Code.talks 2014 - Day 2

Code.talks 2014 - Day 2

Markus Günther 16. October 2014 Conferences

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After a shorter night we went back to the cinema on time. One advantage of such a huge event is that you don't notice when a few people didn't survive the night so well. On small barcamps it's often a pity that potential talks don't happen because there was too much celebration.

Why every teen should have an RPi at home

After a short refreshment at the breakfast buffet, my first talk was about the training of future computer scientists. I myself have a RaspberryPi at home and I would have wished for something like this as a child. It's just a lot of fun to deal with it and I could well imagine that today's teenagers also see it that way.

Unfortunately, the lecture developed a little differently than I thought. So it happened that a very academic lecture with a military aftertaste and a lot of Martell became more of a comedy than an informative lecture.

But the basic information that the German school system has great deficits in the area of computer science education I would sign as a person who had to go through this system.

More effort is needed from governments to prepare young people for tomorrow's technology. And at one school or another, computer science lessons should have a different name than computer science.

If you have read the last amount of Day 1 der Code.talks, then you already know appserver.io. The developers of appserver.io also offer a version for the Raspberry Pi for download.

Swift in 45 Minutes

As a quite Apple-affine person I have of course already dealt with the new programming language of Apple. In Thomas Hanning's lecture I thought I'd get some more insights.

But unfortunately I have to say that I already had too much insight into the topic and could not take much from the introduction with me. Thomas put a lot of effort into it and stood by his audience with words and deeds. But looking back a little more practice would have been helpful to explain this topic faster - after all there were almost exclusively developers in the audience.

If you are interested in how Swift behaves as a new language, then I can only recommend you to watch the videos provided by Apple. There is also a free iBook from Apple for the language Swift.

Code and society - make something of it!

Now we come to a lecture by Nico Lumma. Nico is someone who can amuse countless followers on Twitter with everyday topics like a parents' evening. Now dear Nico has more than one child, which means you also have several funny evenings in the timeline.

Fun by side, Nico Lumma works as an author and freelance consultant. If I am not mistaken, he has been a member of the SPD for 25 years and co-founder of the association D64. In short he is one of the most famous personalities in the German net and influences some of our politicians.
Now Nico thought to himself, what do you as a former developer tell all the others? With the modern technologies and the way we work today, he didn't have to come to us, because he hasn't developed himself for quite some time. But he wanted to open our eyes to developers on several points. A little rebuke us and kick our ass verbally.

Because how can it be that we don't have a lobby? According to Nico, the creative industry is just as big as the automotive or chemical industry. But we don't have a speaker who lobbies for us. And because we care so little about it and don't tell politicians what we need, we have taken places at the end of Europe in technological matters. Or how can it be that not everyone in Germany has a broadband connection? Until recently, our policy did not even define what broadband means in concrete terms. And now that the politicians are thinking about it, we are getting values like 50 Mbit for the future. 

We see already, there are some topics in Germany not so run and Nico would like to change that and he tries with perseverance and much patience with the gentlemen of the politics to open the eyes.

But apart from infrastructure, the most important topic is education and training. Nico says: "If you don't learn a programming language, you won't understand the system at some point and will be programmed by the system itself". He is not completely wrong about that and I think we should do much more in Germany.

In my eyes this was the best lecture of the conference. Nico was able to sweep me along, inspire me and hopefully also get me to act. But I can't put it all into words. The talk was recorded and I think you should just watch it yourself.

OnConnectionLost: The life of an offline web application

Which of you hadn't already installed apps on the phone that failed after a while because the connection was broken? I know that from many conference apps. I quickly developed a web app and distributed it to the conference topics. But not to mention the fact that the whole thing can be opened offline - with the Internet it doesn't work so well at every conference.

The two developers of ThoughtWorks now had a customer project where it was required that the app could also be used offline. The customer's employees apparently travelled a lot and did not always have an active Internet connection on their travels. But the app should still be able to be used by the employees to read documents, capture results, and upload images.

This posed the team the question: "Can we also do all this with an HTML5 web app? And what can you say, the team accepted the challenge and developed an application with HTML5 technologies like the App CacheIndexedDB and the File-API, which meets the customer's requirements and was nevertheless completely realized with web technologies.

If the guys had known what problems they would have to deal with, they might have chosen a different path. Because the crux of the whole implementation is the fact that you have to become master of the data. The decentralized storage of the data results in quite complex scenarios when synchronizing. In the worst case, someone is offline for so long that the data structure of the main database has already changed and then you have to make decisions to get the locally maintained data of the employee into the new structure.

Shortly around the guys from ThoughtWorks had a lot of fun and had to put some brain fat into the implementation. In addition to the problems, Johannes Thönes and Lukasz Plotnicki referred to many other pitfalls.

Online, for example, is not always the same online. So one cannot always exactly recognize whether an Internet connection or only a network connection exists. And if the connection is there, is the bandwidth also sufficient for synchronization?

We can already see that there are all kinds of problems you have to deal with, but these problems also exist when I develop a native application.

I thank them both for this very successful experience report. Despite the problem, it motivated me to develop an application with HTML5 technologies.

Testing and Building AngularJS Applications

As the title suggests, the next to last talk at the conference should be about testing AngularJS applications. I've been a bit involved with AngularJS lately and was very excited about this talk.

Unfortunately the session was cancelled shortly before it started. Exact reasons were not mentioned. But as it is the case at a developer conference - a new speaker can be found spontaneously. Great appreciation to Martin Naumann, who spontaneously and without preparation agreed to take over the session. He himself had already worked on some AngularJS applications and now felt called upon to tell us something about Angular.

Due to the spontaneity it now became a live coding session. After a short review of the audience's knowledge Martin gave a very practical introduction to AngularJS. Unfortunately he could only scratch the subject of testing due to lack of time. But only for this spontaneity and the live-coding I take off my hat. If you want to learn a little Angular, I can recommend the Code-School course. The course is financed by Google and therefore free for everyone.

Master projects with open communication

The last lecture of the conference should be about open communication. Everyone always preaches to us Communication is the A&O ... therefore we have to refresh our knowledge every now and then.

The lecture was given by Judith Andresen. As a man who once lived in Hamburg, I know her of course. She is co-organizer of the phpUnconference in Hamburg and a welcome guest at the PHP-Usergroup. Judith has the ability to take people with her and her lectures are always good.

The lecture started with the hint that 70% of all IT projects fail. But they don't fail because the teams don't master their technologies. They almost always fail because of soft factors and one of them is the lack of communication. If teams spoke more openly with each other, there would be higher success rates in the implementation of IT projects. Means the projects would be completed faster, more qualitatively and thus also more profitably.

Judith has in her lecture very much dealt with the psychological aspects to make it clear to the audience that it is often automatisms that lead to bad communication.

People sometimes answer questions subconsciously and do not even ask this important question into the room. In order to have more open communication in a team, everyone must first of all start with themselves. Everyone has to listen into themselves and make their own decisions. Most decisions are unconscious and often do not lead to the goal. One avoids confrontation and this is precisely what can advance a project. Problems must be addressed, otherwise they cannot be solved. It doesn't help anyone if he can say later: "Yes, I knew that right away". Judith thinks that people are rewarded with this behaviour and that happiness hormones are released. The project failed, but since I knew beforehand that this would not happen, I was right and am happier. So you are afraid of confrontation, because it means trouble and you subconsciously prefer to reward yourself for knowing that it doesn't work that way.

Judith has made a number of suggestions besides the psychological explanations, how communication can be improved. Just have a look at the latest slides in your blog.

Conclusion

As always, the two days of the conference went by at a rapid pace and you were done and happy at the same time. It was a great experience to be at such a large conference with such a wide range of topics. You could really think outside the box and take some inspiration with you. After the Google Developer Days 2010 in Berlin, this was the second largest event ever for me.

The atmosphere and the environment were so perfect that it will probably be 2015, for me already for the third time, to the Developer Conference (now Code.talks) will go. It's just great to meet so many familiar faces even in such a large audience. Thanks to the organizers, the many helping hands and of course to the participants.


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