Conference Reactjsday Verona
YAY I got tickets
Ana Sofia’s email to advise me I got tickets to ReactJs Day in Verona, Italy, my choice of conferences for RGSoC was great. I could tell from her email she was excited for me.
After a few emails backwards and forwards, I knew all the details of the conference, how to get the tickets and the essentials as well as where to get the best gelato especially if I liked Nutella!
I had started following speakers on twitter before the conference. It is interesting to hear their travel journeys, their last minute slide changes. It all makes for them to appear more human and relateable. It also prepares me to have a few questions, and a bit of background so I can talk to them.
First time in Italy
The organisers are italian and they very much want to put conferences on that are financially accessible to all their community and to get local italian companies involved.
So to travel to a country not knowing italian added more apprenhension. I should not have been worried, all the talks were in English and were very clear. The italians are great hosts. I had a lovely time visiting Verona, the public transport is easy to understand, the local taxis are plentyful and the hotel where I was staying and hosting the conference were marvellous. They even found a hdmi cable so I could watch my netflix in comfort!
Feeling nervous before the conference
My negative inner voice starts chattering away - it maybe too hard, will I understand what they are talking about? Is it going to be at such an advanced level? What are the people going to be like? I should quit before they find out I am a fraud. I can have some or all of these negative thoughts before I go.
So how do I gain control of my mindset and be ready to learn and have fun. Affirmations, practice, support.
Affirmations: I am not meant to know it all. It is good for all to have different perspectives and diversity. If you are learning you are going to be challenged. It is ok to say you don’t know something, in fact it helps the speakers go over details. Keep going to conferences. Not all are the same. They have different communities, different speakers, but the same goal that you have a great time, learn and meet the community.
Practice: Keep going to conferences you will get more comfortable.
Support: Get to know someone who will support you either remotely like Ana Sofia, or reach out to someone who is going too.
I have attended a few conferences now. This one like the others is seriously lacking in equal representation. Therefore it is even more important as a woman to go, and that RGSoC continues to do what it does. Women need to start feeling comfortable being the minority until things change, standing out but also having a valid reason to attend. Thank you to all the conferences that are proactively addressing this balance.
There were great live demos, live recordings, humour, reassurance and support to each other and a great community.
Conferences like this brige the gap between reality and vision, best practice and deadlines, passion and ideas of where we are heading in the future.
This was a conference about the framework that our project for RGSoC, Bahmni used. It would be exciting to find out more about this. It confirmed what we found difficult and similar pain points. I found out alternative ways of solving problems we had on our project. It also confirmed to me that I had grown as a developer and understood more than what I thought!
Speakers and Schedule
Ah fair city of Verona. The setting of Shakespears Romeo and Juliet. Although it turns out its not Shakespeare’s story in fact it had been told before in poems and in a book and probably word of mouth from the port city of Verona. This makes me think of my coding. I change and tweak my coding as I grow as a developer to suit newer situations and environments, but the core story of all developers is the same. I was trying to solve a need for our RGSoC project in the best way I knew how with all the support
Updates on React Router
Live demo, he built up code through his talk, he changed code as the need demanded and as he explained scenarios. His talk flowed easily. Professional speaker, making jokes when the technology wasn’t quite behaving. He was very clear and used visual studio as his editor. We used react router for our project in Bahmni and it was so good to see and understand the reasoning of why his library had developed.
Navigating the hype driven world of frontend development without going crazy
Motivational, supportive, humourous confident speaker. He talked about FOMO (fear of missing out) and FOMOTWTSTYCFE (fomo tweets that you can find elsewhere). His advice to frontend developers don’t get too comfy, stop learning ‘just in case’ stuff, stop seeking external approval, stop feeling insecure about your code. His 3 positive points was to make front end money - find your niche, stick to it and make it profitable.
Testing React Components and coding with confidence
I liked this talk and found it very useful as this is an area I still need to develop. I found during my project with RGSoC and Bahmni that I wanted to learn more about testing. He went through the anatomy of tests which I found very useful and hope to have time to implement. He explained the testing positives to gain clarity, confidence and regression. I liked the concept he introduced of tight vs loose unit tests so that as code evolved your tests were able to adapt and were not in themselves rewrites.
Lets manage our local state with GraphQL
I was very interested in this talk as I had not needed to use GraphQl and wanted to know why people would consider using this rather than redux.
She made some very valid reasons. I didn’t realise however that it needed the library Apollo. I loved Sara’s motivational slides.
A reappreciation of redux: Why my team at PayPal removed apollo Client and went back to Redux
It was very interesting to see that there was respectful disagreement as to what solutions are better. He started his talk off saying that front end developers have a lot of options. He referred to twitter and not just his own opinions. He did put the biggest argument for using and returning to Redux was the impressive developer tools. Max then followed up talking about functional programming.
Bridging the gap between design prototyping and code
Ives was very passionate and energetic in his talk. He explained that design and code needed to come closer together rather than in isolation and with duplication. He referred to old technology software dreamweaver that gave him the inspiration for code sand box. This is such a useful tool for developers to show, explain code and have a visual output to view without further setup or customisation. In fact previous talkers had already used this in their demos.
Behavioral Programming with React: request, wait and block
This was a hard talk for me to understand and reassuringly he did say that this was a theory that was different to most peoples understanding of programming. It was based on a thesis paper by David Harel, Assaf Marron and Gera Weiss. The concepts that I understood was that there is a big problem between the scenario of the need and the actual coding that gets delivered. To address this problem Luca explained using the game tic tac toe illustration of request, wait and block and to program from a behavior perspective using threads.
It is defintely something I need to read more about to get a deeper understanding. However if I need to look at specifications and requirements of software I will understand that there is the alternative way that addresses the problem of technology independent and reactive systems.
Advance patterns in building React Components
This was another interactive talk. Code was shared, best practices and audience participation which I found very useful to see what developers thought about certain code and styles and there is always multiple ways to solve a problem.
Making games and physics work with Reason & Reprocessing
I loved this talk as an ending talk. It was needed to be light hearted but still very thought provoking. He explained in a story type talk about he agreed with friends on an 8 hour flight to do a hackathon. He built up the story and was very honest and brave about his mistakes. There was a lot of support that he had learnt through his failures and underestimation of time needed to resolve not coding but the understanding of learning a new language and the concepts of basic physics in his game.