Wow. My 4th QCon London. That’s not bad. And every time, it’s a different experience (if you must, see my blogs for 2013, 2012, and even 2007 (part 1 & part 2 - how cute was I? “agile seems like a jolly good idea; automated testing appears to be important”)).I can’t even tell you what I did on the first day, I was mostly panicking about my presentation - I was inspired after my trip to New York last month to change my talk at the last (responsible?) minute and do a live coding session, something much more technical than my recent talks. I’ll leave the details for a separate blog post though, when the video comes out.The thing that stands out for me from Wednesday though was Damian Conway programming Conway’s Game of Life in Klingon. Yeah. Just find the video and watch it, the man is a genius.The Thursday keynote was inspiring too from a totally different point of view - Tim Lister of Peopleware fame shared stories from his career, and I came away from that really happy I work as a technologist, but with an increased desire to learn off other amazing people.On Thursday I hosted the “Not Only Java“ track - I’m on the programme committee for QCon, and this year we wanted to cover leading edge technologies (as always) but we didn’t want to slice things into strict technology silos [interruption: argh!
InfoQ has posted the video of Dan North and I opining on the subject of hiring. Most of the talk is spent on how to be a good interviewer, and touches on how to market your company to prospective hires. We spend less time on how to do well as an interviewee, but in theory if you know what’s going through the interviewer’s mind, you should be in a much better position to take control of the interview and shine.Hire Education - Making Interviews RockIt’s kind of funny because we talk a lot about hiring at ThoughtWorks (where we both worked, and which has one of the toughest interview processes in the industry) and LMAX, which learnt a lot off ThoughtWorks and shaped its own process for a smaller company that has different goals.
I like QCon London, I really do. Not only is it on home turf, but, as I’ve said before, it doesn’t just focus on technology, or a set of technologies.Full disclosure: I’ve been involved in planning QCon this year. So this time I know all the thinking, hard work, planning and last-minute changes that go into a conference like this. And it’s a joy to be able to sit in the audience and see the conference that you’ve helped build.There are things I took out of today that I want to get down on “paper” now, because I think the next few days will have different themes.Let’s Not Forget About Computer ScienceI’m so pleased to see this in a conference!
I’m late with my write-up of QCon, and what’s worse, it will be partial - “sadly” I was in Lanzarote on a training week with the running club from the Thursday (8th) so I missed most of it. A sacrifice I had to make for 7 days in the sunshine….Firstly, me me meI presented the talk I previewed at Skillsmatter the previous week, something I was calling the User’s Guide to the Disruptor, but actually turned out to be how-can-Trish-fill-95-slides-with-pictures-and-finish-in-under-40-minutes.The audience was different to the Skillsmatter event, not surprisingly. What was surprising is that I expected people at the conference to be less aware of the Disruptor, and those who came to the Disruptor-only LJC event to have had more exposure to it. It was a (pleasant) surprise to see how many of the standing-room-only audience had not only heard of the Disruptor but had read stuff about it (I always love it when people have read my blog), played with it and were even using it in anger.Because of that, I think if anything the talk did not go into enough detail, or enough new stuff, to please everyone. Tough crowd! But it was gratifying to hear the audience correct me in some of my answers, and answer other people’s questions - it’s always nice to know people are listening.Of course, I will post a link to the presentation when it’s available.
Investigate Maven 2Have a glance at TestNGPotentially play with JMock for current testing frameworkPlay with GWTSign up for Pragmatic Architect eventCheck out JavaBlackBelt site - what is provided, and what are the feelings of professionals (or, more importantly, recruiters) towards these qualifications?Look into getting Visual Studio .NET again so you can have a go at GUI development in it.Go to technorati. Investigate JUnit 4 changes/improvements
Last week saw the first QCon London conference, an event “designed with the technical depth and enterprise focus of interest to technical team leads, architects, and project managers”.The conference consisted of two days of tutorials followed by three days of talks covering technologies, vendor products, and processes. In addition there were numerous “networking” opportunities with plenty of break times to both absorb information and meet other people, plus evening events.The conference was both comprehensive and absorbing, and I’m hoping to take the next few days to filter through the notes I have taken and present a more succinct version here.
Things I took out of QCon: I want to play with Ajax. Maybe I've "grown out" of front end development but that doesn't prevent it from being (potentially) extremely coolSelenium looks like a good place to start for automated website testingIt can take up to 7 years to move away from a legacy architecture. Depressing, but at least it shows it can be done and it's worth the effortI'm going to become a certified Scrum Master Mistress. I believe Agile in some form or other is the most efficient way to run software development, but there are a LOT of lessons to learn in order to get it right. And number one lesson is you need the right team.