A retrospect of the DevDay 2018 in Dresden

Yesterday DevDay18 took place in Dresden. When I arrived, I had mixed feelings because DevDay17 was not that convincing in my opinion. It was not the event itself, but the sessions I picked, that felt like too much of an advertisement with too less real information. And then this year the first thing I saw was a queue of people at the entrance. As a good German I just: queue.add(self);We did not have to wait long, and I already met several people I know, so no complains there.

Sessions

After the opening by the Software Engineering Community, we started with the keynote “Antipatterns in der Softwareentwicklung” (anti-patterns in software development) by fefe. He spoke about his experience as a software developer / consultant in the past 20 years. Talking about the stuff people do and how wrong most of that stuff is. For example if you have a problem while programming, quite often the idea is to google for it. Most of the time you end up in forums or Stack Overflow. The problem is people looking there have the same problem and maybe a solution, definitely not the best solution and most likely not even a good one. The better idea is to look up in the official documentation of whatever you are using. And yes, I am aware – good documentations are rare. Fefe followed his pattern with problem → idea → solution → whats wrong with that solution and give a better one, through out several topics.

The next talk I decided to here was “Offline First – kein Netz, kein Fehler, zufriedene Nutzer” (Offline First – no connection, no error, happy users) by Ulrich Deiters. He presented different ways for mobile apps to work even without a constant internet connection. He showed an example with a Service Worker, I think he used AppCache, as well as one with database synchronization based on PouchDB. The presentation was a nice mixture between an overview of different technologies for different use cases and hands on example.

In old tales, magicians have power over objects and people, if they know their real name. In software development it’s similar, you have to name things right so people, including yourself, use it the correct way. So the presentation “Conjuring Demons: Die Macht des wahren Names” (Conjuring Demons: the power of the true name) by Benjamin Wolf was really after my fancy. First he talked about the importance of version control commit messages and how to do them right and  continued with naming methods and variables. One of his examples, I also already encountered, was three double variables a, b and c, which had a total different meaning.

For the last presentation where I had a choice, I chose “Pay your own Dog Food” by Christian Wende. It’s an interactive game called egg empire, his colleges Marcel Schiffel and Mirko Seifert already presented at the JUG Saxony Day 2017. But I missed it back then, so this was my chance and it was really nice and educational. I don’t want to tell you more about it, because it’s best if you experience it yourself. So when they are doing it again try to be part of the 20 people in that session.

The last session was “Hack me if you can!” by Thomas Haase and yes it is intended to sound similar to the Tom Hanks movie “Catch Me If You Can”. He talked about his experience as a pen tester and like every year showed nice security breaches from public gift voucher barcodes over SQL injections to public git repositories in websites (that should not be visible). I always like his presentations and I always wonder how breaches are not fixed for several years, even if the people know about them.

Although the topic of the conference was “digital reality” and I did not find any correlation to that in the different presentations, I enjoyed the whole event. See you at DevDay19.

Slides

If you know more links post a comment and I will add them.

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