On Sunday I came back from the amazing experience at Codemotion Rome (preparing for the next one) and I wish to say that I really enjoyed it!

It was hosted by Università degli Studi di Roma in an adequate location for the event, large enough and well managed: the Codemotion’s staff has been very kind and professional facing about two thousands people and managing everything from the registration to the lunch.

About the keynotes

Everything started with the nice opening by the codemotion staff telling us how and why everything started back in 2007 as JavaDay and evolved to a big tech conference which as of today is present in seven countries with eight chapters. As an Italian developer, I feel proud of such a huge success.

The second keynote I really appreciated was held by Rebecca Parsons talking about The Evolution of Evolutionary Architecture: since nowadays the time has become faster, with tight schedule and continuous integration, it is necessary to discuss again not only about the architecture itself but even on the organisational model and workflows. The role of the company and the influence of the company’s structure on the software you build is a key point that is too often oversight.

 

Rebecca Parsons, Evolutionary Architecture

Rebecca Parsons, Evolutionary Architecture

 

On Saturday Linda Rising presented her keynote Myths and patterns of organisational change and this was probably the most intense and poignant moment of the event: a one minute long applause has closed it, after she spoke about coping with changes both in our jobs and in our lives. For sure her book More fearless change is going to be on my Kindle soon, together with the authors she suggested during the talk.

 

Linda Rising, Myths and patterns of organisational change

Linda Rising, Myths and patterns of organisational change

About the talks

Unfortunately I cannot (yet) be in two places at the same time, so I had to choose. And you know: choosing is always a bit painful.

I had though the pleasure to start with Alex Camilleri who by chance was speaking in my same room right after me and who has been so kind to record my performance with his camera (thank you Alex!). To be fair I didn’t expect such and emotional and intense presentation of his work: this is the first time I hear someone speaking about making software and namely videogames as a self-analysis exercise. I’m not a gamer but I think I will try out his Memoire en code as it is an unconventional, autobiographical game.

Then I joined again Rebecca Parsons who went further with Principles of Evolutionary Architecture. As the keynote, also the talk has been great: it is uncommon to explain a tough and wide topic in less than one hour and she definitely did it explaining why is important to delay decisions collecting as much informations as possible, remarking the importance of testing and scalability and to make small changes at a time.

When I saw Martin Naumann‘s talk about WebGL and WebVR I was surprised: up to 2015 there was no talks about WebGL and now mine and his the same day. I went to listen to him and I was happy because we were speaking around the same topic from a different perspective: he indeed showed a bunch of interesting examples of virtual reality which I was totally missing as it is not my field. Moreover the fact that in 2016 we have not just one but two talks about WebGL at the same conference is a clear sign of the rising interest for it.

Could I have gone at a developer’s meeting without watching a presentation about a Javascript framework? Definitely not, and I was very lucky choosing to attend to Maurizio Mangione‘s Polymer is now production ready, how about you?: actually I never had the time to see something about Polymer so I was really curious to understand it a bit more. Instead of focusing on just a mere list of Polymer’s features which can be easily found on the Internet, Maurizio decided to go through the explanation of how to make the component communicating each other; and it was indeed a great presentation of an interesting topic.

Last but not least, I also attended two talks about programming languages. Why? To be honest I bought the book Seven languages in seven weeks at the McGraw Hill stand and since I hadn’t the time to study it on Friday night I was so eager to start something about languages that I couldn’t resist.

So I listened to John Stevenson‘s Fun with Functional Programming in Clojure just to have a taste of one of the languages I’m going to study, and it has been pretty interesting: rather that a plain presentation it has been a live coding session playing with (of course) functions and collections.  As if it were not enough John used Emacs for his talk!

 

John Stevenson, Fun with Clojure

John Stevenson, Fun with Clojure

 

Then I had the pleasure to attend to Marco Perone presenting Elm or how I learned to love front-end development: I already had attended to Elm introduction but this one was more funny, with a bit of live examples. Elm is a new functional programming language which compiles to Javascript, allowing the developers to use immutability, pure functions and signals when coding for the front-end.

Overall impressions

Interesting talks and people, for sure I wouldn’t know Linda Rising and Rebecca Parsons if I didn’t go to Rome. Nonetheless I would have needed to google a lot in order to find the great advices about Polymer that I had at the conference and since I’m not a gamer I wouldn’t know how interesting can be developing autobiographical games.

Of course going to a conference is not about finding content which is not already on the Internet: it is rather about finding the best and useful content in one day with the possibility to ask questions to the experts.

As usual, it is also good opportunity to do networking: I meet the cool people from Engineering and discussed with them about Typescript, Scala and PHP and got to know the interesting project of Packly speaking with its founder Giuseppe Prioriello. It is always a pleasure when I can find people using WebGL and I can discuss with them after a talk.

Moreover I had the possibility to join the other speakers and the staff at the dinner on Friday, where I met also the organizers of Codemotion Dublin and Mohammad Harastani who is the organizer of Codemotion Dubai.

My regret? I took just the few pictures you see here with my phone and they are awful. Next time I will take more better pictures, I promise it!

In the meanwhile, enjoy the official Codemotion gallery on Facebook from where comes the featured image of this post.