4Developers is a big 1-day IT conference held in Warsaw. Some of the iRonin team got together to attend this year’s edition - find out their thoughts about the conference in our latest post.
4Developers is one of the biggest IT conferences in Poland, and as such, we always make sure that those interested at iRonin get to attend!
14 streams and 2500 participants made the 2018 edition of 4Developers one of the biggest IT conferences in the country within the software development community. Omnipresent crowds and an huge number of topics to choose from speaks to the enormity of this conference - it’s big and it’s busy. If you’re after a boutique conference, 4Developers is not it. However the diversity of streams, the crowd, and the presence of the some of the most easily-recognizable speakers in the country makes it an event worth attending.
This year, a few of the team participated in this fast-paced one-day event. We’d like to share their experiences with you so that you can get a feel of what it’s like to be on the ground - and the interesting topics that are covered. See what Artur and Dariusz - our Ruby on Rails developers, thought of 4Developers 2018 below.
What was your favorite applied techniques lecture?
How Serverless Will Forever Change Our Jobs was without a doubt one of the most valuable lectures of this year’s edition for me. Previously, I saw serverless software architecture as a bit like a non-techie solution - only a good choice for very specific problems, rather than the industry blessing it’s being touted as. However, Jakub outlined serverless as a great tool to help us recognize the domain and learn the specifics of the business process, which we can use to eliminate the time that is needed at the beginning of a project to prepare infrastructure. I learned that it works well if we have a single business process that we want to quickly model, so that our client can start earn money on it, before we decide how we want to do it and whether we need something more.
After attending wroclove.rb a few weeks before, I wanted to get deep into domain-driven design (DDD) - and luckily half a day was dedicated to the topic. A great presentation was given by Mariusz Gil about Event Storming - a fun group technique used to brainstorm the domain of a piece of software using sticky notes on the wall. He went through the major ideas of Event Storming and described the technique by showing some real production examples (without details of course!). It was very cool to see pictures from real Event Storming sessions with a lot of sticky notes.
What was your favorite coding lecture?
Everyone who knows me is aware that functional programming is my favored style of development. While I’m not a huge fan of Java in general, I know that Jarek Ratajski is a great speaker, so I decided to go along for this lecture, Monads for an Average Java Developer (Monads are a functional programming idiom). The lecture was definitely worth it! I don’t think I’ve ever seen Monads presented in such a clear and well-thought out manner. For those that missed out, this presentation was recorded, and I cannot wait until it is published on the internet to watch again.
I continued down the DDD path with a presentation by Jakub Pilimon. He did some pretty cool live coding to demonstrate the benefits of using an event-driven model. After Jakub’s solo performance, Michał Michaluk joined him to make something like live theater. Jakub was acting developer/owner of a theoretical product and Michal was trying to convince him about the benefits of DDD. Through this script, they went through the main concepts and techniques of DDD. Super funny and the room was full- there was no place to stand!
What other lectures were highlights?
I also saw Test Driven Development Revisited, a good lecture consolidating knowledge about TDD and why it isn’t just the presence of tests in code, and Modularity - The Final Frontier, which shared a lot of good tips about organizing our monolith application into separate modules and then moving into separate microservices, step by step.
I checked out a lecture on React, which demonstrated many patterns and tricks on how to create loosely coupled & highly cohesive components that I’ll get to apply at work, as well as Looking for the Holy Grail of Mobile Web Performance, which shared many useful tips on how to speed up web applications for mobile users - there was a lot of good info that I will definitely review again and play around with on my own!
What were your thoughts about the conference as a whole?
Due to the number of different streams, 4Developers feels like there are a few different conferences happening at once. The number of participants makes crowds at times oppressing and yet the opportunities to network are limited, due to almost no between-lecture breaks. In spite of my my feelings towards how the event is organized, the presentations which I attended were of a good level and everyone can find something that will spark their interest. Would I go to 4Developers next year? Maybe - it’s not really my type of conference and there are others which I’d place much higher up on my list, but I’d still attend if given the chance and schedule fit. For others, if you have free time or are in the area then its worth having a look to listen to some great speakers.
This edition of 4Developers was very interesting, with a lot of really good info about DDD and other Architecture-related topics. The 4Developers conference allows participants to delve into multiple topics and it’s very flexible, so if you are bored in one stream, you can always leave to go check out some other choices. You can switch between frontend, backend, architecture, or even go into soft skills and business relations to learn stuff not strictly related to development. Maybe some would say this conference has too many topics, rooms, and people, and it’s going too fast, but I think that it fits perfectly into that Warsaw style - it’s big, fast, intense, and every second is precious - so get into it!
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