Sunday, October 28, 2018

My Software Crafters Barcelona 2018

Dates: 29th, 30th September
Official site:

A month ago I had the pleasure of attending the Software Crafters Barcelona 2018. I think it's the fourth time I've been to this conference and it's among my favorites.

I loved this year's edition. The first two years the conference had around 80 attendees and an excellent environment for networking and learning in community.
Last year the conference, and we were around  200 participants, which was a major logistical challenge. Although I liked last year's decision, the truth is that we lost some of the networking and community feeling. However, this year the organizers have overcome all the challenges and achieved the same atmosphere that we had in the first editions.

The venue was in the center of the city, very well communicated and comfortable. The rooms used for the talks and workshops were, I think, very suitable. The only thing I think could be improved is that the English track was a little difficult to access. Still, I think the venue was a great choice.

Another thing I loved this year, is that the open space part was done on Saturday afternoon, instead of Sunday, as was done before. This decision has allowed more people to participate in these open space sessions.

The sessions I attended:

A cowgirl journey Slides Meritxell Calvo Video
Entertaining and inspiring talk about the path she has taken within the industry and the milestones that have marked her. Very interesting to see the importance of having women referents in technology, community and mentoring.

Communication Antipatterns and where to find them Slides Emma Baddeley
As an introductory talk it went very well. He did some emphasis on distributed teams but it wasn't the main focus.

The Science of Not Estimating Slides Anemari Fiser, Javier Sánchez Rois.
An excellent summary of the problems with estimations and how to use some other alternatives as probabilistic forecasting based on real data from the team. It was fascinating how they used Montecarlo simulations based in the past cycle time and lead time of the user stories delivered by the team.
Some interesting references:

Reactive microsystems Slides Ignasi Marimon-Clos 
The talk described how to evolve from Rest Microservices to more reactive microservices using CQRS. For each step of the evolution, Ignasi described the pros and cons and the actual options for the next step. The content of the talk was great, but the following conversation was even more significant.

Kubeflow (Workshop) Laura Morillo
We follow the lab "Introduction to Kubeflow on Google Kubernetes Engine"
It was an introduction to kubeflow and concepts needed to use it (kubernetes, ksonnet). It was perfect for me because it was not to depth but let me understand the architecture and the development flow.

Parallel Changes. Big changes in small steps.
I facilitated this workshop and from the feedback I got, it was quite good. :) Slides and additional information in the following blogpost.

Timeless Streams Slides Javier Salinas Polo
Interesting session on how to solve the problem of time use in systems that use event streams. Finally, they came up with a solution by sending timestamps as events. They used these marks to demarcate periods so that they could test without the need to depend on time.

Open space Sessions:

Going to production, Help! Session moderated by Laura Lacarra
During the session, we shared different ideas about how to push to production and operating software systems. We could see how there were two groups, one more aware of the DevOps culture that considered production as part of value delivery and another group that still saw a clear separation between development and operations. We talked about incident reports and other learning tools (game days, chaos engineering). We also talked about the DORA report, and some reference books.

When there is diversity, do you know how to manage it? Session moderated by Raquel Lainde
Some ideas that I extracted from the session:
  • We should provide training on diversity (because it is a great asset, but we usually are not prepared to manage it).
  • Learn about biases and social psychology help us to understand the problems and our reactions.
  • It is much easier for someone with privileges to correct or point out non-inclusive behavior to another person with privileges (less risk involved).
  • It is essential to identify and try to be attentive to situations of discrimination.
They recommended this book that I already have on my reading list:

Other notes and stuff:

As every year I leave with a lot of new ideas, experiments to do, some devirtualizations, a lot of interesting conversations and a great sense of community. I am increasingly proud to have a profession that considers sharing and learning to be fundamental. 

Thank you very much to the organization for the impressive work you do. Each edition, I left Barcelona with the desire to return the following year. 

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