Lessons Learned + News in November and December 2020

Posted by Steven

This is what I learned in November and December 2020:

  1. Due to Corona, I restarted the Hacktalk as an online event. On November 3rd, a lot of the "old crew" joint the first online meeting and we enjoyed a splendid talk about rapid user testing. On December 1st, there were even more participants, watching a talk about the European Summer of Weather Code. You can find a (German) summary of those events here. When announcing them, I wanted to test if the "lean-forward" style of the HackTalk would translate to online meetings. It worked out very well! Not only did I receive good feedback, but I got the impression that more people are willing to participate in an online event in comparison to onsite. So I decided to develop the HackTalk into a dual event. In the future, every meeting will be available via Jitsi. Additionally, in post-corona times, we will also meet onsite in Braunschweig. I'm looking forward to testing if this is technically feasible. Delivering OK-ish audio quality will be especially challenging. With that setup, I hope to combine the cozy onsite feeling of the "traditional" HackTalk with more exposure of the event and also more potential speakers. That is the beauty of online events: Everyone around the world could be a speaker! If you want to present something at the HackTalk, you are very much welcome! Just write me an email at steven@stevenschwenke.de, I'm looking forward to getting in touch with you! A little constraint, though: I don't want to transform the event too rapidly, so right now I'm only looking for German speakers.
  2. In preparation for the new online format of the HackTalk, I purchased a new microphone, the Marantz Professional Umpire. The difference in recording quality is amazing. Even with some distance between my face and the microphone, I got no background noise at all and the overall quality is way better. If you work remotely (who doesn't these days?), do your coworkers a favor and buy yourself a nice microphone. It is worth the ~50€. 
  3. Participating in a We Try Agile meeting, I learned about the remote games skribbl.io, Escape the BOOM and Spaceteam. If you want to have some fun with your (not necessarily) remote-working team, try these.
  4. I learned that in Spring MVC, @PathVariable with a dot gets trunkated.
  5. In the last weeks, I participated in putting together an offer for a customer. That cost a huge chunk of my everyday working hours, which lowered my opportunities to learn technology. However, it was also a great learning experience in areas I'm not involved in otherwise.

I read no books that should be mentioned here.

This is what I'm working on right now / planning to do in the near future / other stuff:

  1. Together with another club member, I'm working on a new design for IT Hub.
  2. The big project I'm working on since months is still in progress and did not meet the deadline of "end 2020". That's OK, though. I'm looking forward to releasing it in early 2021.

(Photo: adrian825http://www.istockphoto.com/photo/monthly-management-reports-36658768)