My takeaways from Øredev 2022

I went to Øredev this year and found old friends from before the pandemic, new insights from a bunch of talented speakers, and a newfound fear of what has happened to the world the last three years and of what technology is threaten to make of this world.

This year’s Øredev had a Alice in Wonderland theme

An overall theme this year was IT security. I don’t know if this was intended or a side effect that many of the invited partners were in the cybersecurity space, but also the keynotes focused a lot on security. Maybe the organisers chose this path because of the instability in Europe and the Russian war in Ukraine.

Renata Salecl did a really scary session on how social media is being used by governments against us, to make us insecure in truths and facts, and to make us apathetic to who is in control and what the person in power is actually doing. Our new behaviour is that we simply don’t care anymore.

Jenny Radcliffe followed this up with talking about her experiences in breaking security protocols of companies and Emily Gorcenski showed us how technology is used to drive revolutions and how its being weaponised in the Russian war in Ukraine.

In the same vein Runa Sandvik closed the conference in telling us about all the threats happening to journalists today and how to protect them from everyone wanting to do them hard. It is not hard to draw parallels between the increasing distrust of facts, the threat situation to journalists and the dismantling of democracy.

It is a grim world that Øredev presents to us.

Melvin Kranzberg, Technology is neither good nor bad; nor is it neutral from Cennydd Bowles talk on The Ethical Engineer

Between all the security sessions there were some developer focused ones as well. One really interesting one was how to use visualisation of state machines to make really complex app logic easier to understand. I’m sure we all have seen code that is just really hard to get your head around because it is jumping between different states. David Khourshid presented a tool called xstate which not only help you simplify the code around state machines, but also allow for visualisation. Pretty neat!

Define your state machine in a simple graphical interface and then copy the code into your code editor to implement the individual steps. Really cool visualisation from David Khourshids talk, Coding Complex App Logic Visually

I went to a couple of data sessions where I found out that data application development still is several years behind backend development but there is hope. Rob Richardson showed us how to do a database devops pipeline so we actually can version changes to the database, deploy continuously and test the deploys in an isolated container.

On the same theme Kjetil Klaussen talked about how they built a data platform in 6 months to keep track of salmon “production”. Seeing the pens where they keep thousands of salmons makes me a bit nauseous, but the idea of building a team and a data platform in just 6 months is really cool.

Before I start describing every single talk that I attended I will just give you my action points that I jotted down

  • A public employee handbook like the one from Gitlab is a really cool idea and if I’ll become leader of a company with more employees than myself, that is something that I would like to try
  • I need to improve my terms and conditions with ethical considerations so I can cancel a contract when a client ask me to do something I consider unethical
  • Everyone on a developer team should be considered a volunteer (even if we pay them to be there), and we need to make sure they are happy, stimulated and appreciated
  • I need to write some proof of concept application for gRPC, as it will become standard for communicating between micro services on the backend
  • Stop having hybrid retrospectives where some are remote and others are in the same room. It puts the participants on unequal footing. Also make sure you have thinking time in retrospectives so both active thinkers and reflective thinkers may contribute
  • Flutter is new, hot and interesting technology but there is not a big enough reason for me to invest in the technology. React Native, which I already know, is more mature and I would get a higher return of learning native iOS or Android development
  • Create a personal user manual for what people need to know about me to support working together. Things like “I prefer schedule a call instead of spontaneous calls” or “I do not like being praised in public” are things to go into that personal user manual
  • I need to learn more about Web 3.0 (not Web3). Web3 will probably not go away, even if I prefer it too, but I think that the idea of owning your own data in Web 3.0 is a compelling one

Next week we”ll get access to the recordings. There are several sessions I know I should’ve prioritised instead of the ones that I chose.