This is the story of two rich weeks I've just been through. I've attended to three events in a row, depleting all the energy I had, but also teaching me so much!
It all started Tuesday 14th with a conference day with the whole tech team of Malt. It was the first time all of us gathered and shared knowledge on our different specialties. We had the chance to listen to brilliant Nickie Roudez explain CSS grids, Aurélia Amalvict showing the power of K-means to explore users topologies, Nicolas Demengel explaining how hexagonal architecture works, etc. It was a perfect opportunity to discover all the team members I haven't met so far (we've more or less doubled in the last 6 months) and explore new challenges.
I've captured the whole team during a session, aren't we beautiful?!
The next day, I was on my way to Paris to attend Newcrafts and present my introduction to event source programming. I was quite stressed out since the training session went quite badly. I prepared a lot to mitigate all the problems I had encountered and defined the goals of each steps of the workshop. The conference started crazy with Clément Delafargue able of explaining hexagonal architecture in a single slide and showing how monad transformers solved problems usually solved by dependency injection frameworks in OOP languages.
I was delighted by how Patrick Kua explained the trident career development they implemented at N26. Although I'm not sure it can be extended to any organization, and I still prefer Camille Fournier's vision of technical management, He explained and captured the essence of the technical lead perfectly: multiplier of knowledge, unifier of technical practices and beholder of the long term vision.
Kevlin Hennley spoke about his vision of software ethics and the balance between rationality, emotion and compassion. I'm not sure his talk will remain as important to me as the passion gospel article I've already mentioned, but he sure mentioned one of my favorite quote of twitter:
One of my most controversial software opinions is that your sleep quality and stress level matter far, far more than the languages you use or the practices you follow. Nothing else comes close: not type systems, not TDD, not formal methods, not ANYTHING. source
I'm gonna stop enumerating conferences I attended one at a time, otherwise it'll take me a month to write everything I learned, but I want to speak about that one term I'm happy of finding during these events: the corridor conference. It consists of not going to the organized conferences and wander around the venue and speak with random people. I think it's the best conference you can attend. It allows you to discover wonderful individuals and speakers you didn't know of.
Mixit is a community event focusing on diversity and openness. I finally had the chance of seeing Woody Zuill on stage. He presented how he and his team implemented the mob programming concept not for a workshop but for actually working all together. I admit I'm skeptical at the effects on the long run of such techniques, they look to me like real Panopticon (more on that by Romeu Moura). It could really be a surveillance tool by the company (funny enough Woody showed surveillance camera movies to illustrate the efficiency of his method). The interesting part is that management did not interfere with the team decision on how they were working, or that they supported their decision depending on where you see it.
In the middle of other interesting conferences, I've attended an improv class, which is the best thing I taught myself in ages. It really reminded me of choir, except that you can hide yourself behind a character.
I had the opportunity to learn, to share, to bound with colleagues, to have fun, to confront my world view and to do all of that in a kind and respectful environment. I consider myself lucky to thrive in such a positive environment. I consumed a lot of my energy but it was really worth it. You can expect some other blog posts coming soon on thoughts that have been running in my head and I'm now ready to write down.