We attended CodeMotion virtually with Techspire

At Techspire we value our colleagues and love to spend time with them. Unfortunately during a global pandemic there were some challenges ahead to keep doing things together and we have to be more creative. Wanting to go to a conference together was on our wishlist for quite some time and then CodeMotion 2021 Fall Edition came up!

Back then the COVID infections seemed to be somewhat stable and we were excited to actually do this with several people at the office. We bought a new 4K beamer and a large beamer screen. I can assure you the CEO looked quite surprised when these large flight-cases were delivered carrying our new, fancy and shiny tools to play with! With these babies we were able to set up two rooms in our office so we could at any time show two talks simultaneously. We would have a limit on the number of people who could attend, and everything was as COVID-proof as possible. Then, two weeks before CodeMotion, infections went up and the Netherlands were given further restrictions. We never give up, so we also went fully virtual for CodeMotion.

We set up a Slack channel so that we could communicate about the talks we were watching. The amazing thing about a virtual conference is that you feel less burdened when you switch rooms since you don't physically have to leave the room. This means that when you spread out with your colleagues between the rooms, you are always guaranteed the best talk at that particular moment.

I asked everyone who attended to give me their top 3 takeaways from this conference. In this small blog I would like to discuss with you the talks that gave us the most takeaways. What we at Techspire really cherish is that we employ a lot of people whom all have very different interests and personalities which we saw reflected in the takeaways. Only one talk had multiple people mention it in their takeaways while all other mentioned talks only have one take away from someone. It makes writing this blog a little harder, but I personally love that everyone found something for themselves during this conference.
The talk that gave the most people some food for thought was "Diversity in Tech" by Antonia Forster. This is another thing I love about the people in our company. The most important talk was not directly technical related, but rather on how we can do better for everyone else in the field. My favorite takeaway from this talk is this one:
I enjoyed the talk about diversity because it was one of the few times I heard a speaker provide clear outlines for how to improve diversity and identity bias in an organization. Diversity takes effort and commitment on all levels of an organization. It is a continuous process that has to be reviewed frequently in order to identify bias.
Since we have a tie on all talks we attended over two days (15 of them!) I am going to pick my favorites amongst the take-aways. The next take-away is regarding the talk "Saga pattern: managing transactions between microservices" by Mattia Tommasone.
You have applied the database per service pattern. Each service has its own database. The saga design pattern is provided to manage data consistency across microservices in distributed transaction cases. Basically, saga patterns offer to create a set of transactions that update microservices sequentially .If one of the steps is failed, then saga patterns trigger to rollback transactions which is basically do reverse operations with publishing rollback events to previous microservices.



And another take-away from my own team of a talk I attended as well. I definitely agree with this one, but it is something that is often overlooked in frontend development. The talk comes from Cassie Evans and is called "Keep Scrolling".

I found this quite interesting. My takeaway here is that we can always find ways to take something boring and see how we can improve the dissemination of this not-so-exciting information and splitting this information into easily consumable portions, CSS and some JS that manages to keep the user's attention and make it a pleasant/fun journey at the same time. In this case, how something as simple as the concept of scrolling can make such a big difference in communicating information to the end user. We should always keep this in mind when we have to present information to the user, that we should present it in a way that is easily consumable and holds the user's attention.

Conclusion

One of the take-aways that wasn't related to a talk was "Online conferences are hard. Especially since interactive elements don't work well or are delayed". This is definitely something we experienced. Nevertheless we were happy that we got to taste the attendance of a conference together and had fun despite the restrictions. As a company it is important to keep doing things together. Always.
We also appreciate the CodeMotion team that also had to make adjustments to keep their conferences going despite everything that is currently going on. 
Keep learning. Keep having fun. And stay safe!


Who am I?

I'm a senior fullstack engineer and consultant working as Team Lead for Techspire in the Netherlands 🇳🇱. I have been working in software engineering for almost 10 years and still loving it every single day. My main expertise lies with Angular. As a true geek I love to expand my knowledge and am proficient with, amongst others, Python, Ruby on Rails and AWS.
Do you think you have what it takes to work with us? At Techspire we're looking for people who love technology as much as we do, and are looking to push themselves to expand their knowledge. Also, we love a good story, a good laugh, and a few beers.

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