A bunch of us went to WebCamp Zagreb, a technology-oriented conference for developers and designers that was held on October 2-3. We at Netgen have been the WCZG proud sponsors ever since their beginnings and are proud of that. There were some news for us as sponsors this year and they were all good while the program offered two tracks with two one keynote each day and technology-oriented talks.
It was already their 4th year in a row, kudos for that!
We at Netgen have been the WCZG proud sponsors ever since their beginnings and are proud of that. We strongly believe in sharing in and among the communities and, therefore, support these kinds of events happening in Croatia.
The new stuff
There was some news for us as sponsors this year and they were all good. This year each sponsor got a stand where we brought our goodies, banners, and such (read: chocolate!). We were given an opportunity to talk to the known and unknown people about the work we do and things that interest us, which was great considering there were around 800 WCZG visitors.
Ivo (re)presented us at the recruitment session and we posted our job offers on the brand new WCZG job board (which we liked as well). We are looking for backend developers and project managers and it is still not too late to apply.
The program offered two tracks with two one keynote each day and technology-oriented talks. The thing many visitors appreciated was the chance to influence the content by voting for the topic and the speaker they found to be the most engaging. These community chosen speakers and their talks definitely did not fall behind and everyone was satisfied.
It was impossible to attend all the talks, but our backend developer Mario B. managed to see quite a lot of them. Here are some of his thoughts on the talks he went to:
“WebCamp started with the keynote talk about Functional programming by Bob Ippolito. The talk was mostly about Erlang programming language, with comparisons to Haskell, also one of the today’s praised functional programming languages. Bob showed the difference between imperative and function programming style and stated that most of the users are very skilled developers. He also mentioned a few companies that were using functional programming languages to develop their products and were sold for a lot of money. All in all, the talk was intriguing and motivating.
Zdeslav Vojković talked about HTTP protocol, with emphasis on the new proposed HTTP/2 specification. This was a very interesting look into the future and is very important for the most developers, but for us as web developers it's priceless. The data compression of HTTP headers, servers push technologies, loading page elements in parallel over a single TCP connection is probably what every web developer dreams of. One more important thing is the high level of compatibility with version 1.1 of HTTP protocol. It the end, Zdeslav showed us the implementation status of HTTP/2 in the most used software like Apache2, Nginx, etc.
Luka Mužinić talked about Lua programming language, especially Lua as the second language. He showed quite a lot of examples of where we can use Lua. Probably the most important usages of Lua is within Redis, the in-memory data structure store, and Nginx, well-known HTTP and reverse proxy server. It was a very motivating talk for every developer, with one simple message: do not try to solve all problems with one programming language. Plus one to Luka.
Damir Svrtan talked about tests; to be more precise, how to stop wasting time not writing tests. This talk was awesome and, in my opinion, the best WebCamp talk. Damir went over all the excuses which the developers make to escape from the tests. One by one, Damir gave us excuses to write tests. The talk was very generic in point of testing, not covering any specific platform or language. Kudos to Damir!”
Having 800 people involved with web technology and design for two days in one place is stimulating for any developer or designer. You rarely get an opportunity to talk to that many people on that level. The breaks were evenly spread, talks not too long to be kept captivating.
Our backend developer Hrvoje K. and Zvonimir, one of the prospective students, enjoyed both the official and unofficial part of the conference. Here are their impressions.
Hrvoje K: “I’ve attended the WebCamp ZG conference since the very first year and I think this year’s edition was one of the best ones so far. Although the lectures were slightly less interesting to me in comparison to the previous years since the significant amount was project management/UX-oriented and less useful to me as a backend developer, I still got to pick up some smart advice and hear some new and stimulating stuff. The main point of the conference was fulfilled as always - I met a lot of people from the same branch and shared my experience with them, and I also got with the colleagues and acquaintances with whom I rarely have a chance to meet in person. The after-conference drink-up was marvelous and it just keeps getting better every year :)”
Zvonimir: “It was great to be a part of the crowd and listen to some of the best professionals in the business. I’d single out the great lecture by Christian Grobmeier: The "Why you should talk" - Talk. He explained why everyone should talk and how to overcome the fear of failure. Thanks to having a stand this year, all interested designers and developers had a chance to come and talk with us. Some of them have even approached us in the lecture halls because they recognized our ocean blue T-shirts.”
WebCamp ZG held up its end once again, delivering talks on current topics and entertaining that many hungry and thirsty developers and web designers, and giving all the visitors plenty of opportunities to mingle.
You could also talk to our directors at the conference and at our stand, we know they enjoyed that. Here is what Igor said: "WebCamp Zagreb has been THE place to meet and mingle with Croatian (and regional) web community for the last 4 years, and this year the event has been as great as ever. It has been a real energizing experience to spend two full days socializing with and learning from the community we all belong to. Met some new friends and reconnected with a bunch of old ones.”
There are a lot of photographs to remind us of this great conference, some are in our (short, but cute) Facebook album and the official ones are on WebCamp ZG Facebook page. Have fun looking through them :)
We can only wish for more such events to take place in Croatia and until then sponsor and support the existing ones, among which WebCamp has a special place to us. So, see you next year!