Friday, April 11, 2014

My Reversim Summit Experience

Reversim is an Israeli podcast that speaks about technology and the software world. In 2013 they organized the first Reversim summit - an event dedicated to sharing knowledge between tech companies. After last year's success, in February 2014 a second summit was held. The tickets were over faster than the Led-Zeppelin or the israeli Kaveret reunions (I guess that the free-entrance made it easy for people to just register and save their spot quickly, but I think that was not the main reason).

This year I got the opportunity to present my code-review talk, which I gave in Outbrain a few month ago, in front of people from other companies. For those of you who missed it, here it is:

It was very interesting to speak with people after the talk and hear their opinions about code-review, the challenges they faced and the tips they looked for.

Aside from that, there were so many great lectures and things to enjoy in the summit. For me, the most inspiring lecture was Iris Shoor's lecture that talked about how she converted her dev team to marketers. Her last year's presentation inspired me when I worked on my interview exercise for Outbrain, so I knew that I want to hear this year's talk. 
Another great talk was Oren Ellenbogen's talk: Engineering your culture- how to keep your engineers happy. Oren analyzed the qualities engineers look for in a work place and the importance of hiring the people that fit the qualities the company can offer.

Of course, I still need to catch up all the talks I couldn't attend. I believe I'm about to find a lot more interesting talks.

Aside for the regular talks, I really enjoyed the open-space about "Why do we work so hard and move so slowly?". Probably a question that each developer has asked himself/herself sometime. It was very interesting to hear the different opinions and observations to this question. For example, a lot of people talked about all the "non-working" stuff they have to do - answering emails, attend meetings, fix bugs and so on. One of the conclusions that the group reached to was that these things are also work, they also help us progress. A lot of engineers feel that progress == writing code, and not consider other valuable tasks as work which makes them feel they move too slowly.
Also we talked about the importance of retrospecting and measuring your work and other stuff like technical-debt, methodologies and so on.

Also, let us not forget a lot of other fun activities like the ignite talks in which people tried to pass on an idea in 5 minutes, the band (with the Pizza & Beer) and the (in)famous "Hall of Shame" where people exposed their most glorified failures in their career.

So, bottom-line - I really enjoyed this summit, both as a speaker and as a listener. I would recommend other colleagues to catch the videos on youtube. I'm already waiting for next year!

Find me on Twitter: @AviEtzioni

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