I was present at BDX I/O 2019, what about you?

Posted on Tuesday November 26, 2019
Category: Events
Tags: bdxio ; gekko ; repost

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Words of notice: This is an article I wrote for Gekko. Many thanks for their consent to sharing this story here.

The Bordeaux Developer Experience stylized logo
The Bordeaux Developer Experience stylized logo

In Bordeaux, November the 15th of 2019 was not a rough day. The weather was usual for the season, grayish and not too cold. What was not usual was that November the 15th of 2019 was also the 6th edition of the Bordeaux Developer Experience and for the first time, Gekko was a partner of the event and our team was holding a stand there.

Freshly arrived at the Bordeaux Convention Center at noon, I swiftly received the event band, a tote bag containing some goodies, was promptly introduced to the place and next directed to the coat check. By that time, I already met the familiar faces of some of the Bordeaux tech Meetups organizers.

VCZ… Exposed?

The Gekko stand
The Gekko stand — Credits: Gekko

Noon was also the time participants gathered to have a catered lunch together. Lunchtime is the perfect moment to meet with familiar faces and to learn what happened during the first half of the event, including about the opening keynote and the first set of conferences. By the way, all the conferences can be found on the 2019 playlist on the YouTube page of the event.

All throughout the day, our team met with handfuls of the eight hundred and fifty people who booked a seat at the event among which there were engineers, managers and students. Curiously, even though our stand was light in terms of decoration or animation, it was unique in the sense that it was possible to interact with the individuals that wished to learn about the company, its services and the expertise of our team.

The actual experience

The Exhibition room got crowded
The Exhibition room got crowded — Credits: Vincenzo Scalzi (author)

BDX I/O is the convention of the South West of France tailored for IT professionals. This sixth edition welcomed more than 900 enthusiasts for a day of discovery. Speakers and attendees flock from all over the country and further away to learn with their peers.

The crux of the event is the experience; one could learn by attending workshops or by chatting with the passersby or the organizations.

A convention is also an occasion for entertainment; numerous are the stands that arrived with animations. Virtual Reality, skills, raffle draws, all promising neat prizes. In the end, even if one did not come back home with a gift, they enjoyed themselves. Moreover, one of the stands offered the possibility to donate to a charity.

Nevertheless, BDX I/O goes beyond animations and discussions. These conventions are also the place to be for higher quality presentations. I spent my afternoon in the following three different talks:

Web hooks are definitely not trivial
Web hooks are definitely not trivial — Credits: Vincenzo Scalzi (author)

Brains have tackled web hooks from all sides for a while now. They represent a way to connect applications backed by plain HTTP requests. It felt like the future until engineers realized what treasures of complexity could arise from such a simple solution.

This presentation explores the traps to avoid to assemble a solid web hook server. It also mentions resource provisioning, decoupling, failure strategies and security. All things considered, it is a valuable presentation if you wish to explore the subject of getting started with web hooks.

The right components at the right time
The right components at the right time — Credits: Vincenzo Scalzi (author)

A different stage, a different domain. Angular is without the shadow of a doubt one of the leading web front-end frameworks that reinforced the new paradigm shift regarding the approaches to build user interfaces and to write JavaScript.

Indeed, by relying on TypeScript, Angular made a powerful ally that enabled the teams to iterate faster on their product, delivering polished capabilities at each release. One of them came to light in this conference: lazy loading.

Why should a browser load an entire package when just a portion would satisfy its users? By leveraging the deeply integrated Angular router it is possible to migrate to a lazily loaded component system that frees computing and network resources for end clients to put them to better use.

Writing tests just got easier
Writing tests just got easier — Credits: Vincenzo Scalzi (author)

Finally, the last one of the day that I attended: writing tests on a hexagonal software architecture. This presentation started like a discussion between two engineers and evolved into a live-coding session. Once in a while, a new abstract concept led the way to increasingly relevant, expressive and concise tests.

Even though this conference generally focuses on testing, software architecture is the common thread here. From single to multi domain testing, from units of work to entire workflows and scenarios, the presentation goes micro to macro and keeps track of maintainability along the way.


The wonderful team behind the event
The wonderful team behind the event — Credits: Vincenzo Scalzi (author)

At 5 p.m., the Exhibition room was shutting its doors since the end of the convention was fast approaching but I decided to stay though, for the closing keynote.

Two e-sports experts that created schools and trained teams after teams of players presented this keynote. In the presentation, they described their passion, its history, the attractiveness of their business, their will to expand to new places and to change the way gaming is generally perceived.

After that keynote, the BDX I/O 2019 organizers went on stage for the closing words, inviting the rest of the team for a quick unplanned photo shoot by yours truly.

Cow – abunga!
Cow – abunga! — Credits: Vincenzo Scalzi (author)

Moments after, the main auditorium has spilled its attendees on the hall. After one last photograph, I retrieved my belongings at the coat check and left the Convention Center. This experience arrived at its term, but it was memorable and participants deepened their knowledge.

Though, was it over? Of course not! Organizers, speakers and attendees celebrated this event.

The event shirts
The event shirts — Credits: Vincenzo Scalzi (author)

Predictably, as with any Friday evening, the place was extremely crowded. My presence at the after party has been rewarded, though: I have been offered an exclusive shirt from the event.

Camembert with a touch of background mascot
Camembert with a touch of background mascot — Credits: Vincenzo Scalzi (author)

To conclude, any great event should end this way: behind a succulent roasted Camembert with nuts and honey.

I sincerely would like to express my gratitude to Gekko for having offered our team in Bordeaux the opportunity to attend this event and I hope next year BDX I/O will become even better!