is 100% Free Roche Software Conference. Invited speaker guests were: Dr. Venkat Subramaniam, Greg Young, Dino Esposito.

Adam Waltman from Roch Poland gave an interesting welcome speech, I could comprehend about internal IT Roche structure, and that price of sequencing DNA dropped from 100 mln $ since 2001 to 1k $ now (2015) and continuing that reduction in price. Basically sequenced DNA is a 3 GB file. Scientists do parental test comparing DNA of parent and a child. Except that they can give more precise predictions to inclinations of illnesses like cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Would you like to give this information to insurance companies for free?

In Dr. Venkat’s talk “The art of simplicity”, he pointed too much complexity around in our industry out. It’s hard not to agree with him. Dr. Venkat. He cited a talk of two interns after completing internship: “Dude, that company was awesome, I didn’t understand any line of code there”. What obviously is bad, bad practise. How expensive is that code to maintain in terms of time and recruitment (only the brave ones)? How fast can you find/fix a bug in that code? How big is bus factor? How big would rotation be in dev/ops teams then? Presentation included nice quotes:

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Airman’s Odyssey


“If you can’t explain something to a first year student, then you haven’t really understood it.”

― Richard Feynman

In “Core Software Design Principles” with a bunch of live coded examples Dr. Venkat was convincing people to functional programming. I love lambdas whether it’s java8, scala, groovy, javascript. I’ve seen that talk previously or cope with the essence is my daily routine which I love so listening to that increased my ego, that I’m on right path ;)

Unfortunately Greg Young couldn’t make it. That day I thought he had a hangover but after two days when I got stomach flu (what was awful) I imagined him suffering exactly as I, so I forgive the absence. In place of Greg, Dr. Venkat gave another talk about javascript (Dino gave extra talk as well). His talks and the style of them are worth see and pleasant to listen to. He started with var directive – not block scope, hoisting, new const and let from es6 and more of other unconscious traits of js.

Dino and Greg were speakers I haven’t seen live before. I discovered Dino Esposito this time. He is a great speaker with good audience connection, I mean his talk is interesting, dynamic, with lot of gestures (Italian style;) and addictive.

The first talk “The impact of UX on software architecture and design” included an example of UX misunderstanding between business and a software developer. Business may verbalize it’s main aim, desire or request but there are many ways of implementation that idea. Dino received request to write match of tennis player name with his drawn number. The first version of that application was the most trivial (and I’m sure that everyone would deliver exactly same solution) – two input boxes and submit button. Client responded that it was too slow(?!). And final app had already provided a list of player names and the grid with numbers and placeholders for names, the user had only to move names to grid cells. That was completely different UX then that Dino imagined after reading the spec first time.

The second was no less interesting “Pros and Cons of Responsive Web Design”, where Dino revealed that responsive apps send same amount of data to mobile devices as to desktop. Mobile friendly frameworks with css only hide elements on mobile. It’s no problem in Poland where you have LTE broadband network in major cities but may be a problem for the external regions or countries that don’t have LTE ( Surprisingly, I was in Dublin and had no LTE, maybe that was restricted for roaming connections – I dunno). Even though, it’s a challenge for webapp industry in following years to decrease that mobile traffic, bandwidth and at the end costs. Dino also reminded us why Google created angularjs… simply for gmail. Rendering all that stuff on server side required a lot of server power and electricity. Client side rendering helped them to make significant savings. Dino also talked about amazing service called – proxy for resized images. You link your images through proxy and it serves smaller resolution image to mobile and full to desktop. That’s great!

The venue (sound system, recording) and catering were professionally prepared, I think there was something between 200-300 attendees. This was Roche hosted event so there was hiring announcement – what was perfectly fine. That’s definitely the way to go for other companies seeking developers – invite professional speakers, fund catering, receive resumes ;) We, SoftwareMill are organising Scalar conference and are constantly looking for scala developers as well. 

  • Dawid Pura

    Venkat and Dino were perfect speakers there! I have been laughing a lot, having great time and I also get motivation to build better solutions :) I would like to had such great lecturers at my University… But it comes eventually, haha! Once again bravo for Venkat and Dino!