DevDay DevConf is my favourite day! Potentially…

The first programming conference I fell in love was DevDay. It really opened my eyes when I went there for the first time in 2012 and it never failed to satisfy – I wrote about it multiple times. DevDay won’t be organized this year, or maybe even won’t be organized, period. But don’t worry – Michał and Rafał (together with other awesome people) are starting a new conference. I invite you to DevConf!

DevConf logo

I sent two talks for the CFP and both have been accepted. So I’m super happy, and also a bit stressed – this is going to be the first time I’m doing two talks at the same conference. Both new. Challenge accepted!

The first talk will be related to my growing in recent years interested in Machine Learning. I’ll try to explain basics of the technicalities of training and evaluating ML models in approachable ways. You’re probably gonna be disappointed how easy it is to get a relatively good working model. I hope to get you interested enough, that you won’t surrender when the first obstacles show up.

The second talk will be about my other fascination. How computers actually work? I’ll start with what most programmers know the best these days – one of the high-level programming languages. From there I’ll explore what lays beneath, what layers built up over last few decades. We’re standing on arms of the giants of the past and it’s a good thing to appreciate it.

DevConf is held on 13-15th September in Kraków, Poland. It’s less than a 2hrs flight from most places in Europe. One day of workshop and two days of three tracks talks for very affordable price. Make sure you stay for the weekend – traditionally we have a lot of fun there also after the conference. Register here! Hope to see you there!

Month of spreading F# love in Poland

In last month or so I did three talks on F# in Poland. I can see gaining interests and there’re already other people speaking about F# in Polish community. This is awesome!

Kraków, 25th September

A Day before DevDay KGD.NET organized meetup with two talks. This was great opportunity for my employer tretton37 to get some more street cred in Poland, so we decided to sponsor some food and drinks. There were two speakers – me and Maciej Aniserowicz, who’s kind of a rock star of Polish .NET community (BTW, check out his new podcast (in Polish)). I did my already well known introduction talk to F#. I had quite a big audience (around 100 people) and they were very engaged. I enjoyed great question and feedback I got after the talk. Looks like it’s very active .NET group. I used the same slides and code as in Warsaw couple months before.

Next dey was a DevDay :). I’m big fan of this conference and it delivered again. There were a lot of semi-negative opinions on the Internet afterwards, which is very sad and unfair. Looks like DevDay became victim of its own success. Last year was fuckin awesome, and people had some overgrown expectations. The truth is, it was fuckin awesome again this time and I can’t wait for next year’s edition. Videos are already online and you can watch them on youtube. But the strongest point of DevDay for me is community impact. It made largely distributed Polish .NET scene more united. People are visiting each other’s group and exchange experiences and knowledge. Programmers from all around Poland know each other better and lot’s of credit for that goes to Michał and Rafał.

Interwebz, 18th October

On Saturday evening I did a talk on Polish virtual conference From statistics I could see there were about 70 people watching it live. It’s a little bit weird to talk to computer without seeing your audience. I’m not happy how this talk went, but you can judge by yourself, because it’s been recorded (Polish). Feedback I got afterwards kind of matched my expectations – 24 positive, 16 neutral and 2 negative opinions. Again – same slides and code as in Warsaw.

This was the second edition of dotnetconfpl, great initiative by Michał, Paweł and Jakub. It’s Saturday afternoon full of code. Made by Polish developers for Polish developers. And because it was virtual, I could do talk from my desk in Sweden. I also very enjoyed discussions that went on whole day on dedicated jabbr channel.

Poznan, 30th October, PolyConf

Few days ago I did completely new talk. This time about cross-platform mobile development with F# and Xamarin. So this was new talk, and also my first talk in English, and biggest audience so far. Lot’s of new experiences. I was quite nervous before, but seems like everything went well. I’ll see video in a couple of days to make sure, but right now I feel it was my best talk so far.

The conference itself is evolution of well known RuPY. This time they widen topics to other programmic languages, so you could witness talks on JavaScript, Haskell, Erlang or F#. Pretty cool experience, and lot’s of inspiration how to move concept from other technologies to my daily job. The conference, even though it was hosted in Poland, gathered mostly international crowd. I’m putting it on my calendar for next year, because really enjoyed it.

What’s really cool and makes me happy, there’re other people who start talking about F# in Polish community. Few weeks ago my friend Kuba Walinski asked me if he can reference my talk, as he’s gonna do his own about F#. Hell yeah, you can. It’s great that we’re spreading F# love :). He spoke at Developer Days in Wrocław and you can read his thoughts about it on his blog.

There’re some other F# events coming up in Poland, so I’m thinking about starting some kind of Polish Monthly F# news, similar to Sergey’s weekly news, but focusing on our local community. Stay tuned :).

DevDay is my favourite day.

Last weekend I attended very special event for my heart. DevDay is first developers conference I attended last year, which practically changed me into Conference Junkie. After last DevDay I felt in love with community vibe in conferences. Since then I went for many of them, counting in 33rd Degree, Leetspeak or NDC. But DevDay is special. For me, it’s the ultimate conference.

It’s awesome, because it focuses on people. You won’t find company’s advertising here. Only small logo of ABB, who sponsors whole event. It gathers great speakers and fantastic crowd of curious devs. After (and before ;) ) parties were epic. And it all basically for free. It was better organized than many paid conferences. And you can feel awesome energy coming from Michał, Rafał and their debugging crew.

In therms of talks and speakers, conference was top notch. There were two tracks, which always gives me anxiety if I choose right. The full lineup is here.

John Skeet talked about traps in basic data types in C#. It was interesting set of information, that may be useful for beginning developers. Guys who spent some time on frontlines probably new about many of them. The most interesting part for me was about how screwed up our date system is :). Then I went for Darek Dziuk’s session about how Spotify implements their agile practices. Although title suggested it’s gonna be talk about scaling, Darek told mostly about team level. This disappointed me a little, but we talked later and he explained why he took this approach. Next up I went to Code Junkie’s (one of tretton37 ninjas)  presentation about internals of Nancy. One of my favorite talks this day. I didn’t understand it all, but that’s great – means I have still a lot to learn. Then I went for Hadi Hariri’s talk. I was slightly disappointed, cause I expected something different from the talk title. But Hadi always keep his talk on the funny side, so it wasn’t boring at least. I missed next session, had great meeting with friend instead. And then the worst (in my opinion) talk came. At last moment I decided to go to Dino Esposito’s talk, and it was really bad. It was more like sale’s pitch than tech talk. Bummer, cause I heard that Stack Exchange’s Marco Cecconi’s talk was one of the best. And then beautiful gem for the wrap-up. Fantastic, full of humour story how Rob Ashton went full hippy with bunch of great life advices.

I also heard that Pat Kua’s, Paul’s and Itamar’s sessions were very good. If you’re startup person, you should also look at Ben’s experiences – seen this talk during NDC and it’s full of valuable knowledge.

One of many things I learn during this year, conferences are not really about the talks. Yeah, they’re important, cause it’s pure knowledge. But much more important is meeting new people, expanding your network and meeting even more people. They can inspire you, teach you new things, mentor you. Some of them will become your friends. This is experience, you won’t get by watching talks over the Internet. So if you go to conference, fire up your twitter, follow people and go to frickin’ parties. It’s not only about booze ;)

So if you missed, you just screwed up badly. And if you’ve been there, we’re gonna see each other next year, aye?

Fall will be eventfull

Fall is usually period packed with great conferences. Summer is slowly coming to an end and it’s time to plan, which of them are you going to attend. I put my small list of events worth considering, which are “in the area” during next few months.

When: 20th September
Where: Krakow, Poland

Devday is one day event, 2 tracks, 12 speakers. It’s free, courtesy of ABB. Registration is open till 8pm today, so that’s last chance to fill registration form. Get creative, because attendees will be selected based on those answers. Lineup is already very impressive, although not everything has been reveled yet. Last year was a blast, and I can’t wait to go there this year too.

When: 12th October
Where: Stockholm, Sweden

Leetspeak is also one day event, single track, 6 speakers. Thanks to tretton37 and other sponsors, it’s very cheap (200SEK). Tickets are on sale for two days, and most of them are already gone. Be quick, if you want to get there! I really enjoyed my weekend in Malmo last year, and I am anticipating similar this year in Stockholm.

When: 4-8 November
Where: Malmo, Sweden

Oredev is Scandinavian classic, one of the biggest and most popular conferences in Europe. It takes place in Malmo in early November. It’s quite pricey, but for the money you get three days packed with multiple tracks with awesome speakers. I’ve never been there and unfortunately won’t be there this year, but I heard mostly good stuff about this conference. If you have opportunity, it’s definitely good event to attend. Tickets are still available.

Build Stuff
When: 9-11 December
Where: Vilnius, Lithuania
Speaker list and registration:

Build Stuff is Greg Young’s conference in Vilnius. It started last year as small, single track one day event. This year, it exploded into full blown 3-day Oredev-league conference, still staying within reasonable price range. It looks promising, is not very expensive, and only few hours drive from Poland. You really need a good reason not to go there.

When you choose event, and attend it remember to act accordingly. They’re great social events, from which you can get much more than just knowledge. My friends wrote a spot-on post about it. Just read second part of it.


Last week I was at the DevDay 2012 conference in Kraków. Not the first conf in my life, but this was different. This one left some disturbing, yet inspiring thoughts in my mind. I suck. I’m a phony. And I need to do something about it. Like right now.

The conference itself had freakin’ awesome speaker lineup. Just look it up yourself. I got excited when I saw Scott Hanselman‘s tweet, saying something like “See you in Poland”. I knew I had to be there, and I would do everything to get there. Then I saw whole agenda, and realized that all speakers are very interesting people. And best of all – it was free. Totaly free, like free beer free. Even better, company which sponsored whole event didn’t want to stick it in your face. Just a little logo here, banner there, some leaflets. Very classy.

Scott’s talk was all about productivity, and how to get what’s important from information flood, we get everyday. Most of what he presented I have read before on his blog, so there was nothing groundbreaking for me. But having this all in one presentation, and seeing Scott live was really great experience.

There were other talks, that were much more technical. Rob Ashton spoke about how JavaScript sucks, and how you can deal with it. He showed some tricks and tools, that make JS development a little bit less painful. Sebastien Lambla gave a talk about HTTP caching. He had very energetic attitude, but I didn’t get much from his presentation. This lacked some visual aids or better examples. There was also talk by Mark Rendle in which he showed some less known coding tricks and techniques that he used in his Simple.Data and Simple.Web frameworks. This one showed, that for complicated tasks, there will always be complicated code. If you don’t see it, it must be somewhere under the hood. I’ll probably never use some of the tricks that Mark showed, but they were fun to watch. On the other hand I didn’t enjoy Antek Piechnik‘s presentations. It was full of slogans, without any specifics, and sounded more like advertising of his company than informative talk. And the end of the day Greg Young talked about how to quickly jump into new project and identify most important problems as a consultant. I don’t remember much of this, because I was really tired at this point. Seven 1-hour talks is a little bit too much, especially if you didn’t sleep much last night.

There was one not-so-technical talk during a day, that I found most awesome and inspiring. It was Martin Mazur‘s “Why you should talk to strangers”. There was technical part, that showed what kind of inspiration we as .net developers can have from other languages. Martin went through interesting concepts from languages like Ruby, Erlang or Haskell, and how they can be applied in C#. In the other part he focused what .net community can gain from looking at other communities. He compared how stiff in so many areas are guys coding in C# and Java compared to Ruby Developers. There is some notion, that our conferences must be dead serious and our frameworks must be named super professional, and there are no good reasons for that. There is nothing wrong in bringing marching band to conference. And “God won’t kill kittens if we name library silly” (that was one of my favorite quotes).

I also had a chance to fly back with Martin on one plane form KRK to WAW, so we could chat a little about agile practices and how to become better developer. I found this part of the conference most inspiring. I realized that I’m only few years younger than Martin, and If I want to grow as a developer, I need to change some things in my life. In couple of years ahead I would like to be more like Martin Mazur, and less like my coworkers who are his age.

Generally, the networking part of the conference was awesome. I met some great people like Michał and Rafał, who organized conference. I had chance to talk to speakers personally, which was great experience. I even had my “13yo-girl-at-Justin-Bieber’s-concert” moment, when Scott signed my t-shirt ;). Talks were good, but you can watch them on the Internet. To engage in interesting discussion with people, you have to be there. And have courage to talk to strangers. That’s why I’m planning to attend more conferences. Actually, while writing this words, I’m waiting for my plane to Malmö, to attend Leatspeak. More to come!

* This blog post is one of the outputs of the DevDay. I hope, this is beginning of my regular blogging. I wanted to do it for a long time, but didn’t know how to start. During conference Scott Hanselman told story that comedian Paul Raiser told in some podcast. Paul met the actor Peter Falk and asked him if there was a secret to writing a movie script. Peter Falk said “get some paper, put it in a typewriter, type FADE IN…and keep typing.”