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CodeCamp afterthoughts

Emoke Laszlo

December 08, 2022

Our .NET Engineers participated at Code Camp Cluj in 2022, and one of them shared his afterthoughts with us. He is talking about the idea of “context” and “bestpractices”, as well as summing up the main ideas worth noting.

Was this the first time you participated at CodeCamp? How was the event?

Cosmin: Yes, this was the first time I went to Codecamp. Overall, the event was a very pleasant one, with a bunch of interesting presentations and useful discussions with fellow members of the tech community.

Did the conference live up to your expectations?

Cosmin: My personal expectations from conferences like this one are to see a new perspective and maybe a different way of thinking on technical topics, so Codecamp definitely lived up to those. I would say that actual learning is pretty difficult without putting stuff into practice and trying out different things. In that respect, I would have liked to see a little bit of live coding, but the presentations were more about having the opportunity to hear about and get familiar on a very high-level with concepts and some new solutions or technologies.

Which were the most interesting talks/presentations you’ve participated at?
In what way did these contribute to the tech community’s development?

Cosmin: The two presentations that stole the show for me were held by Mark Richards and Venkat Subramaniam. I would say that the keyword of the whole conference was “context”. During “Architectural Thinking”, Mark did such an amazing job in demonstrating that “everything has trade-offs in software architecture” and how monolith or microkernel architectures are still viable choices depending on the context. Venkat’s moment was always pointing and going back to his own definition of microservices: “Microservices are what architects like to say they design”. However, based on his experience, 80% of those don’t actually implement pure microservices. In “World of Microservices: The Emphasis on Bounded Context”, he described all the ways in which you should not implement microservices and how context makes the implementation of this architecture change. Besides how well put together the presentations were, what made them stand out was the gift for captivating the audience that both Mark and Venkat have. That’s how I think they contribute to the development of the community, by making such complex concepts become easy to grasp using simple, real-life analogies.

Which were the learnings you came home with?

Cosmin: There are two anecdotes that stuck with me and are something I bump into very often. The first one, “The only best practice is realizing there are no general best practices.”, is such an important one as most of the times this term “best practice” can be a trap. Going back to the keyword “context”, the specific and unique situation you are into can make that best practice useless, even if taken from the documentation of the language, library, framework or any other software related tech you use. The second one, “the IT community is so bad at naming things.”. Examples such as Wireless Networks or NoSQL were given, showing how we couldn’t come up with something better than naming them based on what they are not or do not have.

What eye-opener do you think COERA should pay attention to?

Cosmin: This was actually something I picked up during the conference, how most of the things talked about there are already implemented in our projects or discussed about in COERA. It was a nice thing to realize, and I would say there weren’t any true eye-openers.

Would you participate again next year? What topics would you like to hear/learn about at the next CodeCamp?

Cosmin: Yes, I left with a general feeling that I would like to participate again in the future, but I think some live coding sessions would make the conference better. Also, there were 3 presentations having microservices as the core topic, so I would like to see presentations being spread out across multiple IT fields.

Any famous last words?

Cosmin: Going to an IT conference such as Codecamp is something every IT enthusiast should do at least once in my opinion. Hearing from specialists in the field, discussing common interests with others in similar positions, finding out what is the latest and greatest in a specific domain, these are things you can only gain from.