YOW! Day One

Published on: December 8, 2016

Tags: conference

In Australia we have a well known conference called YOW!. Yes, the name is in all capitals and contains an exclamation point; no it's not ten times more exciting than any other tech conference. I’d always assumed this conference had more of a Java and enterprise focus, so I hadn’t gone before. But I’m curious about conferences, and they were looking for volunteers so I signed up.

First of all, you’ll notice it’s a really well run conference. They run it for profit, and people have Real Jobs working for YOW! and the quality comes through. I enjoyed Ela Conf, but it certainly had a home grown, community feel to it in comparison.

So let’s dive into the talks!

The Scribe's Oath, Robert Martin (Uncle Bob)

Programmers are the scribes of the modern world. Just like the scribes in ancient times, we have special knowledge about how the world works and how to change it. Having this much power means we will, at some point, become a regulated profession (like doctors and lawyers). Let’s jump the gun and regulate ourselves before government gets involved.

Suggested programmer’s oath:

  1. I will not produce harmful code. (Both in how it works and what it does. We shouldn’t do things like catching errors without handling them.)
  2. The code that I produce will always be my best work. I will not knowingly allow code that is defective either in behaviour or structure to accumulate. (Employers and the world expect we’re doing our best work all the time. Although it’s expected that what we write will “rot” a.k.a. become tech debt, it’s also expected that we will correct these problems.)
  3. I will produce, with each release, a quick, sure, and repeatable proof that every element of the code works as it should. (A full coverage test suite.)
  4. I will make frequent, small, releases so that I do not impede the process of others. (Your work shouldn’t negatively impact the work of others. You shouldn’t have long running branches that mess up other people.)
  5. I will fearlessly and relentlessly improve our work at every opportunity. I will never allow it to degrade. (We need to constantly pay off tech debt and aim for a better codebase.)
  6. I will do all that I can to keep the productivity of myself, and others, as high as possible. I will do nothing that decreases that productivity. (Find issues in your process that are slow and work to make them faster.)
  7. I will continuously ensure that others can cover for me, and that I can cover for them. (Work as a team, especially when it comes to time away from the team.)
  8. I will produce estimates that are honest both in magnitude and precision. I will not make process without certainty. (Try to make estimates that you are comfortable with, but have a reasonable range.)
  9. I will never stop learning and improving my craft. (Programming changes all the time, so it’s our responsibility to stay on top of things.)

Interesting quote:

So far, the number of programmers seems to double about every five years. Which means, half of all programmers have less than five years experience.

Mob Programming: A Whole Team Approach, Woody Zuill

Adorable quote:

I want to call out this animation because if I didn't you wouldn't notice and it took me four hours to do.

The Verification of a Distributed System, Caitie McCaffrey

Test more in areas that are more likely to have errors

Data Science as Software at Pinterest, Andrea Burbank

Data should be treated like code

Realistic quote:

Think back to 2012, Pinterest was growing really fast. Mostly we were just trying to stop the system from falling over.

Engineering you, Martin Thompson

Down to earth quote:

Don’t work with assholes.

Who are you, Really?, Dr. Brian Little

A deep dive into introversion vs. extroversion. This is a topic I’m particularly interested in, so I loved it! Dr. Little was an incredibly engaging speaker, so I forgot to take many notes. I did jot down a few quotes or points of interest:

Extroverts get more traffic tickets. They need the stimulation.

Psychology is about finding ways we are like all others, some others, and no others.

That’s a wrap on day one! It’s been pretty full on, and I’m looking forward to tomorrow!

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