Meri’s impressions of the Software Craftsmanship Barcelona

Last weekend, one of our flymates, Meritxell Calvo attended the Software Craftsmanship (SC) Barcelona with other developers from Flywire. In this post she’ll briefly share her experience at the SC Barcelona and go further into detail on what makes the SC such a unique experience.

1. Talks are designed as open discussions

What makes the SC special is the way the conference is designed to support the culture and values of the developing community. The conference is dedicated to helping developers improve, share knowledge and learn from each other. Instead of traditional lectures, talks are usually designed as open discussions during which we, participants, are encouraged to actively participate in them. I think it’s great because I think a flexible and open environment keeps us constantly engaged and exchanging ideas.

As Jose Armesto (@fiunchinho) explained in his talk titled “Understanding the Learning Path”, we shouldn’t blindly follow old rules for the sake of tradition. Instead, he suggested we try to understand each rule inside its context, and learn the benefits and tradeoffs that such a rule brings to our own context before deciding whether to apply it.

2. It’s a protected space where developers can share concerns and requests

The SC also provides an open space during which we can share our concerns and requests. In his talk “Towards an Inclusive Craft”, Daniel Irvine (@d_ir) suggested a new description of professionalism in which developers are not limited to merely being coding machines, but also emotional and vulnerable creatures. A few quotes that I particularly liked were:

“Do not leave yourself at home. Bring your whole self.”

“You don’t know everything, you make mistakes, and this is ok”.

In his retrospective of the SC, Sandro Mancuso (@sandromancuso), instigated a change in the industry by bringing back the developers to the center of the scene and creating a culture that’s attached to values instead of practices. But in order to make this possible, Mancuso argues that we need professionals to head in the same direction. This can be achieved through inclusive events and communities that support the movement. Finally, he emphasized the critical role that mentors play in preparing the next generation of developers.

3. It’s a technical event during which you learn
That being said, the SC is a technical event. It’s a space during which we discover practices, architectures, implementations and tools from other professionals that paved the way for us and join us to share with us in person their work and conclusion.

For instance, David Gómez (@dgomezg) helped us identify code smells and amused us with some examples that he found during his career.

The Coding Stones (@CodingStones) told their personal experiences with JS, from the (painful) first contact to approaches that worked well and others that didn’t work so well. We also got to learn how useful it was for them to share their concerns with communities in other cities and events. The talk ended with a code review on their current approach on managing JS core.

As a side note, I’d like to highlight how impressed I was by the amount of women I met at the conference. I realized this when I glanced at the audience and was able to recognise several women. That being said, I feel a little confused about writing this. Why am I surprised that women attended the conference? Shouldn’t it be normal to see women at a tech conference?

How was your experience at the SC Barcelona?

I look forward to hearing your feedback and seeing you at the next conference!

Meri is one of our software developers. She also collaborates as a Katayuno facilitator.