October 27, 2009 in Writing
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October 27, 2009 · Writing

StackOverflow DevDays, in Pictures

The travelling tech conference arrived in Toronto last Friday.

A full day of inspiration and learning for developers, brought to you by the team behind StackOverflow.com and FogBugz. Lunch is provided so you’ll have plenty of time to hang out and meet other developers. Hope you can join us!

Here’s the guy who organized it. Contrary to appearances, I don’t think Joel Spolsky is tweeting: Update: he says:

I was checking the time, I think… we had so much on the agenda we timed everything down to the minute.

Stackoverflow DevDays

Unfortunately, I only arrived midway through the conference so I only have photos from the last two talks. It also means the only front-row seat left was behind a TV monitor on the stage – lots of awkward shots.

If you want to read all the proper reviews, they’re compiled — where else? — on stackoverflow. In particular, Geoffrey Wiseman has more photos.

Greg Wilson

Stackoverflow DevDays

I’ll leave it to Joey deVilla to do the summary of Greg’s amazing talk:

By my own judgement, as well as the judgement of the attendees, Greg Wilson’s presentation was by far the best one of the day. This was sole no-code-at-all presentation of the day, featuring the sort of “let’s change the world” vibe that we strive for at DemoCamp. In it, Greg challenged us to weed out the false or faulty maxims based on poor or no research that are now an accepted part of programming practices, find out what we really know about the practice of software development, and do our best to expand what we do know about programming, with research and rigor, not anecdotes and assumptions.

“How many people are still programming Java?”

Stackoverflow DevDays

Some hands went up. “It’s our generation’s COBOL.”

Joey deVilla always takes excellent best conference notes. Here’s
an look at what goes into producing them:

Stackoverflow DevDays

Greg posted his slides:

They got quite a bit of circulation around the internetz. The Hacker News discussion was particularly interesting. Most of the criticism surrounded the difficulty in measuring properties of software engineering. A comment from arohner:

Software bug rates are not comparable to scurvy incidence rates, and developer productivity is not similar to the number of bricks a laborer can move in an hour.

In any case, the message wasn’t that we should throw up our hands and crying “it’s too hard!”

Reg Braithwaite

Reg Braithwaite has some of the most challenging writing on software development out there. I recommend going through the posts in his sidebar if you’re at all interested in software development. In particular, A Brief History of Dangerous Ideas gives me goosebumps.

Last summer he announced that he was going to stop blogging. But all’s not doom and gloom. In fact, quite the opposite: he now publishes his thoughts using distributed version control software.

Stackoverflow DevDays

He gave a talk that was similar to the one he did at FutureRuby. His slides are all on Flickr.


Stackoverflow DevDays

From Joey’s post:

At the end of the conference, Joel took a show of hands of people who’d attend next year. When nearly all the hands in the audience went up, he said “All right – we’re going to be back here next year!”

Stackoverflow DevDays

Full slideshow


This entry was written by Andrew Louis on October 27, 2009 and posted in Writing. It's tagged with , , , , .