Issue 13

I T.A.K.E UNCONFERENCE More than just a conference

Ana Maria Constantinescu
Community Manager

The conference I T.A.K.E. UNCONFERENCE happened in Bucharest on 30-31 of May and it was more than just a conference. The speaking part was about code and new techniques for programmers, testers, architects, technical managers. Over these two days a lot of interesting things happened.

There were workshops organized where the participants were asked to write code and had a lot to learn due to the high level of interaction with the other group members. The topics were: Agile Architecture Techniques and Values, TDD, DDD and BDD. Moreover, there was an Open Space where the participants brought the topic, picked the time and together with the ones interested had some informal discussions. They talked about things like: "How to start writing Unit Test?", "How to keep control when refactoring", "Problems and solutions for big data bases", etc.

Besides this, at the I T.A.K.E. UNCONFERENCE one could understand what a Product Owner role means and which are the responsibilities that come with it. There was a Product Management area where everybody, either speaker or participant, contributed to the development of a web application called KeepInTouch that allows the participants to keep in touch even after the conference. The Product Owner, Flavius Stef, prepared an initial backlog that guided and prioritized the development stages of the application. The participants practiced Agile Software Development techniques, iterated every hour, used pair programming, unit testing and TDD. The result? A fully functional application according to the plan.

Speaking, Open Space, Product Development, and this is not all. Due to the fact that a programmer needs to practice and become better at writing code, the organizers of I T.A.K.E. UNCONFERENCE prepared a Kata Lounge, an area where the challenges were waiting for the programmers to take them. Each participant that solved one of the problems, called Katas, got feedback from the speakers. The winners for the cleanest code were Catalin Lazar who got an invitation for one of Mozaic Works workshops and three months subscription to the Today Software Magazine and Eduard Stanculet, who also got a three months subscription to Today Software Magazine.

The conference started with Rebecca Wirfs-Brock, president of Wirfs-Brock Associates and IEEE Software"s Design Columnist, well-known and respected object-oriented practitioner. She invented the way of thinking about objects known as Responsibility-Driven Design and is the lead author of Object Design: Roles, Responsibilities, and Collaborations (2003) and the classic Designing Object-Oriented Software (1990).

During the presentation on the topic "Maintaining your code Clint Estwood style", she explored options for revising, repairing, and extending good, bad, and ugly code. When she talked about good code she advised us to write easy code despite its complexity, keeping in mind that in the future the respective code will solve much more than it solves today.

Moreover, she started from Clint Eastwood"s idea that "Whatever success I"ve had is due to a lot of instinct and a little luck" by confessing that in her case "Whatever success I"ve had is through a lot of hard work and a little luck".

Vasco Duarte, Agile Coach held a workshop about TDD. Vasco has Product and Project Management experience. Having worked in the software industry since 1997, Vasco is one of the leaders and catalysts of Agile methods and Agile culture adoption at Avira and previously at Nokia and F-Secure. He said that TDD is an investment in becoming a good programmer. Between the problems concerning TDD, he mentioned that it is hard as programmer to detect repetition and usually one tends to complicate the solutions. Therefore, he recommended to write easy code and do lot of Refactoring.

Aimee Rivers, with many years experience in web programming and behaviour driven development, helped to test and deliver the BBC"s Interactive Video Player for the Olympics. On the link: http://aimeerivers.com/weather/berlin one can see the weather in Berlin on the whole webpage and one can replace Berlin with any other city.

Mostly the conference was about Clean Code, Architecture, Design, Unit testing, TDD, Functional programming, Domain Driven Design, Legacy Code, Productivity, Testing.


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