Saturday, September 15, 2012

Agile Architecture Open Space Conf 2012 - Impressions

I ran AAOSConf Thursday and Friday this week. This is the second year. And this is the second year my employer, MjĂžlner Informatics, has been kind enough to sponsor it all. Based on last year, going into this one I had huge expectations. Happily my expectations were met. Once again, I got to spend two days with a bunch of sharp minds and dedicated software professionals. That alone is great. But combining it with the fact that they are there to share, discuss and push their and each others understanding of that surprisingly complex activity called software development, and you get a very unusual opportunity for learning.

This years conference really confirmed to me that there is very real and very broad push for simplification going on. This includes trends like

  • CQRS and ES
  • Using document stores
  • Cutting down on layering
  • Chopping systems into thinner simpler slices
  • Moving towards continuous delivery
Which were all hot topics that drove some very interesting open space sessions.

On the process side of things there were some very good discussions on the finer points of topics like adopting TDD, the value of co-location, DDD, the value of business alignment vs. the value of efficiency in software development and on managing technical debt.

On the one hand there are the broad trends, and on the other there are the detail pesky details of some of the really hard stuff: That's what makes the open space format great, it's so thoroughly tied to the actual practice going on in real projects, and people are so honest and sharing about their problems and successes that you get the inside track on both the direction things are moving and on which details are the problematic ones.

Enough on my experience with the conference. Here are a few of the tweets from other attendees:

Seems we all had fun learning a lot. Thanks for that! Hope to see you next year!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

GOTO 2012: The Minus Side

Continuing my look at this years GOTO 2012 program; what's missing? Well, on the one hand it's easy to out point topic after topic that isn't on the program. On the other hand the conference can't and shouldn't include everything under sun. Choices have to made. I get that, and I'm happy that the GOTO program committee does too. I like that GOTO sometimes is a bit opinionated (in fact that one of it's main strengths IMO). I also assume they get lots of "there's not enough XYZ" and are probably sick and tired of it ... but that's what I'll giving here anyway. But I will try to qualify.
Getting the to point there are two things the really strike me as missing from this years program:

  1. Unusual .NET. What I mean by this is content about the large and thriving, but to a lot of devs hidden, eco system of community supported .NET (related) technology. Like Nancy or OpenRasta, or ServiceStack or Dapper or Rebus or MassTransit or ChuckNorris etc. There's enough .NET content on the program for my taste. It's just that it's too mainstream. I think it should be more challenging. The danish .NET community is very strong and very knowledgeable. We need and expect a challenge from GOTO. 
  2. Ruby. GOTO is a cross platform, cross community conference. That's another one of it's main strengths. But when I went through the program I saw only one talk with any relation to Ruby: Karl Krukow Calabash talk - which really isn't Ruby oriented at all, but since Calabash supports Cucumber syntax, there's some sort of link to Ruby. I think this is both a pity and strange: The danish Ruby and Rails communities is alive and kicking as far as I can tell form the outside, but with the current program Rubyinst or Railsist would have I hard time justifiying coming to GOTO. Which is a shame, since that makes the conference narrower. I would have loved to see DHH give a keynote. I would have loved to get the "what's new in Rails 3.whatisthelatest" talk or a "state of DSLs in Ruby" talk or ... something even more fun that I don't even know is going on in Ruby land.
But hey, these are just peeves about an otherwise great program.