Stoked on Meteor — Code and surf Meteor in Gran Canaria

What if you could take several days off to learn and create awesome stuff with other passionate people in a place where the weather feels like an eternal spring?

Well, that’s what happened to 17 Meteor devs, me included. The event was called Meteor in Flip Flops, MiFF, a dev bootcamp that happened one week this February.

Awesome picture by MadeByElvis

Note: this article is part of a series called Stoked on Meteor, the introduction and the syllabus can be found on this article: The Goal is to Learn. Enjoy your read!

The typical day was simple, but pretty efficient: listen to interesting talks, code projects in team, go surfing, drink Tropical. Repeat.

Good learnings

And awesome people

Mentored by Rahul & Lukas from Q42, we have been coding 3 back-to-back projects, 2 days each. A copy-cat ofCookie Clicker (the goal is to bake!), IoT treasure-hunt with beacons and a pleasure of managing Cordova and a build-whatever-you-want project, in our case Mapstuff, an open-source boilerplate to help you map anything with Meteor 1.3 and Mapbox.

Some people argue that it was hard to follow the pace with so little time and all the issues you encounter during the process of making. But seriously… That was awesome!

Take a step back. It was a rocket-launcher for our learning-curve! Team up with people you just met there with different skills and move forward in the same direction to ship a functional program. This was an unique opportunity to learn while hacking to get things done. The pure essence of learning by making. Good execution.

Let me give you some learnings curated by Rahul & Lukas during projects’ presentations:

  • Premature optimization is the root of all evil (my fav)
  • Don’t make dramatic changes 5 minute before the demo :)
  • Done is better than perfect
  • It’s motivating to take small steps & see progress
  • Focus on functionality
  • Don’t over-engineer
  • Define team roles, who’s working on what?

And of course, there was surfing to breath some fresh air and enjoy the ocean!

How about joining the next edition?

Wanna become a silver surfer?

I would recommend you developer friend, with a 10 on a scale from 0 to 10, to join a similar experience if you have the opportunity. It’s tiring, yes, but it is definitely worth it.

Thanks to all the feedbacks, we understand now how to organize a perfect learning experience. There will surely be another edition of something like MiFF, maybe not in Canarias Islands, maybe not in flip flops. However, I’m pretty sure that it will rock!

If you are interested in seeing technically what were the talks about and what we built, I invite you to have a look at the public presentations.

Q&A with Maciej Nowakowski

Space flipfloper & MiFF’s organizer

What was in your mind when you first have thought about organizing MiFF?

Learning to code and having just limited amount of time after your daily work is not an easy task if you want to accelerate quickly. Lack of the network of developer friends that you could learn from is limiting as well.
I started to attend hackathons, but these were too short and people were too focused just on coding and didn’t have a chance to exchange ideas or chat.
So, I asked myself a question ‘How would the best ever learning environment look like?’. The answer was simple: top tutors, fantastic bunch of friendly developers, no distructions… and yes, preferably it should be warm and sunny.

And now, what do you think of this?

During the event I learnt a lot. It’s hard to point to one specific skill but I improved my Meteor skills, I learned how to work in a team, I made friends and even learned a bit of surfing. You just see how others think and code and you learn from them and you have also tutors at hand to explain when you struggle. That’s much easier than searching for answers on StackOverflow.
I learned also a lot as an organiser. I have a good idea in mind how the next event should look like and what are the most important factors to success of such event.

When and where do we organize the next edition?

Ha ha. Originally Meteor in Flip Flops was a one off event after which I wanted to focus exclusively on building real projects. A soon as the event was over I started to miss it a lot. I am not sure if, when, where and what shape could the next edition take, but definitely the idea slowly develops and I am sure one day we meet again to learn and build together somewhere sunny and of course in flip flops.

\o/

Thanks Maciej for answering my questions, you can follow him on Twitter!

And finally, if this was useful, please tap the 💚 button below. Thanks!


I’m Xavier, a happy fellow working everyday with MeteorJS as a consultant software engineer.

I want to spread the word that working with this techno is awesome and that you should get your hands on it!

You can find me on Twitter: @xav_cz