionate people who are willing to learn and share their knowledge and experience.

The SoCraTesBE is an unconference. This means it is a participant-driven meeting that tries to avoid hierarchical aspects of a conventional conference. Unlike a regular conference, there is no fixed agenda, no paid speakers, no fixed topics, no specific technology or methodology focus.

It is a self-organizing event, using open space, where the SoCraTesBE participants create the schedule on the fly, every day before the Open Space starts. This guarantees that the participants work around topics that truly interest them. So everyone gets back the value that they put into it.

The self created “schedule” is known as the marketplace. The marketplace is basically a map of timeslots and locations for sessions like in the picture. At the start of the day, when the marketplace is created, every participant that wants to can add a session. They typically give a short intro of the topic they want to discuss, present, work on or experiment with that day. After which it will be added to the marketplace. Once the marketplace is created the day sessions start. Where everyone is free to participate whatever sessions they want.

The marketplace

Who will be there?

The SoCraTes unconference is a non-profit unconference. Everyone is attending and contributing on a voluntary basis. There are no paid speakers, no marketing driven paid sessions and no recruiters. But there will be a lot of highly experienced, passionate people present.

Will it be interesting for me?

Apart from a great atmosphere and connecting with other participants, you will definitely be able to learn a lot. Because it is a self organizing conference, you are able maximize the value you get by adding your own sessions to the marketplace and by being free to walk in and out of any sessions you want at any time. It is your conference. You will get out of it, what you put in.

For example:

You want to learn a new technology or methodology?
You simply add a session to the marketplace where someone can teach it to you.

You have a work related real-life problem
You can set up a session where you can discuss it with experienced people who've been there. This can be technology, organization or people related.

The urge strikes you to just quietly write some code?
You are of course free to not attend any sessions.

Can I try out this open space concept somewhere?

If you have never been to a SoCraTesBE event, a great way to learn what it is all about is to join us at one of our regular meetups where we have an open space for one evening.

What are typical sessions?

We learn and share new ideas, techniques, languages and frameworks through coding dojos, pair programming, mob programming, groups discussions, presentations, informal conversations. Below are a couple of sessions from previous SoCraTes unconferences

  • Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs (SICP)
  • Refactoring legacy code workshop.
  • Mob programming: the hard parts
  • Practice TDD Katas in your favourite language.
  • What are the values behind Extreme Programming?
  • Agile estimating and planning workshop
  • Try out story mapping workshop.
  • Help me create a game to practice feature pull.
  • Let's implement Git
  • Let's BDD poker
  • Team Topologies applied
  • Why you should become an IT manager

Why does the conference overlap the weekend?

We always run the conference from thursday evening to sunday morning. This seems like a fair division to us between employer and employee. The friday is the only working day when the participant will not be working for the company. The participant commits part of their weekend, demonstrating their eagerness to participate and learn.

About the event

This year's SoCraTes unconference runs from Thursday 10 October to Sunday 13 October 2024.

We’ll kick off Thursday evening with dinner at 7 PM. After dinner, around 8.30 PM, we will officially open the fifth edition of SoCraTes BE with a warm up session to get all the brains fired up. When the warm up session is finished, the floor is yours to continue the conversation, twist it around and branch it in every direction.

On Friday and Saturday, we’ll run the open space, in which every attendee is welcome and encouraged to propose talks, discussions, workshops or whatever else they choose to further every attendee’s knowledge and understanding of creating and maintaining software.

On Friday and Saturday evenings, attendees are encouraged to run social activities, from pair-programming to board games and everything in between.

The conference is officially over on Sunday the 13th October after breakfast. You'll be home on time for the local Belgian elections


The price for attending the unconference 2024 is

  • 470 euro VAT incl for Single room

This includes the stay in the hotel for three days, all the meals and the use of all the facilities

The drinks you purchase at the bar in the evening are not included

The ticket has to be paid in full for a complete registration.

Cancellation Policy


Cancellation can be performed by us if we are informed by the last day of the month in which your registration was performed. We will not sent your registration to the hotel in this case. After it has been sent to the hotel we cannot guarantuee anything, and you will have to deal with the hotel directly.

Privacy Policy


Transfer of invoicing & hotel stay related data As the hotel will provide the invoices directly, we will supply them with the necessary data for invoicing. The hotel will also take care of the food, so we will provide them with the nutritional information from the registration form. This means, all data that will enter there will be shared, by accepting the policy you agree with this.

Ticket Transfer Option

In the event that you can no longer attend the conference after the cancellation deadline has passed, we offer assistance in finding a willing party to take over your ticket (reach out to the community). Please contact us as soon as possible to discuss this option. If no party is found, we will not be able to refund.

Force Majeure Events

In case of circumstances beyond our control, such as the hotel going bankrupt or a COVID-like event affecting the conference, our cancellation policy may be subject to change. Under such circumstances, refunds will be determined on a case-by-case basis, depending on the severity and impact of the situation. While we will do our best to accommodate attendees' needs, we cannot guarantee a full refund in these exceptional cases. Please note that all refund requests and inquiries related to ticket transfers should be directed to SoCraTesBe. Our team will respond promptly and assist you with the necessary steps.

Book tickets

Join SoCraTes 2024!

Reserve your tickets today via this Google Form!

Feedback from the unconference 2023

what participants said afterward

Best conference yet and I have to confess there will be a little more hesitancy from my side about going to a non open-space conference in the future! Special thanks to all the organizers, it was super smooth and action was taken immediately to make it even better as we went along. Few more kudos that stuck in my mind: to Erik for the respons-a-bility keyword and literature that I can use, session still resonates so much. To Enver and Karel for doing the codespaces session - we laughed so hard and loud I’m sure the whole hotel heard us :) and to Stephane for the session on climate change - you inspired me to activate my network and look for a nonprofit or project I can help with to pay it forward. Love you all :)
As a first-time participant, the unconference surpassed all my expectations and gave me more energy and inspiration than any other learning format I tried so far. The wealth of topics and discussions (team dynamics, personal development, environment, mats and of course a lot of tech), left me wishing I could clone myself to fully absorb it all. And if you wonder is such an open space format without agenda upfron works in practice? The (self-)organisation worked seamlessly, making the entire experience fantastic to be a part of :) Looking forward to socratesbe 2024 already!
This was my first Socrates unconference, so I went in without expectations and with an open mind. What I experienced was mind blowing (knowledge-, inspiration- and togetherness-wise). Thank you all for making this first experience a great one.

“One of the marvelous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn't as individuals.”
Thank you for a fantastic event! I arrived with a mindset that code is just a tool and I have to learn to use it better. I'm leaving with appreciation for how beautiful it can be and a desire to be able to make it so myself. A big shift from "have to" to "wish to" that I didn't expect, but I like it.
The 2023 edition of SocratesBE marked the culmination of an era, signaling the last occurrence for certain aspects, yet simultaneously heralding great times that promise exciting new beginnings.
Thank you all for a fantastic couple of days, although if I had my way we’d still be in the conference centre arguing over those €55. Hope to see you again next year.

Pictures from the 2023 event


these awesome companies support us

Sponsorship opportunities

The SocratesBE is a non profit. There is no commercial aspect to organising this conference, we do it because we are passionate about it. Therefore we try to keep the price of the conference low. Since there are no paid speakers, the cost of the conference is your stay, the food and the venue. Sponsoring the conference helps directly keeping the price of the conference low, directly reducing the cost of the venue on each individual ticket.

Code of conduct

A conference for everyone

SoCraTes BE follows the Conference Code of Conduct laid out by several conference organisers around the globe. We ask that you read the full version before attending. You are required to cooperate with the code throughout the event to help ensure a safe environment for everybody.

Our conference is dedicated to providing a harassment-free conference experience for everyone, regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion. We do not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for any conference venue, including talks, workshops, parties, X (Twitter) and other online media. Conference participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the conference without a refund at the discretion of the conference organisers.

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