Marcin Biegała

6 minute read

DevDay delivered again!

I could actually stop right here, as above sums up whole experience pretty good :) As you can guess I was attending this years edition of DevDay and it was really really good ! To foster HappyTeam feedback culture here are few words about this years DevDay :)

Usually I don’t write about venue, food and all that ‘technical’ stuff, as conference is to get inspired, empowered. But this time I need to say few word about this part too, as moving conference to a cinema was great idea. I havn’t watched any conference yet in such comfortable seats! And slides on this huge screen, really great experience.

Getting back to the topic. Let’s start at the begining

Workshops

This year I’ve participated in workshops day for the first time. I was attending REACT+REDUX workshop by Brian Holt. I won’t talk about organisation, as it’s always top notch with Michał and Rafał. It was really solid workshop. It looks like whole plan was well thought before. Complexity raised lineary and we touched many areas common to web app development. Every static resources that we needed was prepared before and Brian was working over the material with us so it was easy to ask questions etc. One thing I was missing was some kind of a task to do only by ourselves. From my experience everthing seems simple when you’re doing it with whole group, but as soon as you try to do something on your own problems arise. It’s good to have someone around to answer questions.

In other rooms there were other two workshops INTERNET OF THINGS - BUILD IT and BUILDING SCALABLE JAVASCRIPT APPS. I don’t know anything about the JS one, but from what I’ve heard IoT workshop was fun and divers. Collegue of mine even won some starter kit with alocohol level sensor :)

So it began!

 

Conference Day 1

Firing People - Zach Holman

Soft, funny talk about all the bad things that can happen when you’re getting fired. Zach, as a former githubber, told us how that looked like on his example, what was good and what went bad. But it wasn’t just story telling, Zach shared few advices for both - those who need to fire someone, and those being fired. It was interesting session, as that’s not a topic you hear about on every conference.
Good one.

React: Learn Once Write Anywhere - Brian Holt

I was a bit disappointed with this one. First thing is that I’ve heard some part of this session already on react workshops. Second problem lies more in my attitude I think, I was just looking for something else there. We saw react used in a terminal, in a browser and a simple VR, but we could only saw an outcome and as a dev I was hoping to see a bit of code at least, see how different ‘targets’ differ in react code, what could be gotchas etc. I won’t say it was good or bad as I was bit biased. You must watch it yourself.

Modern Performance Best Practices - Dustin Whittle

Gosh that was a fast paced session! :) But a good one. Lots of knowledge, lots of tools, examples, repetitions. Very good session. One downside - maybe ‘modern’ is a bit of exaggeration, as most of the techniques should be know already to any developer doing some web stuff.

NASA’s Ant-Inspired Swarmie Robots - Kurt Leucht

That was interesting talk about how NASA uses ant alghoritms to build small robots that could potentially harvest resources on Mars. One thing that I’ve really took out of this session is that not always we must think of some complicated solutions or have big budgets to solve a problem, we can just look around and see if nature solved that already.

Backend-less Development Revisited - Tomasz Ducin

This one was fun to watch. As I generally never thought about ‘mocking’ my API while doing frontend work (probably becuase I usually cover both sides) I had occasion to hear about problems that can arise when work is split between backend and frontend and how we can solve them. Good thing was that we had about 3 different approaches presented, so anyone could choose right tool for the job.

Remotely Agile - Marcin Bażydło

As a remote worker that was a close to heart topic. We could hear about good and bad sides of working remote in an Agile team. Speaker shared some tips he uses in his day to day work. One thing that bothers me (which I guess is just a personal thing) is treating scrum as an synonym for agile.

Spaced repetition algorithm - Daniel Gaszewski

This time we could hear about spaced repetition algorithm or in other words how to calculate repetition intervals when you try to learn something new. Decent presentation, but didn’t cought my attention.

Statistical Forecasting: Estimating Made Easy - Will Griffiths

Ha, that was interesting. I’m not a huge fan of estimating, especially if that equals long meetings and many discussions. Therefore I was very intrigued when I’ve read title of this presentation. We could hear about automated approach to estimation that is used in speakers company. In few words, they use issue tracking system to get average time spent on a task. Based on that, they calculate how probable is that a task will take 1,2,3 days etc. After that they get random with some weights on it, to get new estimate. It was said, that it solves problem of people putting too small estimates as they are too optimistic.
For me, it’s weird to put so much effor into hiding ‘random’.

Optimism - Reginald Braithwaite

This was closing session of first day. As a happy developer it’s a topic close to my heart. Reginald was telling us, that optimism it’s not something we’re born with, but we can learn it and train it too. How to sum it up ? Let’s say I’ve already order book mentioned by Reginald in his presentation. Really recommend watching this session, as being better developer, starts with being a better human.

 

Conference Day 2

We Are The Explorers! - Kurt Leucht

Opening keynote of day two. Kurt (same one that was presenting ant algorithms in NASA) tried to describe us what’s the reasons behind our exploration of space getting back to wild west times. It was not at all technical, but very inspiring talk. I won’t say it’s a must-watch session, but it wasn’t time wasted for sure.

JavaScript Combinators - Reginald Braithwaite

I guess this was a session with the most number of code snippets from the ones that I’ve attended. I can agree with main topic of the presentation, that we should aim to write code that is composable and easier to read, but I must say that for me some of the examples went a bit too far. Nevertheless interesting talk to watch!

How Did You Find That? - Niall Merrigan

I guess I don’t need to introduce Niall Merrigan. He is always well prepared and entertaining. And this time was the same. Niall showed how easy it is to get access to many systems and IoT hardware that is connected to the internet without any security. It was very serious topic presented in fun and entertaining way. Really recommend this one.

Sadly that was my last talk on this years DevDay.
IMHO that was best edition so far. I don’t know how #debuggingCrew will rise the bar next year, but I guess they will start to think about it from Monday!

See you all on next edition!

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