It’s already two days ago, that SoCraTes is over and there is still this cosy feeling that it left. It was one of those memorable conferences that you know you wanna return to. Oh, an un-conference it was! And that’s the point, it was not the “one (wo)man standing and telling you the truth” conference. It was a “kick off a topic and let’s all see where it goes” conference. No speakers announced before, no fixed topics – just software craftsmanship as a rough framing.

Open Space/Mind

A BarCamp is just the same concept. Every morning you have an empty grid with rooms and time slots which want to be filled. And they get filled, by all the attendees. And after 1h or less you have a schedule that offers something for everyone. See the schedule for day1. It was hard to select which session to go to. Not only because of all the interesting topics but also because you knew that every session would engage you. If not, the law of two feet said that you just carry yourself somewhere else.
Of course the hot topics were around people and crafting software. But also swimming, biking, running, watching stars, music and various kinds of gaming were done. And all just because someone kicked it of and people joined. I think every conference should be this style, it’s way more engaging and also encouraging people to take part, which makes it so valuable.

I did only learn

The very first day I learned about offline git, how you pass around commits on a USB stick. Then I joined a redis session, touched it and got a feeling for what it feels like to use redis and following that of course the obligatory discussion (accompanying NoSQL) about the right use case for the right tool. “TDD is dead” was a topic at every table at some point. And the awesome feeling of not rejecting all thoughts but accepting them as stimulation to think further is just what very well stands for the mindset of the people at this conference. But of course the answer to dead or not dead was not even worth discussing :). EventSourcing and CQRS had been one of the hot topics too, as I have seen this going around a lot lately, actually at all conferences I had been to this year. I tried to contribute a little bit with experience from the JavaScript world, especially on Sunday by taking part in the Agora (which is the system behind hackathon.

Hacking with JS test frameworks

In the hackathon on Sunday, which ran parallel to a Legacy CodeRetreat, we wanted to do some JavaScript. Of course there was no discussion that after we had prototyped and knew how to use the technology (reactjs in this case) we fire up the test framework. But first we fought the obligatory packaging fight, shall we use AMD, CommonJS, requirejs, browserify or plain old script tags. I think this very well allowed everyone to learn something, but it also made obvious that JavaScript just requires some boilerplate.
Funny enough I had been working on integrating mocha and jasmine into TDDbin over the last days and therefore felt I can contribute. Since the Agora project already uses mocha that was the way to go. And it felt right. Cool, so let’s use it. And I guess the rest I have to put into a separate blog post, I can see this getting out of hand :).


If you care about your craft and want to get better at it, go to SoCraTes 2015!
Thanks to all the team behind this conference and all attendees who made it so outstanding. Find out more on