Brainsware Blog

(In other news: App development, UX design, business: we're writing about the entire development of Sealas)

Craft Conf 2017

by igor on

There's a number of reasons why Craft Conf is one of my favourite conferences (if you find me saying this of every conference, please note that I refuse to be held accountable for my enthusiasm!)

  • The City — I love Budapest
  • The Location — this year The Budapest Train museum
  • The mix of talk subjects — with the focus on practice
  • The mix of people💜

Despite the perfectly timed rain (every year), the atmosphere has something very special thanks to the core theme: the practice of our craft.

In the past couple of years, I've been focusing on two themes: ((Open Source) Community) Management, and distributed systems. And, Craft Conf had plenty to offer on those.

For my own benefit, I'll tell you a bit what I learned from each of the talks I saw — so you can too!

The Talks

I started my craftconf with Learning in Layers:

Next up, I finally learned what the weird sigils mean in Rust: Systemsprogramming is for Everyone.

Inspired by discussions with Theo Schlossnagle regarding OmniTI's recent move to drop further (official) OmniOS development, we both went to numerous talks about Scaling Open Source Communities. A highlight here was perhaps:

Most of the these talks emphasized automation, in particular, Orta's Growing A Development Team’s Process Guided by Tests. Ash Furrow's Building Open Source Communities was a bit of an exception in this regard, in that it ended with him removing himself from the project he founded. The parallels to Voxpupuli were quite striking, so of course, I decided to steal adapt some of these.

I ended my first day with two talks I thought would go well together: Lorna Mitchell's Becoming Polyglot, followed by Damian Conway's closing keynote Fun with Dead Languages. It can be very enlightening to look at "dead" languages, like Forth and Lisp. Or, in this case PostScript, C++, and Latin.

Except for two talks, I spent most of the second day in the community track. Containers From Scratch by Liz Rice was absolutely stunning to watch: she wrote 75 lines of Go, making a functional container engine. I've also copied her error handling… Sam Newman, author of Building Microservices tried his hand at explaining the merits and drawbacks of serverless, in Confusion In The Land Of The Serverless. As usually, I asked how he would visualize and teach complex distributed systems and their failure modes. As always, the answers were varied and interesting. I learned for instance that Amazon documents and monitors their services with TLA+

In the community track, Michael Jenkins talked about Injecting Modern Concepts into Legacy Processes

— a process that can be painfully slow. Especially in large, or old organizations, or anywhere else where people feel like they should be doing things by hand

Erika Calrson gave an incredible talk about Better: Fearless Feedback for Software Teams. A hard-earned skill, that is hardly taught, but so important…

With Feedback now a solved problem, Patrick Kua talked about the general set of Tech Lead Skills for Developers.

Finally, Theo Schlossnagle tried to tie it all together with his closing keynote Better engineering via better discourse

The human factor

Just as important as the talks is talking to people at a conference. The extent to which the conference and the venue facilitate this is just breath-taking.

I hope to see you there next year.

Share this Post: