Team DelSquared-Our Summer of Code, 2018

Posted on by Sharmistha Swasti Gupta

And…it’s a wrap!

September is approaching to an end and we still can’t believe how fast the last three months have gone by. This is Arushi and Sharmistha, from India, and we worked this summer on the Tessel project. The experience has been simply wonderful. Sitting for hours trying to figure out how to go about our first pull request, the weekly and monthly meetings with our team, closing the first issue we worked on, receiving the package with Tessel modules (and stickers of course!!!) - these are a few of the many instances that have made our summer a truly memorable experience.

Back when we first started working with Tessel, we were really really excited about being able to actually contribute to open source, because that meant collaboration with so many people around the world. The excitement hasn’t gone away yet, even as the end of the program approaches, and we intend to continue working with Tessel and mentor the newcomers. During this program, we actually learnt quite a lot about how such developments boards work. Before that, everything for us was like a black box. Feed code, and run the program. Not anymore.

After having delved neck deep into online resources, tutorials and repositories on GitHub, we have gained a lot of related knowledge on hardware, communication protocols, and even hardware. Here are some highlights of the work we did:

  • Worked on an ESP32 Hello World tutorial for Windows 10 and submitted a blogpost for the same. (currently under review)
  • Had a mini Tessel hackathon in which we tried to build a SoundBot of sorts. We controlled LED bulbs with live music and made them fluctuate in sync with the music beats. We used a Tessel board and an ambient module for the same. The blogpost is currently under review and would be out soon!
  • Figured out a way to build diagrams of the Tessel components using Fritzing and submit them in the required format. We really had to bang our hands for this one. It was proving to be pretty annoying :p
  • Worked on a few documentation issues, some of which we were able to close while others are under review or need to be updated. Learnt a lot about the I2C protocol as we had to browse a lot of online resources to learn how devices talk to each other using these communication protocols. We are currently working on implementing I2C to create a demo for communication between an ESP32 and an accelerometer module.
  • Worked with several APIs and softwares like Moddable, ImageMagick. We’re still exploring Moddable but it seems like a amazing tool for communicating to micro-controllers which are based on JavaScript.

## Looking Ahead

We intend to keep working on a few aspects of Tessel Reach and the Fritzing issues because we are pretty close to solving them. Also, we found a lot of interesting resources and tools that we can share with the people who are interested in working with Tessel. Some of the resources we found were:

  • Moddable API [https://github.com/Moddable-OpenSource/moddable]
  • Working with Fritzing [https://learn.adafruit.com/make-beautiful-fritzing-parts-with-eagle2fritzing-brd2svg/get-ready-git-clone]

As and when time permits, we are thinking of writing a blog detailing a few approaches we have in mind, which future contributors to Tessel can use and achieve. We weren’t able to fulfil these in the limited time we had, but we would surely like to see these tried out or try out ourselves sometime we’re free.

This summer of code has had a profound impact on us, as we have learned not just the technical stuff but also working on real-life projects and working with people across the globe. Sitting down to summarise our work every week, and setting targets for the next week helped us and the mentors evaluate our progress, and we have progressively worked on the feedback we received each week, bettering ourselves. We have also started embracing unfamiliarity and challenges, as we learnt about many new things we had never heard of before, like Moddable. From being novices at understanding the technical intricacies, we have come a far way and we believe this knowledge will immensely benefit us, as we both want to pursue a career in robotics.

Last but not the least…(drumrolls)

A huge shout out to our amazing team!

We would like to extend a big thanks to the amazing people that we have had a chance to work with. For both of us, it has been the most supporting team we’ve seen so far.

Organisers (Vaishali Thakkar, Ana Sofia Pinho)

Firstly, thanks for the conference tickets! Yayy!

RGSoC has provided us with an opportunity to attend GoLab 2018, to be held in Florence, Italy from Oct 22-23, 2018. We are more than excited to attend the same and are very eagerly looking forward to the trip.

Also, Sharmistha says she’ll always remember her best birthday gift, which weirdly came wrapped up in a package saying “technical interview round” :P We really appreciate the efforts put in by you guys, to make the selection announcement special for each and every team. Kudos.

Supervisor (Bhumika Goyal)

Thanks for checking in on us, time and again. And thanks to you too for helping arrange our conference tickets. We always had a sense of security that if at all anything goes wrong, we have someone who’ll listen. Thankfully, it never came to that :P The group meetings have been a lot of fun too. Looking forward to that one last Hangout call with everyone, towards the end of the month.

Mentors (Kelsey Bresemann, Nick Hehr)

Thank you guys, for being the most chilled out mentors, and for being so responsive to all our queries (even the most stupid ones). Brihi and Shravika would always tell us that the Tessel project mentors were simply superb, and we couldn’t agree more. You were really supportive throughout, keeping our morale up with encouraging words. The weekly meetings were awesome and we learnt a lot from your valuable insights, not just about Tessel but also about not hesitating to reach out to others for help. Most of our meetings were with Kelsey, while the recent ones were with Nick. Hope we can meet Kelsey’s cat in our last weekly meeting :p

PS: I recently stumbled upon Kelsey’s treasure of travel blogs on Medium. Super excited to read them all. (Sharmistha)

Coaches (Brihi Joshi, Shravika Mittal, Ambar Pal, Siddharth Yadav)

We pride ourselves on getting the craziest of our friends to coach us. It’s been a hell of a ride. We have a common messaging group, and it receives an average of 50 messages a day, since the time of applications. Though most of them revolve around Ambar’s attempts to be funny, or Siddharth’s random “GOOOOO DELSQUARED!!!” messages, our coaches have been a rock of a support. Be it Tessel related technicalities (Brihi, Shravika), hardware issues (Siddharth), approaches and ideas (Ambar) or logistics (everyone), it’s been a great team. We know for sure that the group isn’t going anywhere. Looking forward to the daily dosage of spam messages, which can honestly make anyone laugh.

This has been a great summer people!

Adios! :)

Summer Down with Over 200 Commits and Over 70 Issues Closed 💻 🎊

Posted on by Stellamaris Njage

Final Pic!

Final blog! (Photo credit: Dickson Otieno)

As we write this blog , we can’t help but think of all the amazing things that have happened to us in the past three months. It looks like yesterday when we kicked off RGSoC but in reality it is now 100 days. RGSOC happened when we were trying to do some soul searching. Figuring out where to start and what to do with our lives. It was a door opener for us. A reason to dive deeper into tech and the open source community. We have made more than 1000 steps in our career growth.

Here are some of our highlights:

1. Major Growth Curve

It was exciting and challenging at the same time. Exciting because positive things happened to us and Challenging because at times things got tough. Apart from becoming experts in version controlling using git and github , we have had a chance to understand RSpec testing, Microservices in Rails, Deployment on Heroku, Rollbar, Javascript, UI…The list is totally endless. But the bottom line is we now have more skills than we had three months ago.

2. Our Networks have grown

Throughout the period we met so many amazing people. Our supervisor Mr. Rammon is one person we cannot forget. He was very friendly and always checked on our progress. The RGSoC community became our second home. We exchanged ideas with our peers on how we could grow the community. EBwiki coaches had our backs and we will forever be grateful.

3. Bond grew stronger

We became better friends. Together we burnt the midnight oil to make our code work. When we were happy about the work we had done, we would hang out together to relax and rejuvenate. We also attended events such as African Women in Tech Conference, Girls Get Geeky Kisumu, Nairuby Conference and Rails Girls Kampala and Nairobi events. Even when things were rocky we fixed them , like fetching water from the well when our taps ran dry. It was a really cool three months.

4. Self Discovery

RGSoC has really helped us realize our areas of expertise. For Rachael,front-end was working great and Stella back-end seemed more friendly. Sometimes we wrote beautiful code and other days quite nasty code but our coach Rachel took that positively and gave us a recommendable advise on the way forward that really encouraged us to keep trying. We are planning to keep contributing to the project and reduce the issues to a manageable number.

Life after RGSoC

The summer may have to an end, but to us it’s a continuity of a journey that we bagan three months ago. How will we use the skills and knowledge acquired during the period? We plan on mainting the pace. Learn something new each day and of course continue contributing to open source projects. We also plan on sharing the knowledge and encouraging others to apply for such great opportunities.

“Ends are not bad things, they just mean that something else is about to begin. And there are many things that don’t really end, anyway, they just begin again in a new way. Ends are not bad and many ends aren’t really an ending; some things are never-ending.” -C. JoyBell C

How lucky are we to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard!

Posted on by Avneet Kaur

As our RGSoC journey is near its close, we can’t begin to express how heart-wrenching for us, it is going to be to bid our farewell. While RGSoC has been in itself has been a transforming experience, it also more importantly for us, had a greater impact, of validation in our lives. Apart from being a delightful experience, it proved to be a much needed boost to our confidence, that we are marching the right way forward towards establishing ourselves in the field of Information Technology and Computer Science.

RGSoC became a home for us. It became part of our lifestyle. It taught us things that we won’t be learning back at our institute or school. It proved to be a support-system for us, that exists even after the summer’s over.

RGSoC for us was more than just about contributing to an open source organization, learning to code, dealing with errors and getting your patches merged. It was about the process we went through while achieving them. It is a journey of self-discovery, of making mistakes, reflecting back, realizing and learning from them. RGSoC leaves us with a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going. It added flight to our wings.

Professor Dumbledore sums up the moral of RGSoC in a sentence: > “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

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Our supervisor - Nada (Top), Rupal (bottom left) and Avneet (bottom - right) (source: Screenshot from Hangouts, Avneet's phone camera - Moto G4 Plus)

A word of gratitude

With Love to our supervisor and friend Nada:

We are ever so grateful for the continuous support of our lovely supervisor Nada. She has been a friend and guide, and we have learnt so much from all that she shared with us. We will definitely miss having our weekly calls and discussions with her. Thank you so much Nada.

The Chapel Community, Our mentors and coaches:

We were able to embark on this wonderful journey due to the endeavours an constant encouragement from our mentors Michael and Ben, our forever helpful coaches and guides Louis and Engin, and also our other lovely coaches Ian, Lydia, and Sarthak to whom we are forever grateful. There were so many times we were stuck and needed guidance, and our mentors and coaches always came to our rescue. They helped us to explore topics, completely unknown to us and devoid of our understanding. More so, as guides they helped us to tread on the correct path.

And this is the main reason why our goodbye’s wouldn’t be easy, and our heartfelt gratitude, never enough.

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Words of encouragement from our coaches. They always come to our rescue!(source: Screenshot from our communication with the chapel community on Gitter)

The RGSoC Organizers and the community:

The RGSoC community has been simply wonderful, we got a chance to make new friends and learn from their experiences. Right from the day, we received the acceptance email from the organizers, it has been a magical experience. We are ever so grateful to the RGSoC organizers for giving us this opportunity. And we hope that with your love, endeavours and encouragement, many other girls like us can have this metamorphic experience.

What we learnt this summer

The goal of the project was to develop a Parallelized and Distributed Radix Sort. It has been a mind stimulating experience with loads to learn owing to the challenges that came our way. Starting from a simple version of Least Significant Bit radix sort, progressing over to a recursive Most Significant version, and then trying out various ways to parallelize the algorithm, and finally looking at how to make the sort work in a distributed manner using multiple locales. The work involved trial and experimentation on the code and comparing execution time of the various versions of the code. Our codes went through numerous iterations of feedback from the coaches and mentors which helped us improve immensely. We learnt about the art of performance testing to be able to evaluate how well our code is performing, and along with that being able to point out what parts of our code need to be optimized for improving overall performance. We are in a position to say that we have a fair understanding of what seemed like big words like Parallelism and Distributed Computing, to us in the beginning of summer.

Due to the constant encouragement of our coaches and mentors, we are no longer afraid to ask for help and have learnt that no question asked is silly. They were always ahead of us in extending the helping hand, and responding quickly to our queries on the gitter channel. We learnt about how to collaborate as a team, working on different tasks, while keeping track of the overall progress. We learnt the importance of effective communication and the art of being patient while testing and writing code. We are thankful to them for providing us such a positive environment to be able to learn and grow along the way.

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Team Sectumsempra - Avneet (left) and Rupal (right) (source: Avneet's phone camera - Moto G4 Plus)

Our Personal Experiences:

Avneet

All endings are also beginnings. We just don’t know it at the time. ~ Mitch Albom

As I reflect upon my journey, I did ponder upon how I had a myriad of experiences associated with it. In a few words If I have to sum up an important lesson that I learnt, that of acceptance, and realising that only then can I rise, if I know that I fell, the following quote best describes it:

“Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest. Except when you don’t. Because, sometimes, you won’t. I’m sorry to say so but, sadly, it’s true that Bang-ups and Hang-ups can happen to you.” ~ Dr. Seuss

And I resonate with it because along with the numerous of iterations of code that I wrote, came with it numerous iterations of self validation. Atleast that’s how I thought it was. But it is only now that I have gained a more insightful perspective, of being able to accept that I was pushing my boundaries all the time. It was only through the continuous feedback and guidance from our mentors and coaches, was I able to improve. Working with the Chapel community made me feel like I’m a part of something exciting, and that was the sole reason that I was motivated till the end. I did learn a great deal, enough to figure out, I have definitely loads to learn still. I did come out as a way more evolved person than I was before. I purely saw each an every code I wrote, the fixes and everything, as a window of opportunity. And looking back, I wouldn’t want to spend my summer any other way.

Another important lesson, beautifully summarised by the following quote, gives me the inspiration to continue to find my way forward.

“We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are” ~Max Depree

Every time I tried to work on something new, it did seem difficult at a first glance, but RGSoC and the Chapel community has taught me better to not be deceived by the complexity of things, and keep trying. And eventually, it made me believe, that we all have the great potential within us waiting to be unearthed. This summer has been full of life-altering learnings paving a way to continuous improvement and I will strive hard to carry it forward with me.

I have emerged as a more confident person than ever. All thanks to the constant encouragement and guidance from the RGSoC and Chapel community. Thank you! I am eternally grateful.

Rupal

The summer’s over already? Are you kidding me?

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Well, it’s never ‘over’. Not yet.

I had to pinch myself to digest the reality. However, looking back at all the amazing things that had happened in the past three months gives me real chills.

When I applied to RGSoC for the first time, I was this doe-eyed sophomore who was trying to figure out the whole concept of engineering and career options at an academic research institute IIIT Delhi. In awe of the many amazing geeks, coders and passionate BYLDers (development society in my college) I met, I wanted nothing more that to be involved in some such cool communities and be doing some cool projects and become a source of inspiration for others, just like my seniors were for me. I used to feel adrift - not exactly belonging, but still with the faith in myself that I chose what’s right for me.

And then in my second year, I came across the RGSoC community and past scholars. Thence, the journey began.

I still remember the date: 17th May 2018. It was the day when searching and reading through a lot of follow up and rejection emails, after three months long wait, I found my Hogwarts letter.

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And ever since then, the whole period have been very rewarding for me. If I try and put them all (the experience, emotions tagged with each one of them, mistakes and learnings and accomplishments) out here, the list will just go on and on. But don’t worry, I’ll keep it brief for you.

In addition to giving us great memories to cherish, it also marked the beginning of our Open Source journeys. We have been collaborating from four different time zones across the world: IST, EET, EDT, PDT. That’s the best part. It was my first time collaborating with people from overseas. And, it has been a great one.

Along with a lot of amazing and thought provoking things we worked on this summer, one thing I learnt during the program that I wish to share with Y’all: It is okay if you don’t know something in advance, everybody starts as a beginner. It’s more about how willing you’re to learn after that. There have been a lot of ‘trivial’ things (although not-so-trivial for me) that I got to learn this summer. There have been times when I used to feel very small about not knowing something as small as “Git workflow” which, apparently, everybody on the Chapel channel was hella great at. But you know what, chuck those thoughts away and ask for help if you’re feeling stuck.

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I promised myself that I am going to make this summer that best summer of my undergraduate for me. Won’t leave any stone unturned. And, I did. No matter how silly and tiring the tasks were, I sailed through them and did my best.

My advice to RGSoC ‘19 aspirants

  • Network: Meet new people and talk to as many people as you can. You’ll never know who you’ll run into one day. It might just be your life mentor, your next recruiter, your potential thesis advisor, or maybe your “he is the one” person. :P Go to conferences, meetups, workshops, attend short talks that your university arranges for you. Talk to the speakers over there, ask for their current running projects and ask them if they can look at your profile and can recommend you at their company or can mentor you. Sounds far-fetched, right? Believe us, this works. It has worked for us, at least. :D

  • Communicate: Be it the application period or the RGSoC internship period, make sure you don’t leave any communication gaps. Be clear with what you want. Be concise while asking for favour or help, but ASK! Don’t shy away.

  • Set the bars high for yourselves: In our experience, we have observed that when it comes to career, expectation bar is embarrassingly low for women. And this is majorly because why we don’t see ourselves being able to match men. Think that you’ll achieve big, and so you will!

Kate Winslet just puts it right:

Kate Winslet advice to women

Source: Youtube
  • Give back and help others: Peer-support is the key learning from RGSoC program. We need to have each other’s back. We need to tell each other that “I’m there for you, to help you.” And, this is how we grow. TOGETHER.

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  • YAS Girl, you can do it! The feeling that “I’m not ready. Not just yet” always clouds us too often. You’ll never be prepared, there’s always be a scope for improvement. But, don’t let that hold you back. If you so want something, go get it. Period.

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  • Party is must!

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  • C’mon, a Dork dance is must. Amy’s style

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Next Steps

We feel that we would now be able to make a smooth transition into the world of open source. We are no more dubious of our selves while trying out to figure out how to contribute to open source and whether what we do would be suffice, we would now definitely just dive right in! And we feel there are no better words to express how we feel for RGSoC than to say. > “There are no goodbyes for us. Wherever you are, you will always be in my heart” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Alvida, RGSoC!

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The end of the beginning

Posted on by Lori and Amalia

Sometimes endings are really beginnings. We are finishing the summer of code, but the truth is this is the beginning of our tech career. This summer has been a way for us to see what it would be like to work full time as developers. We experienced working as part of a team, and it normalized what being a developer really meant.

Amalia and Lori working

Lori and Amalia at Thoughtworks (image by Amalia Cardenas)


What we learned this summer

Apart from the technical skills we gained this summer, we also emerged more confident. We went from feeling ashamed that we didn’t understand something to thinking, “we don’t understand it, yet”. This is an important mind shift. One needs to be comfortable with not knowing something, especially in tech. We learned that since technologies evolve and change every year it is important to get comfortable with not always knowing the answers.

Aside from the technical training and support we were given in git, TDD, Ruby and Rails we were also taught agile methods. From day one our coaches guided us in agile practices. Over time we recognized that beyond buzzwords, it is also a manner of thinking: we do the best we can with the information we have. When we get more information (experiences and reflection on our experiences through retrospectives) we do better. This commitment to constant reflection, feedback and improvement, created a growth environment. This has had a positive effect on even the way we organize our work at Codebar.

We also learned how to build and maintain connections between team members, especially since we were distributed in different countries across different time zones. We were lucky to meet the Exercism team in person at the beginning of the summer. The long dinners, chats over early morning coffee, and bouldering created a bond between us that will endure long after the summer.

Katrina, Jeremy, Lori, Amalia, Nicole, and Karlo at the launch of Exercism

Katrina, Jeremy, Lori, Amalia, Nicole, and Karlo at the launch of Exercism (image by Amalia Cardenas)


Finally, we learned that environment matters. In our host company, Thoughtworks Barcelona we found an environment where we were able to thrive. From the first day, our coaches addressed us as developers and the community at large welcomed us as their equals. We felt included in everything from social events, office- wide meetings, and tech talks. Because of the encouragement, belief and inclusiveness we morphed into developers.

Thank yous

We want to thank our mentors. First of all we would like to thank Katrina. It was awesome to see her program in Brighton. Her response to our awe was priceless: “I have been doing this for over 10 years: you’ll get there.” She also sent us GitHub stickers and hoodies.

Amalia and Lori sporting their GitHub hoodies

Amalia and Lori sporting their GitHub hoodies (image by Amalia Cardenas)


We also want to thank our second mentor Jeremy and team members Nicole and Karlo. Working with you has been a bonus this summer. Jeremy’s explained complex parts of the codebase via Slack in a way that was informative and fun. Nicole helped us ramp-up on the research supporting the evolution of the Exercism platform. Karlo gave us quick code snippets. All of you made us feel like a part of the team.

Our Coaches: David, Emily, Javier, Klaus, Maikha, Nacho, Jorge

We had the most amazing coaches in the history of the world. Words seem inadequate to express how much they have given us. Their official role was coach, but they also acted as a mentors and friends. They encouraged us when we were down, uplifting us with wit, humor, and hugs. In particular,

David We asked you to become a coach, you became as a mentor and a friend. You believed in us before we believed in ourselves. There are no words to describe the gratitude we feel for having you in our lives. Thank you.

David, Lori and Amalia after a long work day

David, Lori and Amalia after a long work day (image by Amalia Cardenas)


Emily Our advocate and role model. You planted a seed and helped us keep our eyes on the prize. We are on our way thanks to you.

Amalia, Emily and Lori enjoying the last days of the program.

Amalia, Emily and Lori enjoying the last days of the program (image by Amalia Cardenas)


Javier You took terrifying concepts and made them fun for us. Thanks for the TDD sessions and explaining YAGNI.

Lori, Javi and Amalia calming their nerves before the lunch and learn

Lori, Javi and Amalia calming their nerves before the lunch and learn (image by Amalia Cardenas)


Jorge What a lesson on inceptions! You stayed late. You came early. Your genuine care for us was evident. Thank you.

Jorge, Lori and Amalia during an early morning session

Jorge, Lori and Amalia during an early morning session (image by Amalia Cardenas)


Klaus Thank you for the session on landing our dream tech job. Thank you for the roadmap. Your commitment to inclusivity (at the office, at the Full Stack Fest) opens doors for people.

Amalia, Klaus and Amalia at a training session

Amalia, Klaus and Amalia at a training session (image by Amalia Cardenas)


Maikha (to us “Magic Maikha”). You are beacon of peace, tranquility and strength. We are lucky to have worked with you. You are going to change the world as you have changed ours.

Maikha and Amalia after a retrospective

Maikha and Amalia after a retrospective (image by Amalia Cardenas)


Nacho (to us “The Nach”). Thank you for your empathy. You always knew what to say when we didn’t know we needed to hear it. Your teaching skills are impeccable.

Nacho, Lori and Amalia after a long days work

Nacho, Lori and Amalia after a long days work(image by Amalia Cardenas)


Our coaching company ThoughtWorks, BCN

This summer we were hosted by the Barcelona office of ThoughtWorks. There we found an incredible community of people. We were inspired by the breadth and depth of their knowledge. Although our stay was temporary, we always felt like a part of the family. Thank you ThoughtWorkers for showing us that once you eliminate fear of judgement and add compassion to the workplace, people can flourish personally and professionally.

To our family

Lori: Thank you mom for reading our blog. Xesús, quérote moito.

Amalia: Quiero dar las gracias a mis padres. Los quiero mucho. I also want to thank my partner Giorgos who always supports all of my strange obsessions.

Unlimited Possibilities

We are finishing off the summer full of optimism towards the future. Knowing that it is possible to master anything through hard work, persistence, patience, and practice is really empowering. While the RGSoC is coming to an end, we feel like many doors have opened and that the journey is just getting started.

Keep in contact with Lori:

LinkedIn

GitHub

Twitter

Keep in contact with Amalia

LinkedIn

GitHub

Twitter

Blog

Conference Reactjsday Verona

Posted on by Georgina

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!

Pre-conference

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.

Summary

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

There were so many great speakers, thank you to the organisers @Gruspand @_fevr

Great React JS Speaker Video

reactjsday-speakers

ReactJs Day Speakers (photo taken by Georgina Hodgkinson)

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

Michael Jackson

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

Kritijan ‘Kitze’ Ristovski

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

Ovidiu Charaeches

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.

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ReactJs Day Test Anatomy (photo taken by Georgina Hodgkinson)

Lets manage our local state with GraphQL

Sara Vieira

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.

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ReactJs Day No one is an expert (photo taken by Georgina Hodgkinson)

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ReactJs Day Learn from each other (photo taken by Georgina Hodgkinson)

A reappreciation of redux: Why my team at PayPal removed apollo Client and went back to Redux

Max Millington

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 Van Hoorne

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

Luca Matteis

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

Manjula Dube

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.

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ReactJs Day Code Solution(photo taken by Georgina Hodgkinson)

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ReactJs Day Audience Participation (photo taken by Georgina Hodgkinson)

Making games and physics work with Reason & Reprocessing

Phil Plückthun

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.

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ReactJs Day Time Pressure Project (photo taken by Georgina Hodgkinson)

You can continue to follow my journey after RGSoC here:

Georgina’s - Twitter