GOTO Copenhagen 🇩🇰

Posted on by Kara de la Marck

Categories: blog , student posts and conferences

GOTO conferences, “for developers by developers”, are incredible. I had watched GOTO talks on YouTube and was familiar with the quality of the conferences, so when I was offered a ticket to GOTO Copenhagen by Rails Girls Summer of Code, I jumped at the chance to attend!

What made this opportunity extra enjoyable was that my wonderful RGSoC supervisor, Inês Coelho, was also attending the conference, and we were able to finally meet in person! It was so much fun to spend time together exploring Copenhagen and at the conference.

Inês and Kara in Copenhagen

Image Credit: Inês and Kara

GOTO Copenhagen was a three day conference with each day organised into tracks.

Day 1

On the first day, I followed the 360 Degree Developer track. The opening keynote of the day, Engineering You, by Martin Thompson was a thought-provoking discussion of what it means to be an engineer, including best practices for becoming a better software engineer. Dan North’s talk, Beyond Developer, focused on the importance of continuous learning and growth as a developer beyond programming into areas such as understanding the business domain, building user interfaces, and automating testing and deployment.

Mark Seemann’s talk on Functional Architecture was extremely pertinent to my current concerns: I’m trying to learn object-oriented design patterns and best practices. Mark’s argument was that many of these ‘best practices’ must be explicitly taught, and laboriously learned, because they don’t evolve naturally from object-oriented programming. However, many of these best practices fall naturally into place with functional programming. Fascinating!

Day 2

During the second day, I followed the Microservices track. I really enjoyed the process of watching a series of talks on the same subject, with each having its own specific take on the topic. The talks focused on microservices, serverless, and reactive design. A number of the speakers spoke on architecting a system using reactive principles and event driven design. Others spoke with great enthusiasm about serverless and AWS lambdas.

In contrast, Jesper Anderson compared microservices to what has been available in Erlang for 30 years and gave a more critical take on modern architecture design.

Day 3

The microservices talks formed the perfect context to the third day’s opening keynote by Adrian Cockcroft on Cloud Trends, seen from the vantage point of AWS. He emphasised the likelihood of the future being serverless and the continued growth of tooling to build, monitor, and operate serverless applications.

The third and final day, I mainly concentrated on Machine Learning and AI talks and really enjoyed Phil Winder’s academically grounded introduction to AI.

I’m very glad I jumped tracks to watch Laura Laugwitz’s engaging talk examining and broadening the concept of diversity as it is usually applied to tech.

Pop quiz! How many of the women in the slide below can you name?

Laura Laugwitz speaking at GOTO Copenhagen

Laura Laugwitz speaking at GOTO Copenhagen (Image Credit: Dajana Guenther)

(Answers to the quiz are given at the end of the blog.)

Linda Rising presented the closing keynote of the conference on Experiments, encouraging us all be more methodical in our decision-making and to test our assumptions! Wise advice to ponder as we made our way home.


Closing Thoughts

I feel very grateful to have had the opportunity to attend GOTO Copenhagen thanks to Rails Girls Summer of Code. All the more so as the conference commenced the weekend directly following the end of the RGSoC programme. I so loved my experience on RGSoC: three dedicated months to work on Babel, with tons of support from our host company Pivotal, RGSoC, and the Babel community, especially phenomenal lead maintainer Henry Zhu.

Here is Team Pivotal London presenting our work on the final day of the programme – and detailing how much we love RGSoC!

Team Pivotal London loves RGSoC

Team Pivotal London ❤️ 's RGSoC (Image Credit: Denise Yu)

Attending GOTO Copenhagen with my RGSoC supervisor, Inês, and meeting other RGSoC organisers there such as Laura Laugwitz, Nynne Christoffersen, and Tam Eastley was a wonderful way to celebrate the summer’s achievements and join the wider RGSoC community!

Rails Girls Summer of Code meeting at GOTO Copenhagen

Three generations of Rails Girls Summer of Code participants! (Image Credit: stranger at a pub)


Answers to quiz: Ada Lovelace. Grace Hopper. Dorothy Vaughan. Evelyn Boyd Granville. Audrey Tang.

comments powered by Disqus