I decided to share with you my thoughts after the Code Europe 2021 conference in Gdansk, which took place on 21 September. I will briefly present my opinion about the organisation of the event and the talks I had a chance to attend.
Finally, an offline conference!
The pandemic caused a break of more than a year in offline events, including IT conferences. Nothing can replace stationary events where you can have a good time and exchange your thoughts with people from the same world. Of course, there have been online conferences, also valuable – but let’s not kid ourselves, it is not the same. To be able to attend such an event after such a long break was very exciting. As a result, expectations were high. Maybe too high?
General organization of the conference
The conference was organized in a sports hall. Is it a good place for conferences? I am not sure. There were 4 stages at the event where various talks took place at the same time. Three of them were on the main floor of the hall, while one was in a room inside the administrative section.
For the stages located on the mainboard, the participants were given wireless headphones. It was an interesting solution, but there were also some problems. Sometimes the signal was interrupted and it was difficult to handle questions from the audience to the speakers.
At paid conferences, attendees expect certain standards. Such as getting a meal, access to snacks or coffee and, above all, water. Here, unfortunately, the organisers did not rise to the challenge, which was disappointing. I do not want to go into details, but believe they will draw conclusions for future editions.
The greatest value of this conference was the talks, which is the most important thing at such events. Speakers from different countries with interesting talks on various topics. There is definitely a lack of such conferences in Poland and I hope that this is just the beginning!
Let’s talk about the talks I attended 🙂
A Change-Data-Capture use-case: designing an evergreen cache
by Nicolas Fränkel
It was an interesting session and a pleasant opening of the conference. Nicolas talked about Change-Data-Capture, a solution where a database can send change events that you can subscribe to. He focused on configuring an architecture that uses CDC to have an evergreen cache. A cool thing I had not heard of before. That is my favourite kind of talks. 🙂
The guys were talking about the distributed blockchain system they work on on a daily basis. They introduced the communication models they decided on and what consequences this brought. The value of the talk was that the guys talked about the actual product and the problems they encountered during architecture design and implementation.
Kill All Mutants! (Intro to Mutation Testing)
by Dave Aronson
Definitely the best talk I attended during the conference. Several things contribute to this. The way of speaking and imparting knowledge, the sense of humour and the content itself. I have heard the term “Mutation Testing” a few times before but have never delved into the subject. Dave explained the concept in a simple way and just made me want to learn more about it now. That’s probably the key talks at conferences. Do not go into technical details too much, but get interested in something, a solution, a new approach or a framework. So that someone after this event would say that it is worth getting to know this topic in more detail.
Let systems communicate using Azure Integration Services
by Steef-Jan Wiggers
The talk, as the topic indicates, was about building solutions that allow communication between SaaS systems, on-premise or Azure services. Steef-Jan focused on Azure Integration Services and explained in detail what this is all about. What I found a little lacking in this talk was the talking about a specific case or real-world problem. There was a lot of theory, which I actually recently learned because of the Azure certification exam. Maybe that is why the talk seemed boring to me at times. Which doesn’t change the fact that the information was conveyed in a pleasant way and Steef-Jan is very knowledgeable.
Empower your Azure IaC with Bicep!
by Eldert Grootenboer
During this session, Eldert introduced Biceps and its various possibilities. During the demo, he showed how to write scripts, what constructs are available, what tools to use and how to reuse templates. I was not previously familiar with this tool, which made me listen with curiosity. Eldert’s way of imparting knowledge was very accessible and the examples showed the value of Biceps. A very solid session!
As I mentioned before, being able to attend the conference after such a long break was great. The event has potential, but organizers should focus more on a few aspects. If the level of speakers is maintained and the quality of other issues is improved, this conference has a good chance to be among the top conferences in Poland.