In April a couple of friends and I once again met up in Budapest for one of my personal highlights of every conference season: Craft Conf. I already wrote about the fabulous venue last year, so I will just focus on the organisation and the talks.
But first: the apartment. We once again booked via Airbnb and got a gorgeous multi-tenant apartment only about 15 minutes (on foot) away from the Keleti train station, half way to Nyugati train station. The only thing that didn’t work was the light on the toilet, but that’s precisely why I bought an LC90 by Anker right before the trip 😂 We got IIRC six bedrooms with most of them having their own shower and toilet. Just perfect!
OK, back to the conference and the talks:
This time around the talks felt a little less technical compared to last year. Most speakers focused mostly on architectural topics on the technical, organisational, or social levels. Quite a few companies have now gained experience with using so-called “cloud native” technologies and are ready to share what influence those had on how they operate.
Alongside that I kind of expected there to be quite a few sessions about the GDPR. In the end, though, that topic was nearly completely absent with only a handful of talks being security related.
So without further ado, these were the talks I attended:
- The People Patch - Adventures in Social Engineering by Jenny Radcliffe gave a great introduction into social engineering. Tons of real-life stories presented by someone who seems to absolutely love her job. Just great 😀
- Break your event chains! Complex event flows in distributed systems by Bernd Rücker & Martin Schimak gave an overview of how you can use workflow engines like Camunda to implement large-scale systems. Personally, I don’t yet have worked with it by some of my coworkers have and it sounds quite promising but obviously not perfect.
- What is this cloud native thing anyway? by Sam Newman presented a guide to the confusing landscape of definitions for the term “cloud native”. That and his ranting about people who write the term “microservice” with a hyphen 😂 Since I’m now mostly dealing with systems that are supposed to fall into what can be considered “cloud native” this talk turned out even more informative than I had expected.
- Don’t reset –hard: Strategies for Tackling Large Refactors by Siena Aguayo
- Temporally Quaquaversal Virtual Nanomachine Programming In Multiple Topologically Connected Quantum-Relativistic Parallel Spacetimes…Made Easy! by Damian Conway: Damian Conway’s talks are always a highlight! This time he presented his efforts in making Perl 6 solve problems before they even exist using time-travel! I think by now his talks are alone worth the travel time to Budapest 😄
- Scaling Your Architecture with Events and Services by Randy Shoup showed as a collection of patterns and tools around how to deal with large-scale architectures.
- Testing Microservices by Anne-Marie Charrett
- Designing a high-performing team by Alison Coward
- I Need Directions: Proper Tagging, Naming and Errors by Ash Coleman was more controversial with my friends than I had expected. In general, Ash presented how her company was dealing with huge test suites and how to keep them useful by introducing naming patterns. Most of my friends were a bit disappointed as they were expecting a more technical talk but for me it was among the best talks at Craft Conf this year.
- How would you test a text field? by Maaret Pyhäjärvi
- Manage all your tasks with TaskWarrior by Paul Fenwick: Here Paul gave us a quick tour of how he’s using TaskWarrior to organise his life. He is probably the most enthusiastic speaker I’ve seen in a long time which all by itself probably made a few in the audience look at that tool again afterwards 😀
All talks were well-scheduled and this time around there was no situation where headphones had to be handed out because sound from one stage was leaking onto another. In general, the organisation, despite being nearly perfect last year, got even better. The lunch queues were better distributed, there were more dinner options, and we had multiple registration points on the first day. Perhaps the only aspect that was not was good as last year was the transit to and from the event.
Taxi apps in a post-Uber world
Sadly, getting to the event and back home turned out to be a bit more complicated this year. There was no free train in the morning again and in the evening everything was handled through either taxis or trains that seemed to leave just a bit too early. Because of that, I decided to give Taxify a try. I had seen their logo on some of the cars driving by the train station, looked them up, and thought it was worth a shot 😉
Luckily, it worked as well as I had hoped with good updates about a driver’s progress to the pick-up location and acceptable prices. If they don’t turn into another Uber I might use them again the next time I’m in Budapest.
After three years in a row at Craft I cannot really write more. Yes, I will definitely be back. Yes, it is so worth it!