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Disclaimer: I’m white, straight, or better say cissexual, able-bodied, married man and I have a child.

.concat() is new web conference organized by local enthusiasts in Salzburg, Austria. I’ve decided to attend it mainly because it is relatively close to place where I live, it is not expensive and it had few big names.

Biggest of them, of course, was Douglass Crockford, author of “JavaScript: The Good Parts” and important ideological contributor to ECMAScript.

His keynote was mostly shortened version of the talks he usually gives on Javascript and programming in general. You can watch it online. Small difference was that in the end he showed some of the good parts that are coming in ECMA 6 standard. And definitely it is different experience to watch someone alive than watching video.

You can see complete schedule with descriptions here: http://lanyrd.com/2015/concat/schedule/

Next two talks were “Ain’t No Part Like a Third-Party Javascript Party” and “How Teaching Kids Made Me a Better Developer”. I enjoyed two of them for different reasons. First was quick run on all kinds of issues that can be caused by different JS libs in strangest possible ways. It makes you think how dangerous is the world for any code you want to deliver to be used by someone else. Second talk was entertaining and revealing on how kids question things that we take for granted. I’m sure if we trusted less what we write and really find why things work the way they work we would be better developers as well.

Next two I listened to were “Tonight We’re Gonna Code Like It’s 1999: Designing Responsive Emails” and “No RSVP Required: Asynchronous Messaging”. First one was just not for me. I never worked with e-mail templates and I wish I never will. All I understood is that e-mail templating is pain. Didn’t grasp anything useful for myself from that talk at all. Second was list a terribly boring university lection I wish I would have skipped for “Credit Card Walks into a Bar” jokes.

Lunch was good. Nothing too special, typical Austrian lunch, but this is a great plus for the conference.

No More Tools” was all about the tools. Friend who came with me was expecting that this will be about ways to avoid using tools like VS, or avoiding burden of hundreds of JS libs. Instead it was a whole bunch of tools being recommended for all kinds of things. Although most of the tools make sense I don’t understand how this helps to avoid tools.

Useful Performance Metrics” was actually useful as we have some performance issues in project I’m working on. Takeaway for me was idea of having performance thresholds that are nothing too specific but should make a team pay attention to performance should any threshold be crossed.

I also liked “Containerized Applications with Docker” very much. Docker is really great tool for doing lots of quick virtualization. Plus this was one of very few presentations with live demo. I’m really glad there are people who have stomach to demo live. This is really appreciated.

The Meaning of Words” was a depressing talk. Or at least presenter advertised it in such a way. Maybe pace in which it was presented was slow and looked like presenter didn’t do any eye contact with the audience. But talk was about a better programming word. And there was some hope in it.

Then there was a round of lightning talks. But all of them were prepared beforehand. Some of them were quite good as people showed what they worked on. Some were ridiculous or absolutely hilarious as people tried to squeeze so much into 5 minutes. There was one person who tried to demonstrate LED board controlled by some JavaScript. I really wanted to see what it does, but unfortunately the person didn’t manage to control anxiety and things went out of control.

I intentionally mentioned that geek person. I think that introverts, real nerds are having hard time to get better conditions for themselves when it comes to careers and social networking. This leads us to “A Talk About Nothing” which wasn’t about nothing at all. It was about equality and diversity in technology industry. I really liked the way this presentation was delivered. It was a great performance. But I have some disagreements with contents. Lets start with some questions. Are women underrepresented in tech? – Yes. Are women less interested in tech? – I guess, yes. Isn’t it logical that less women work in tech? – Work it out for yourself. I’m of opinion that this is logical. I would honestly like to see more women developers.

I’m of opinion that representation in tech should be proportional and not influenced artificially. Though we should encourage everyone. Should there be more gays and lesbian in tech? Sorry, I use my privilege not to care. I simply don’t want to know if someone is a gay. What does it have to do with tech skills? Should things we do be not discriminating and working well for all people, including disabled. – Of course.

To be honest, I think it is in human nature to care more about self and self-alike than others. Isn’t it how people evolved and survived? I’m convinced that people should tolerate each other and be completely aware of inequality and different minorities and respect them, but I also think that nothing should be taken to any extreme level. In a sense that tolerance has its limits. Would you tolerate a guest who does a mess at your home? Every stick has two ends. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for my daughter being software engineer who lives in a better world where she can travel the world and see no poverty or inequality and where women are equally represented everywhere, but I’m not happy about the world where doing crap to your body or weird behaviour is considered normal.

Unfortunately some feminists will say that I’m just another “wrong” person. That’s why I put that disclaimer at the top so it is clear who wrote this post so in case you are one you can ignore my thoughts.

Overall, conference was very good. I will seriously consider to attend concat 2016 should there be one. I will do better home work on presentations to always be on the right track.

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