This week, I had the pleasure to attend the codetalks commerce conference in Berlin, I would like to share some insights. My time there was a blast, I met interesting people which – as usual if you meet new people – helped me to explore new things and get some different light on things I though I already know well.
It was organized with a spirit of sharing experiences: Most speakers shared the story of their projects, what went good, what went bad, what unpredicted actions occurred? In exchange, they could profit from others’ learning in different topics… like this, everybody wins, right?
I liked the openness of the participants here. Facing the pressure that the latest speed of digital transformation brings on the table, the IT crowd seems to team up in order to be able to compete on the global market instead of competing within each other here – I like this mood very much!
By the way: The idea to host a conference in a cinema is brillant as the infrastructure fits perfectly: You have comfortable seats, huge screens in good quality and people are happy to have Nachos & popcorn at hand all day long 🙂
For me, there was also a lot of content about organizational transformations, which I liked. They guys from OTTO for example gave a pretty impressive session how they transformed their IT organization in teams with product responsibility and how this improves the employee’s identification with the product. When you are working in the team responsible for the “customer” microservice for example and that team is also responsible for the operations of this service, you have an intrinsic motivation that your phone is not ringing too often because of new incidents.
Another motivation for this transformation was the ability to hire new developers or work with freelancers. If your software is a legacy monolith with technology from the last century, it will be especially hard to find people on the market who are a) technically capable of working on this thing and b) WANT to work with this old ugly monster. So you need to update your software assets to be compatible with the developers out there on the market .
My honest highlight was the talk of Roland from Never Code Alone. I didn’t see someone so passionate about a topic while being an entertaining speaker with humour in a long time. His core message: Developers, software tests improve your health! If your development process is well organized and tests are configured properly, you don’t need to be scared before every commit to production.
He shared his experiences with burnout and how he now wants to change working conditions for developers – including the stop of working with old legacy software, but making new fancy stuff instead! Fancy stuff is a lot more fun, what is more fun makes you happier, so your life will improve – and also your development skills! Luckily, the talk was recorded at the last code.talks in Hamburg, so you can watch it online (but in German language only):
Attending such conferences is always freshening my head up. This time, I find it especially interesting because it was a group of people without direct SAP connection. While SAP is opening up its technology more and more in the last years, the web-development is still not SAP’s home turf.
But the challenges are the same as in the SAP-/Enterprise-Backend-IT-world: The importance of good IT is ever increasing, the variety of technology that needs to be mastered is growing, it‘s challenging to have the right skills available in the own teams.
I think who will succeed in establishing the right culture in his company to empower IT employees to be curious about new technologies, improve the status quo, invest in education will win in the next years. The other ones who are blocking the change too much will lose. I do hope that we in Germany will make this cultural change happen quick enough before the over-mighty US companies take it all for them.
But a conference like this gives me good hope for that! 💪🏽
So, dear developer friends, let’s do great things !