Finally, I was on Build Stuff, for the first time. I heard a lot of good things about it and my expectation were pretty high. This is mostly due to my friend @sawiczpawel and his recommendation ( Thank you Pawel! ). In short, It was a good conference, I enjoyed it, learned a couple of new things and meet brilliant people.

The best

Let’s start with session and speakers who I think did the best job.

Motiejus Jakstys (@mo_kelione) - Unikernels and the future of secure cloud computing.

Most interesting talk of whole BuildStuff. The unikernels concept is something I have to dig into more. The whole idea sounds really interesting, transforming your apps into mini unix kernels. This could be a counter-weight to current docker hype. I was kind of angry that being part of MS stack is causing me to miss out some of the cool unix world things.

Venkat Subramaniam (@venkat_s) - Let’s get Lazy

Venkat presentation skills are just excellent. He might be talking little bit too fast but I was able to keep up. This presentation was about lazy loading examples in different languages. Nothing really exceptional. This talk was probably intended for JAVA coding group. Still seeing how Venkat does a talk on live is a good experience. My colleagues told me that his Javascript talk was also excellent.

Ben Hall (@ben_hall ) - Real World Experience Report on Running Docker

It was good to see someone who uses docker on prod. I am still trying to get into docker, being mostly on MS stack doesn’t make things easier. This talks was mostly a case study by Ben. I found couple of nice tips and interesting ideas, nothing revolutionary. I was really impressed by Ben’s presentation skills. The flow of information was perfect, slides organised in correct order. This was technically ( speaking, information organization ) the best talk of the whole conference. Some of the speakers could learn a lot from this talk.

Uncle Bob / Robert Martin (@unclebobmartin )- The Last Programming Language

The Keynote was great and organised but the important bit was was the message. We need to nourish our engineering culture and fight for it. With huge influx of new developers each year it is the duty of more experienced devs to show those new people how to build stuff correctly. This presentation got me thinking a lot which is the best sign of a good topic and delivery.

The good

Networking / People My networking skills are, I don’t want to use a harsh word here, let say I am novice in this. Still I managed to finally met @orientman, @ptrstpp950, @liveweird, @wmekal and a lot of other people. Had good time and even got 6th on a BuildStuff poker tournament ( turns out poker play is not the best place to meet people, everyone is so concentrated on the game that there is no time to talk ). It felt like Build Stuff is the conference that attracts the kind of people like me. The atmosphere was really great, I could feel that I am surrounded by like-minded people.

Organization It wasn’t perfect, there was some confusion with the time / place of the talks, but overall it was good. The venue was excellent, food was great. The stands with various games, neat idea and arcade stand in the chill out lounge was awesome. I also liked the draw your own caricature idea ( I won’t show you mine because it is horrible, yeah really it is bad).

The bad

There is only one complaint and something that I cant really understand.Some of the speakers and their presentation were really bad. I don’t know how this happened but it looked like lack of preparation. It is quite surprising as some of those speakers are quite good when they want to. Ehh, it was confusing, they lost it somewhere. Sure it can happen but, I don’t know I really have mixed feelings. I was really hugely disappointed on couple of talks.

Sebastian Gebski described nicely some of my feelings on his blog

Overall

Build Stuff is a good place to go, full of energy and passionate people. I recharged my dev batteries plus learned a lot of stuff. I will be there next year, for sure. Despite disappointment about couple of presentation, overall the speakers did a great job of delivering their thoughts. I came to Build Stuff to learn and meet people, also hoping that I might get small kick in my passionate butt to start doing more stuff, I Got It!

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