Chris Cole opened up with a talk on Soft Skills and Career management – explaining that we as developers and managers need to improve and maintain communications skills through less emotional and more supportive interactions in teams. For example on code reviews – ensure a safe space and constructive feedback.Chris advised Build relationships with Teams that interface with yours – and reciprocate if helped. He mentioned a book on HRT (Humility, Respect and Trust) which I think may be the O’Reilly Debugging Teams (other booksellers are available !)
Art Knipe followed with a personal talk on being a self taught developer. His focus on learning to learn is something that I personally believe in and have practiced in nearly 30 years in IT. Advising developers to seek feedback and to focus on long term goals rather than short term wins – he advocated join a good community (just like this one). I’ve seen Art talk before and he is a passionate and focused young developer.
Ali was next up with her talk on the experience of entering the software testing role. Experiencing the technical slope that we all face with new challenges and seeing the reduction in complexity and verbosity of tests she initially developed is familiar to all of us who have traveled this path. Benefiting from Angular training @ Instil – Ali felt that to be a better tester is both down to confidence and skills and being accepted as a Software Tester and a member of the team who can be looked to for advice and opinion.
Shay Doherty was a first time contributor who spoke on the Vue.js + webpack combination used in his company. Giving some background on previous technologies and libraries such as sammy.js , jquery and Azure – his move to Vue.js came as a result of re-evaluating their toolset and approach looking back at previous projects. Covering the vue.js lifecycle and components, slotes and injecting custom templates – he showed the p[ractical steps for getting your first vue.js app up and running. Shay mentioned their customer base and the number of apps in dev and production using vue.js and talked about the practical experience with Vue.js and debugging during development.
We had a guest speaking from Sync NI in the form of the editor Suzy. She was seeking input from the tech community for the online version of the tech magazine. Explaining that the magazine was broadening its horizon for the scope of articles including Mental Health , Gender Issues and Ageism to mention a few – the offer was extended to the diverse and large group at this meetup to participate and shape the online edition.
Alan Foster took us through Flow and Typescript showing the means of trapping js code issues before deploy. The use of Flow for static type checking and basic type or object checking led to more detailed and complex checks being possible. He mentioned IDE support for the technologies and that a repl version exists to get started.
Paul Hill from Bazaar Voice talked about his company and its role in other companies infrastructure as it provides reviews and rating system to some of the household names we use for ecommerce today. Being a high volume service with approx 2K requests per second he talked about the means of provisioning the service either on behalf of or with a client doing the integration themselves. Mentioning the opening of a Belfast office and his permanent base here showed the companies commitment to the local IT community.
Last but not least was Conor Woods who gave a great overview of the Ionic Framework and its relationship with Angular and Typescript. His detailed talk covered the rudiments of the Ionic approach and the tooling and particular take on Ionic development with the focus of testing cross platform apps mainly in the browser and the benefits of that. He mentioned the use of Heroku for a simple means of publishing apps for review and talked about the various testing tools and elements in Ionic. I have seen Conor speak on several occasions and always enjoy his talks for the technical content and enthusiastic delivery – and tonight was no exception. Always helpful and knowledgeable I was able to link him up with another developer who mentioned a query of JWT which Conor spoke about in a recent talk for an Ionic WordPress App !