Recap: Oredev 2014
Last month, I had the opportunity to travel to Malmo, Sweden for Oredev 2014. Oredev is a polyglot conference, covering topics from development, design, and testing, to brewing beer and harvesting algae as a biofuel. This year’s theme “Man Loves Machine” was demonstrated over three days where with 8 simultaneous session tracks (all in rooms named after robots). The biggest issue was figuring out which talk was the one to see, and which to skip! The saving grace of all of the great speakers and topics is that all of the presentations are recorded and are already online.
When you walked into the confernce, you stepped through a smokescreen with the conference logo imaged onto it (It was really cool).
The conference actually started two days early with a day of “mini-conferences” on the Internet of Things (IoT) and Security. I did not attend these talks, but they are all also available online at Vimeo for viewing.
Since all of the talks are available online, I would like to point out a few interesting ones that I saw (from a mobile development/performance point of view). Here are my personal highlights from the conference (click on the titles to see the videos):
- Deconstructing Her: Chris Noessel studies Interaction Design in Sci-Fi. Since so many Star Trek-like tools are now in our hands, it is an interesting way to predict the future (and the ethics around these futuristic technologies.)
- Deliberate Advice from an Accidental Career: Dan North discusses several of those 5 minute conversations that go unnoticed when you have them, but on reflection (weeks or years later) you realize the profound effect they had on you, and how your life changed because of those conversations.
- About Passion and Collaboration: Why would Nile Rodgers, a guitar player/producer, be speaking at a developer-centric conference? Nile shares the passion of his life’s work with developers, who also have a passion for their craft. The differences are not all that different. Nile reminisces on his life, and how the experiences have shaped his craft. Very cool talk!
- The Most Human Human: Brian Christian participated in the Turing test: where computers attempt to fool humans that they are human. Similarly, the humans attempt to prove they are human. Awards are given for the most human computer, and the most human human. But what does that really mean? Very cool talk on how AIs work (and fail miserably), and what that means to humanity.
In between these keynote talks were 3 days of talks, on 8 simultaneous tracks. I saw as many as I could handle in person, and downloaded many more to watch on the plane home (the 4th day of Oredev!). Here are the highlights of those presentations (in loose categories):
I’ll list the two talks I gave first (click on the titles to see the videos):
- What Makes Mobile Websites Tick: Using WebPageTest and the HTTPArchive, I tried to find commonality in mobile website speeds.
- Testing Your Mobile App for Real World Network Conditions: In this presentation, I talk about what applications look like in areas with poor network coverage (like much of the developing world). I also discuss strategies to keep your app looking awesome on great networks, but equally great and fast on slower networks.
- Mobile Apps that Work, Even When Your Network Doesn’t: Yavor from the Microsoft Azure team shows different techniques to cache data locally, so that your app works – even in airplane mode.
- Queuing Network Tasks When Offline: Tim Johnsen gave a great talk on how Flipboard Queues your data when you are going through a tunnel, and it all gets uploaded to the cloud eventually.
- Advanced TextViews and Fun with Android Shaders: Chi-Ku Chan gave 2 excellent Android development talks. She was very energetic and funny in her delivery.
- Material Design and Animations in Android by Kevin Grant: Great insights from the Tumblr developer on material design, and how he tracks UX design from other apps for inspiration in his apps.
- The Quantum Physics of Java: Really great talk on how different pieces of java code works on the processor. There is a great analogy in this talk for how long it takes to access various memory caches that will stick with me forever. Fascinating low-level stuff here.
- The Inevitability of Smart Dust: As the IoT chips get smaller, a talk looking at what won’t we study or analyze? Very intriguing look at the future.
- Wearable Apps that People Want: Kevin Grant walks through the ways to build for Android Wear and Google Glass. He talks about the differences, and how one might build a ‘killer app’ on wearable platforms.
- Beyond Smartphones: This gets into wearable technology, but also shows how quickly we are building knowledge and data in our world today. And how disruptions (like smartphones and wearables) change the face of knowledge, but eventually coalesce into standards.
- IoT Magic Show: Using playing cards with RFIDs, and other tricks, we were astounded and amazed with some of the cool tricks one can pull with Internet-enabled tools.
There was also a great Oculus Rift demo – showing how they have added Rift to roller coasters. Now your roller coaster ride has you fighting space aliens, or riding the back of a dragon!
- Confessions of an Accidental Security Tester: This talk showed so many ways for testers to look for vulnerabilities in websites and apps. Great talk for those interested in learning some of these techniques. I am going to watch it again to make sure I understand the tools and techniques. Very engaging speaker.
- Tester Love Developer: A great discussion on why it is important for developers and testers to collaborate.
- Waiter, There’s Test in My Dev: A great talk from Ebay on how they are integrating testers into dev teams, and how it made things better.
- The Web at 25: Kimberly gave a really interesting talk of her visit to CERN (the birthplace of the WWW), meeting historic figures, and rebuilding the original line interface web browser.
- Yes, Browsers Can do That: Chris Heilman gives a great talk (as usual) on HTML5 advances and how to best utilize them.
In the days preceding Oredev, there were 2 one day mini-conferences on Internet of Things and Security. These talks are also online (click on the titles to see the videos):
- Security for Developers
- Making Zombies
- Secure Coding Patterns
- Swimming with Sharks: I am the Cavalry
There is a veritable master’s degree amount of information in the 2014 Oredev Vimeo stream. I encourage you to go and see as many as you possibly can. The speakers are all amazing and passionate about their topics!
To conclude, I wanted to show cellular advertising in Sweden. These two goats look exactly like my goats. 🙂