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WebCamp Zagreb - Lessons Learned

12/19/2012Categories: Other

Disclaimer: These are my opinions on what I think I heard the speakers might have said :)

Recently I found out about WebCamp Zagreb conference, and I was lucky enough to get a ticket. I really liked the format: two parallel lectures every 30 minutes. Since it really was a LOT of information for just one day, here are my observations on each of the lectures, and what I thought were the highlights of each presentation:

Marko Dugonjić: gradimo za ljude (eng. We're building for people)

"Start your design from writing use cases, and not design mock-ups (drawings)."

When it comes to good design, Marko knows what he's talking about. Starting your design with words and sentences, rather then with lines and boxes is something to take seriously into consideration.

Lucijan Blagonić: responzivan web dizajn u praksi (eng. Responsive web design in practice)

"Start designing mobile first."

Lucijan talked about best practices in responsive design, and how some methods can help you to design responsive from the beginning  of your project.

Zdeslav Vojković: Flask – web framework za one koji vole fleksibilnost (eng. Flask - web framework for those who like flexibility)

"While you where arguing about Rails vs Django vs Flask a bunch of people shipped with PHP."

Zdeslav gave a nice overview of Flask, but he pointed out that at the end of the day its not what tool you're going to use, it's how are you going to use it.

Ilija Studen: Active Collab

Ilija talked about team organization and how to ship more frequently. This was all from his experience, and he talked about the solutions they incorporated that fitted them best. They added a person to their team that is responsible for recreation of reported bugs, tasks assignments and reviews of resolved tasks.

Zoran Ugrina: MongoDB – usporedba u odnosu na relacijske baze podataka (eng. MongoDB - comparison with relation databasese)

"Don't use MongoDB in the same way you would use your regular relational database."

Zoran tried out MongoDB by trying to replace relational database functionality. He talked about his experience with this experiment, and how he thinks MonoDB should be used.

Swizec Teller: Why programmers code at night?

Swizec is writing a book ( and his talk was about him doing research for his book and things he found out about programmers and their life styles. I'd like to point out just two things he said: 1) Eating fat makes you more sleepy, 2) Start your day by exercising a bit and not with coffee which has no effect in the morning.

Mihai Corlan: PhoneGap and PhoneGap Build

It works "out-of-the-box" for everything except iOS, which requires Apple developers license. Nice tool overall, but its not native code, and I would really like to see some more complex applications running on various devices (low-end ones especially).

Aljoša Mohorović: Kako pretjerati s jednostavnom idejom? (eng. How to overextend a simple idea?)

"Cloud platforms are the future, and Heroku is one of the solutions to consider."

This talk was a bit hard for me to follow since I didn't pay much attention to Heroku before. So I did some research later, and I can suggest you do the same.

Bruno Kovačić: Što sve pruža Windows Azure? (eng. What Windows Azure provides?)

You get free PHP and MySQL hosting with Windows Azure. Anyone tried to guess this couple of years ago? :) For everything else, Microsoft is making sure you get enough content on Azure.

Marko Elezović: Bleeding Edge Syndrom

"Isolate your alpha builds, and thing twice before upgrading to newer alpha."

Marko had a very interesting talk about his experiences with discovering why the version 0.1.1a isn't working up until 5 in the morning. As interesting some solutions look and sound, it is not recommended to use them in a production environment, unless you are so committed that you will want to fix everything on your own.

Senko Rašić: Tri koraka do boljeg koda: Unit testing, code reviews, automatizirani build (eng. Three steps to better code: Unit testing, code reviews, automated builds)

"Start using unit testing, and set your goal to achieve as much code coverage as you can, especially if you are new with Test Driven Development."

The final presentation was on testing, and in my opinion it was great to hear first hand on how to start testing your software. Senko talked about how they introduced unit testing and code reviews where every developer can review every other developer (it's not based on developers experience or salary).

I really liked the conference concept, and that the speakers were actual guys who like to get their hands dirty. Meeting new people and exchanging experiences is what live conferences are best at. There are so many materials on-line, but hanging out with fellow developers and designers really inspires. After an event like this, all I want to do is go home and code. Can't wait for the next web camp!

Rated 5.00, 1 vote(s).