33rd Degree ’13

As opposed to previous editions this year 33rd Degree was held in Warsaw. It was quite a surprise to me that so many people from Krakow made it. The conference was 3 days long with 5 or even 6 tracks to choose from almost all the way. Believe me – the choice was not an easy one! So many great speakers with first-class speeches.

The opening talk 7 Things: How to make good teams great was given by Sven Peters from Atlassian. It was a deep dive into how they do it at Atlassian and I have to admit they do it right. From the seven rules I especially found the below applicable for me:

  • Feed your brain: always try to catch up with what’s new and cool; there are several ways to achieve that and personally I will go with brown bags and coding sessions. Actually I’ve already started doing kind-of stuff at my current company so just few tweaks needed 😉
  • Eat your own dog food: if you are not aware of the term dogfooding is about testing your own software by using it as customer would. It is even more about becoming someone else for a few days – becoming a customer of your own product, its first alpha tester. You might also invite people from outside of your time to join the event. It might be sometimes painful to hear from people with who you work how your software sucks but it is good, fast and honest feedback!

Sven’s speech was followed by Decisions Decisions by Dan North. In short it was an enlightening talk stating that there is no one universal answer to the question. It all depends on specific problem to solve and the whole context of it.

Busy Developer’s Guide to Iconoclasm was presented by famous Ted Neward. I have to admit it was really enjoyable one. However will I become a Iconoclast after the talk? I doubt it… :)

Just after Ted’s show the conference was split into parallel tracks. My first pick was Polyglot Web Programming With Grails by Jeff Brown. I was not surprised at all – Grails is a great web framework with rich support for multiple programming languages :) Jeff’s focus was on showing how easy it is to use various languages at different application layers and seamlessly switch between them. Clojure plugin has been used as example of new language integration into Grails.

The next I took was Architecting for Continuous Delivery given by Axel Fontaine. It was one of many talks on Continuous Delivery this year. The topic is really huge and hot! It is extremely amazing and almost unbelievable how some dudes are able to deploy new versions of they products into production every day or even few times a day! Look out for Continuous Delivery and Cloud Computing – it will be an important area in 2013+. And they both go together. Other talks concerning these topics I was to:

  • Developing for multi-component environment while keeping your sanity by Baruch Sadogursky
  • How we took our server-side application to the Cloud and liked what we got by Baruch Sadogursky

The other big topic this year was (again… no surpise :P) NoSQL movement. I started my trip of NoSQL at 33rd Degree with Getting Started with Couchbase Applications Development and Tugdual Grall. I did not know much about Couchbase so it was interesting demo from my point of view. Other speeches concerning NoSQL I was to:

Ratpack is a micro web framework written in Groovy with its own nice DSL. The presentation on it given by Tim Berglund was quite impressive when it comes to Ratpack minimalism. The framework is undergoing some serious surgery just now but I am sure I will give it a try shortly and share my feelings on it with you.

The another Groovy (test) framework I am going to try out is Spock. It is all thanks to Ken Sipe‘s Mocking, Stubbing and Spying with Spock. Of course I knew that Spock framework exists but I was completely unaware of its feature-richness and overall coolness.

Single Page Web Apps Architecture by Pratik Patel was an interesting talk from web universe. It was a high level view showing many important differences when it comes to building Single Page Application vs. traditional one. A lot about JavaScript and various client side patterns like MVP, MVVM etc. Personally it was hard for me to follow all the way through as I am not so much aware of the latest trends in web application design.

There were also some talks regarding new features of Jave SE. One of them was Programming with Lambda Expressions in Java by Venkat Subramaniam. I am quite aware of closures (aka lamba expressions) as I use them all the time in Groovy but it was nice to see they implemented it in Java 8.

To sum it up the conference was great and all the credits go to Grzegorz Duda who was the organizer of the event. An indisputable star was Venkat with his 4 talks including the last one: The rise and fall of empires: Lessons for language designers and programmers. I am still a bit excited but already looking forward to 2014 edition – hope in Krakow this time.