SoCraTes 2015 happened at the Hotel Park Soltau. It´s a bigger hotel complex with a many conference rooms, a wellness area and much space for doing kung fu exercises (which I used for me). The only disappointing thing for me was the slow and sometimes dysfunctional wireless there. But I have heard that it was better than last year.
The served food was really tasty and a bonus point for the venue. Even as an vegetarian there was enough and on day two they served a barbeque outside.
It started at thursday evening with a great come together and a world coffee. We had three session a´ 20 minutes in different rooms. In smaller groups we sat together a shared our ideas what we could talk about in the next two days. It was inspiring and I got a first glimpse that the next days will be surprising.
Day one (Friday)
At 7am I met with other sport craftsman at the entrance for a run. I was NOT the only one! Can´t remember the exact number but maybe 14 people started for a 5/10km run. A great start for the first conference day.
Around 10:30 the schedule with a lot of interesting talks was filled and only with a slight delay (not worth the mention since more than 180 people organized themself!).
Just some of interesting talks I´ve seen this day:
- Intro to visual notetaking and sketchnotes
- Description Craftsmanship (bringing craftsmanship principles to the requirements engineering)
- Code retreat Constraints
- TDD in the C/C++ code (I had the chance to learn more about mocking in C)
We had various evening sessions: Coding Dojo(where I have been), Powerpoint Karaoke to name just a few. Not to forget the interesting conversations (with beer) at the hotel bar!
Day two (Saturday)
I started my day with some kung lessons in the hotel garden. Since the area is quite spacious it was quite and I could focus on the execution.
Today the spirit of the conference got me and I proposed two talks: “Groovify Java” and “How to change a company as a developer without becoming a manager”.
The idea for the latter was to facilitate a lean coffee session and in order to share ideas about that. Since @Fischermaen proposed a conversation about agile transformations we quickly decided to join our sessions. We had great ideas there!
We talked about “acting as an example” and skunk awards as a way to change the organizational culture. You never can change a company alone, find willing people and build a coalition! Interesting thoughts: whenever you hear: “That does not work here!”, ask: “What will work?” and “Ask for forgiveness and not for permission”.
So this day was really the time where I left my comfort zone. And it was great.
Day three (Sunday)
After the last days was a bit more quite compared the former days. I had a relaxing breakfast with good talks about retrospectives. Today some workshops were scheduled. I joined the Extreme Startup session and although I was a bit late and couldn´t compete with the other groups I had quite a lot of fun and I will try the game at one of the next coding dojo sessions or at the Softwerkskammer meetups.
Just as an appetizer:
- Advanced Git
- TDD does not lead to good design
- Scaling Agile
- Tackling the newsletter problem with TDD
- Concurrency, Robustness & Elixir
- Full Pair Programming
- How to manage different flavors of people
- Name and Gender Representation in Data and User Interfaces
- Refactoring Legacy Code
- ES6 Katas
- How to build an admin interface for REST Webservers
- Data analytics
- Code reviews
- (When) do we really need frameworks
- Vim! But better! Inside Emacs!
- Technology is not important
- Blender intro
- Code Retreat Constraints
- Expirience technical dept
- Your code as a crime scene
- Implement a game so that the source code can be used as game instructions
- Be Cat-Matic
- Code is music
What you can expect
An intense, highly interactive conference with really enthusiastic people. It´s a community who lives the spirit of the software craftsmanship.
As Pierluigi said: The conference is like an empty pot and it is filled with the people that are there. Every experience or thought is valuable and forms a community which helps each other in finding better solutions as a software craftsman.
I am happy the be a part of the community and looking forward to the next SoCraTes. Thanks for the great conference!