DDD Wales, 2018

2018-03-25, Comments

The first ever DDD Wales was held yesterday at TechHub Swansea. It was a free-to-attend one day event comprising 5 full one hour sessions split into 3 parallel tracks; that makes 15 sessions to choose from. Additionally, there were lightning talks in the lunch break.

I enjoyed Kevin Jones’ introduction to Kotlin, the more so since it was almost entirely coded live. Kevin ably demonstrated Kotlin to be “Java without the ceremony”. I could see connections with other modern compiled languages — Swift for example — languages which aren’t feature-shy, but which aim for a light, clean syntax; languages which build on existing systems and libraries. It was interesting to see his use of the JetBrains IDE as a teaching aid, and indeed to pick up on audience thoughts on the use of IDEs to flesh out code.

Chris Cundill’s talk on “release flow” was another highlight. You may not have heard of release flow but you’ll know what it is: a tried and tested strategy for code branching. Chris used his talk to challenge and call out some more recent alternatives — Gitflow being the prime target. The session got me thinking. One dimension Chris didn’t cover was people: personalities, roles and permissions. Who can merge to which branch? Which developers work in private then push bulk updates? Git has won the version control system battle. The fight has moved into surrounding areas: branching, merging, reviewing, continuous integration, and the competition is bringing improvements in tooling and best practice.

The final talk I attended was David Carboni’s session on creating a minimal Docker container to run a microservice written in Go. David started off by explaining why simplicity matters. I agree. I couldn’t agree more. The rest of the session was, again, live coding, replaying a demo which uses the techniques described in a couple of blog posts to whittle a Docker container down from a base size of ~700MB to a scratch size ~7MB.

All in all, a great day. The split-level venue suited the three track conference well. The speakers delivered terrific sessions which the audiences engaged with. I’d like to thank the organisers, sponsors, speakers, and other attendees.