Leetspeak: My First Developer Conference – An Experience Report

Up until yesterday, I had only gone to testing conferences – for me these were a safe familiar place. I was with my “own kind”.  So when my boyfriend asked me a few months ago if I wanted to go to Leetspeak, I surprised myself a bit by saying yes. After all, the price was very reasonable (less than 200SEK/20EUR) and it was on the weekend so I didn’t have to ask for time off work.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure what I’d get out of it. Walking into the conference venue – I didn’t really have any expectations of what it’d be like.

It was a single track conference with 6 speakers and the MC who gave the opening and closing keynotes.
Strangely enough, I found myself being a bit more shy than I usually am. During the Q&A session for Evelina’s talk, I wanted to ask her a question (can’t remember what it was now), but I was too scared to ask it as it would draw attention to myself. If I remember correctly, no women asked questions. (Edit: my memory served me wrong, there was at least one woman who asked a question)

All in all, I really enjoyed this conference and am keen to attend Leetspeak 2017.

Here are some of my key takeaways:

  • Leetspeak is a conference that is purposefully made affordable and on the weekend (in your own time). Martin Mazur explained to us that when they looked into what prevents people from coming to conferences, price and time are two key factors. So they solved this with this one (very well might I add – the conference had 600 people and was sold out).
  • The theme for the day was “Dream in years; ship in months; ship in days” (Or chip’n’dales if you didn’t hear Martin correctly). One thing they wanted to drive at this conference was being able to deliver code and to share knowledge with attendees that they could apply come Monday morning.
  • If your code can be used by others, and you create mutable objects then it can be hard to prevent others from changing these even if you say in the comments not to do so. One way to prevent this is to create immutable objects – but then creating ones that are truly immutable can be easier said than done. Jon Skeet shared a few different examples of varying levels of immutability of explained to us why each object had that level.
  • Programming Languages popularity can depend on what day of the week it is. Evelina Gabasova showed us that there was a relationship between people’s queries on Stack Overflow and what day of the week it was. Some languages were more popular during the workweek and others more popular during their free time (weekends and evening) – leading her to believe that the “free-time” languages were ones people chose to use.
Update: Here are some photos from the conference

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