Last week I attended Øredev, a software developer conference hosted in Malmö. With 7 parallel tracks and 17 sessions per track there’s about as many ways to go through Øredev as there are synapses in the human brain. Speaking of brains, mine’s a bit fudgy after the intensive days of conferencing. Therefore, this post will be a bit all over the place, but can serve as a selection of my favorite talks.

Intro to Data Science

Dalya Gartzman held a wholesome presentation on how to get started with Data Science. Through her demonstrations of her own creations, she made it not only seem possible but also very fun to get into the field. If you want to get started with Data Science, have a look at the talk from Dalya or head straight into the resources she presented: word2vec, CS231n, Keras, PyTorch.

Creating Escher paintings using Elm

Another inspiring talk was the one by Einar Høst. As a fan of Gödel, Escher, Bach by Hofstadter, the mention of Escher caught my attention and on top of that Elm is an interesting language. In my notes, I wrote ”What is going on?” and not much more as I had a hard time following the live coding experience. That being said, creating the Escher-inspired art did not require a huge amount of code and I did appreciate the aesthetically pleasing end results. Thankfully, there’s an online workshop available which I hope to go through some day.

TDD in JavaScript

The author of The Art of Unit Testing, Roy Osherove, is writing a new book on TDD with JavaScript. Starting off with the opening line ”Jeg snakker litt norsk”, Roy was a fun and entertaining speaker, with interesting thoughts and opinions:

  • Random input to a unit test is a bad idea, as it requires calculation of the outcome
  • He’s a happy Wallaby customer. Wallaby is a JavaScript TDD tool which indeed looked nice with its fancy colors and instant feedback.
  • Test your test by writing failing production code before writing the final, working, code.
  • VS Code is nice, IntelliJ is better

If you’d like an alternative to Osherove’s books, I’d recommend Obey the Testing Goat by Harry Percival. It’s free for online reading, open sourced on GitHub and covers git and deployment in a good way.

Product Owners – An Impossible Task?

Allan Kelly started off by asking the audience ”Raise of hands – How many of you are working with a PO?” Almost everyone raised their hand. ”Okay, and how many of you think you’re working with an excellent PO?” Almost everyone took their hand down… So that felt a little awkward. Allan then continued on explaining why the task of a PO is almost impossible, and how the task can be made feasible. For details, his talk is available on Vimeo and he’s written a blog post on the topic.

Thanks to the talk, I learned a new english term: ”dogsbody”, meaning someone who does drudge work. (which a PO shouldn’t be doing.) Drudge work would probably translate to ”hundgöra” in Swedish. Øredev had their own dog, Øredev Øredevsson, present during parts of the conference which I unfortunately never had the chance to see.

Scrum Metrics

Stephanie Gasche talked about how to quantify the work of a scrum master. Since I don’t have a Scrum master in my team, I had to take out bits and pieces from the talk and apply it to my own situation. One of the proposed metrics was an interruption tally to keep track of how many times a developer gets interrupted during a day. Since interruptions seems to be something that builds connections/culture/comfort at my workplace, the goal should perhaps not be to avoid interruptions but rather improve the quality of them.


Erlend Oftedal (maintainer of retire.js) presented various ways of attacking a modern web app. A little scary, but interesting. He presented a couple of ways to keep up to date with recent hacking activity, namely by following https://hackerone.com/hacktivity and https://twitter.com/disclosedh1. The attacks included XSLT exploits, template injection, web cache poisoning and much more.

Online Communication

Dr Joanne Meredith presented interesting findings from her studies of online communication. How great is it that smileys, emojis and GIFs have helped us manage the otherwise missing queues of body language in instant messaging. This was probably my favorite talk during the conference (tied with Yuri Malishenko’s talk on Visual thinking) as it brought up many familiar situations I come across in my everyday life of communicating online.

Advent of Code

Eric Wastl comedically explained how his estimate of number of users (70) for Advent of Code turned out to be totally wrong as the project got 5000 users in the first few days and now have grown to hundreds of thousands or so. Eric’s talk was quite timely as advent is just a couple of weeks away. I did a couple of problems last year, and hope to give it another go this year. If you wanna join forces, let me know!

In Conclusion

The best part about Øredev was probably not the conference in itself, but getting to enjoy it together with my colleagues. Being able to have someone to discuss the latest talk with, and relate it to how things work at our own company, made the experience so much richer. I’m very grateful for the amazing people at this awesome company (that being Sectra if you didn’t know already) that I work for.

  • Food 3/5
  • Entertainment 4/5
  • Organization 5/5
  • Will I recommend Øredev to my friends? Yes, in 9 out of 10 times.

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