33rd Degree 2013
I have just returned from 33rd Degree 2013 conference. And I'm very happy I've been there!
There were many good talks this year. I was lucky to attend really interesting stuff. There were some visionary/thought provoking/anecdotal talks (Decisions, Decisions, by Dan North or Busy Developer's Guide to Iconoclasm by Ted Nevard. There was agile/team stuff (e.g. Architecture without Architects by Erik Dörnenburg). There were also some very low level hardcode technical sessions. In short, a good mixture which filled my brain with lot of ideas and made me eager again to try things out. Cool.
I'm really happy to say that the best talks I have attended were performed by Polish speakers. Sławomir Sobótka did a great job on explaining the do's and don'ts of automated testing. It is a real pleasure to listen to him. He uses great metaphors to explain things. Even if I was aware of the majority of stuff he explained, I still enjoyed the talk immensely. I also admire his skills as a speaker. He concentrate on the stuff he wants to tell and abstract over unimportant details, he can have nice discussion with the audience, and there are many reasons to smile when he talks. Really, really good talk.
The other best talk - Escaping Automated Test Hell by Wojciech Seliga - was very different but equally interesting. Wojciech shared with us his experience on making a large test suites faster. Wow, I'm so impressed! His team measured almost every aspect of the builds and managed to crunch the execution time of CI jobs significantly. The scale of the project is much, much bigger than what I deal with right now, so for me it was as if I were looking into the future - one day my project will hit the same issues that Wojtek's project already had. Thanks, that was great!
The other talks were also interesting. I had a chance to see Gerrit in action (which is cool, because Gerrit is on our technology radar) during the BOF: Gerrit plugin revolution talk by Luca Milanesio, and I enjoyed what I saw. Seems like this tool helps you to have a nice and standardized code review process, but at the same time its seems "light". Also, Gerrit is very extensible (its pluginable in every possible way) so there is always the option to hack it to your own liking. Cool.
There was also talk by Jakub Marchwicki titled Design principles for hackers. It was about how the design principles we have (e.g. SOLID) correspond to the way we function as human beings (on the "brain-level" and on the social level). Interesting.
Mario Fusco during the Functional Programming in Java: lambdas and beyond had presented lambdas and also some of his own thought/research regarding the functional programming in Java. I'm not really convinced if nulls and exceptions are such evil things, but it was interesting to learn what he has to say on this matter. His other talk - Drools 6: News & Noteworthy - let me go back to Drools (which I used a long time ago). During this talk there was an interesting discussion about the simplicity. Some new additions to the Drools DRL are making it much more complicated than it was. Some of the participants pointed that out, and I have to say that I agree with their point of view. I believe the simplicity of rules is what makes them so appealing.
Karel Piwko's Unified Continuous Integration Tests for Mobile and Web Applications talk was about Arquillian. This is kind of funny because Arquillian originally started as a tool for in-container tests (at least that is how I understand the initial purpose) and now it looks more like a swiss army knife with 100 of blades. Karel presented few of them - ShrinkWrap, Drone, Graphene and Android. Interesting!
I also had my Bad Tests, Good Tests talk on Thursday evening. I was surprised that the room was so full cause there was a beer party outside going on at this time (well, there was also a beer party inside the room judging by the sound of the bottles during the talk ;) Anyway I think the audience liked the presentation, and I got some interesting questions (not sure why but random tests were the most debated, I will write a separate blog post about them). Also some people volunteered to help with the writing of Bad Tests, Good Tests book, which is just great!
The slides can be viewed on slidshare.
All in all, this was a very good event!