Top Takeaways from All Things Open Raleigh 2019

Oct 24, 2019 2:55:42 PM


Last week, over 4,000 technologists attended 

All Things Open 2019 in Raleigh, North Carolina, the largest gathering of open source professionals on the East Coast. In partnership with Open Source, the 3-day event explores “open source, open tech, and the open web in the enterprise” and offers fresh and seasoned web professional more than 250 sessions to learn from. We've been big fans of All Things Open for a few years. Here are our top takeaways from All Things Open 2019. 


Step Up Your Mobile Testing Game with Open Source Tools 

Mobile platform testing, in general, is difficult to navigate. Even more complicated is effectively architecting applications to ensure that they are testable in the first place. Fortunately, there are a number of Open Source tools to help improve the process for both testers and developers. In the session Mobile Testing and Testability with Isaac Murchie, Head of Open Source at Sauce Labs, we learned useful strategies for making a mobile app more easily testable.

“I was excited to learn about new technologies and strategies to aide the testing process, specifically, additional Sauce Labs functionalities and applications.”
- Derek Clifton, Smashing Boxes QA Engineer 

Senior Mobile Application Engineer at Smashing Boxes, Matt Wood shared 3 highlights from Isaac's talk:

Grit is required to change the demographic of Software Engineers and Developers

Mo Hampton inspired the audience in her session BREAKING INTO TECH: FROM THE TRENCHES with the witty re-telling of her meandering, but meaningful, non-traditional path to becoming a Software Engineer at General Dynamics IT. The session catered to historically underrepresented demographics, new developers from non-tech industries, developers starting second careers, re-entering the workforce, and those who have attended coding boot camps. Hampton shared the stage with experienced hiring managers who provided insider-information on the technical recruiting and application process. She closed her time by inviting members of the audience to share and learn from the experiences of one another, planting the seeds for a community of support. After attending the session, Derek Clifton, QA Engineer at Smashing Boxes, commented:

"It was really interesting because her [Mo Hampton's] previous career in military was a very successful one and she basically walked away from all of it to do something she was passionate about. After the talk, there was time for people to speak out about their experiences as well. There were several hiring managers in there and they gave a lot of good/helpful tips for people trying to get that first job and breaking in. A lot of what was said reminded me of my journey starting out and even now still learning." 

How to approach automating JavaScript testing tools in a constantly-evolving world

While JavaScript has many benefits, its constant evolution is often the source of enormous development challenges. Although it is the king of the client side programming the web, the weak typing and lack of tooling can make changes unpredictable. Dr. Venkat Subramaniam, Founder of Agile Developer and AgileLeaner.com, presented AUTOMATED TESTING JAVASCRIPT. This session highlighting automated testing tools and strategies that can lend a hand when dealing with the ever-changing nature of JavaScript. Geoff Register, a Software Developer at Smashing Boxes, shared Dr. Subramaniam’s analogy on the proper approach to automated JavaScript testing tools:

“Integration testing to an app is like salt in a meal. You do not NEED salt. Too much salt on a meal can overdo it and one cannot have a meal of just salt. This is to say that the right amount of quality testing added at the right time and to the appropriate components will be a complement to an app.” 

Object-oriented programming must find a sweet spot between architecture and design

POLLY WANT A MESSAGE, a talk underlining the importance of embracing the opinionated stance object-oriented languages take on arranging code, was presented by Sandi Metz, author of Practical Object-Oriented Design in Ruby and 99 Bottles of OOP. Smashing Boxes' Geoff Register shared 3 thoughtful insights from the session:

  • Object-oriented Programming might more poignantly be called Message-oriented Programming. We anthropomorphize objects, and if you were to take that metaphor further, what makes anything work well, isn’t necessarily the object (or person) but the way in which they communicate.
  • One approach to good development is to be sensitive to when the architecture should shift to design. Too much design upfront will yield poor architecture. Too much architecture without design will eventually lead to being unable to design what clients want/need. Finding the sweet spot and knowing when to weigh more on one is important.
  • Easy and simple are mutually exclusive. The easier a stride may be in the short term, the more complicated and convoluted it might be in the long run and vice-versa. This may be another way of saying “days of troubleshooting/refactoring will save hours of planning”.

Did you attend All Things Open this year? What was your favorite session?

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