Stackoverflow DevDays in London

by Volker Weber


The Stackoverflow DevDays was the other event I attended in London. This was not on my original schedule, I learned about it just last weekend. Since I was in London anyway and was able to finish my SEE visit on the first day, I made the most of my visit and also attended the DevDays. The event was in part sponsored by Microsoft and Nokia, so there was another fragment of Nokia's plan to learn there.

DevDays is an ultimate geek-out. It very much reminded me of this joke: "There are 10 types of people: those who understand binary and those who get laid". I was badly hung-over from Lotusbeer the night before so I had to pass on Joel Spolsky's keynote. When I finally arrived, Michael Sparks was presenting on Python. I did not learn much, but was very impressed anyway. He was presenting with code. Talking and typing at the same time.

Next up was Reto Meier of Google about Android (he wrote the book on it), and Joel Spolsky on Fogbugz 7. Both talks were more of a product demonstration. Remy Sharp's talk on jQuery was very enlightening. Excellent presentation and content.

Jeff Atwood of Coding Horror fame was up next after lunch and told the story about how he and Joel started Notable quote of Pekka Kosonen's talk about Qt: "we used to suck in so many ways I did not think possible - but with Qt and WRT we are getting our act together". Yes, this deliberately links to the other conference. ;-) Next up was Phil Nash for an iPhone development 101, including a simple "start from zero" project live on stage. It probably inspired quite a few developers to give iPhone development a try. Jon Skeet, who works on Google Sync, delivered an interesting talk "Humanity: Epic Fail", explaining the difficulties we have understanding the most basic principles of numbers, strings and date/time. Quite a few horror stories about time zones and daylight savings.

Great talks, awful logistics (try to serve coffee for 850 people from a single queue). The room was packed, and rightfully so. There is another event in Cambridge and one in Amsterdam. Different speakers though. If you have a chance, stop by. If you can't get a ticket, go anyway. In London they weren't able to tell the difference. ;-)


I went to the Washington, DC DevDays this past Monday. Mostly different speakers, but similarly good. And two queues for coffee. JQuery soon will "be" JavaScript, methinks.

Seth Crothers, 2009-10-29

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