DevspaceConf16 Day 2

Talk: The Joy of Desktop Apps with Electron (by David Neal – @ReverentGeek)

So this was the talk I was waiting for, but I just didn’t know it yet.  I knew about Electron (a cross-platform desktop application builder using web technologies) through the use of Atom, but I didn’t understand the intricacies.  But as David spoke (and he was a great speaker, with hand-drawn images peppering his slides, adding charm), I found myself not listening at times, and instead wondering what I could do with Electron.  To me, this is a successful talk, where it gets my brain spinning for new ideas and I want to go work with it.  In December, we have a week long hackathon at work, so I’m definitely interested in doing more.


Talk: Planning Web Services for the Enterprise (by Gaines Kergosien – @gainesk)

So this talk wasn’t one of my favorites.  To be honest, out of the 5 talks in this slot, none of them interested me.  I went to this one because my coworker, Karl, went to it as well.  I don’t have a lot to say about this one, other than I learned a bit about different web service orchestration tools.


Talk: Fun With Markov Chains (by Brad Montgomery @bkmontgomery)

I was looking forward to this one, since it has the trifecta of things I want in a conference talk:

  1. Something I don’t know anything about
  2. Something I want to know more about
  3. A speaker I enjoy (I enjoyed Brad’s talk the day before)

This talk didn’t disappoint.  I got to learn some cool stuff dealing with Markov Chains (ways of stochastically determining sequences with some smarts built in).  We went over how to build a simple Markov Generator for text parsing, and its definitely something I might look into for fun.


Talk: Microservices: Lessons from the Trenches (by Gregory Beamer)

While I don’t do microservices, the architecture has always interested me.  Gregory went in depth about where microservices are good, what their benefits are, and some easy pitfalls to find yourself hitting.  It was less a talk on Microservices and focused on some pretty good design principles.  We talked about the importance of testing and automation, and how design is a balancing act.   I liked his thoughts on how to break down abstraction, and the influence on contract first development.

Talk: Ratchet: A New View on Web Apps (by Jay Hayes – @iamvery)

So Ratchet was awesome.  I went solely because I like Elixir, but this closed out a fantastic day of a conference.  Jay Hayes was a really good speaker, and his slides were top-notch.  Not being a Mac User, I wonder how much of the slide decks I’ve seen are part of the built in Mac program.  Anyway, Ratchet ended up being, IMO, the most impressive tool I’ve seen in a while.  I’ve always struggled with the idea of templating libraries for web apps and how they mix behavior into the HTML.  Jay made a convincing case on why this was a bit iffy, and introduced Ratchet, a straightforward templating library in Elixir.  The beauty was that the templates were pure HTML, which was awesome.

He then proceeded to show us another tool, Jank, which was a Javascript library that did something very similar, but with websockets.  I’m almost interested in trying my own version in Python, since it was such a great idea.



All in all, the conference was good.  It wasn’t great, but it was good and I learned a lot and got to meet some new people.  I wish there was some more after-conference activities so that I could meet more people, but I do have an Alexa Hackathon tomorrow.  I hope DevSpace grows next year, and I’ll try to have my own talk.



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