Our regular internal conference brings together all of our offices to share their knowledge and experiences. Dev Days started out as a way for developers to meet each other and learn about the cool things their colleagues were working on. We’ve since expanded it to welcome project managers, QA, business analysts and more, to further collaboration.

Friday 9th December 2016

Keynote by Mahdi Hastie in Alt/Tab (15 minutes)

Introduction and welcome from the CTO

Inviqa Fairy Dust and Magic
Keynote by Ollie Maitland in Alt/Tab (30 minutes)

What is buying innovation? Our Innovation Practice Manager, Ollie Maitland, shows a way of thinking and frameworks we use for our clients to aide innovation. From Design Thinking to Lean Startups to Inviqa's Business First approach what is the common link and how can we make this understandable?

Everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask about the Consultancy Practice
Talk by Nicholas Weber in Alt/Tab (35 minutes)

Inviqa’s Consultancy Practice was established earlier this year. This talk will focus on why the Practice was created, attempt to define what ‘consultancy’ is, and show how the Practice is designed to benefit both clients and Inviqa. You’ll learn the about ‘the story so far’, and about the Consultancy Practice’s future ambitions.

Accessibility testing crash course
Talk by James Sheasby Thomas in Shift (35 minutes)

Accessibility is often the 'last mile' of web development. If the client won't pay for it and there's not enough time to squeeze it in, it probably won't get done. Even when accessibility is included in a project, it can sometimes feel like a box-ticking exercise. It doesn’t have to be that way! In this talk, you’ll learn about the disabilities that affect how people can use the web, and the key building block needed for an accessible website. James will also introduce some tools and approaches for quick and effective accessibility testing. Finally, James will provide some business justifications and real-world context to help you advocate accessibility to colleagues and client stakeholders.

Virtual Reality is the Future
Workshop by Kieren Evans in Esc (2 hours, 20 minutes)

This is a hands-on experience, with five to ten minutes per person. Take a look at some videos: https://store.steampowered.com/steamvr Explore Vesper Peak! Through techniques such as photogrammery, real life locations can be brought into the virtual realm and enhanced. For instance, the top of the Vesper Peak mountain in America on a summer’s day, with an interactive robot puppy who you can play fetch with! Draw, paint and sculpt in 3D! Using fantastical colours, or fire and sparkle paints, create in 3D with Google Tiltbrush, then walk around your creations! Defend your spaceship against waves of drones! For a more active experience, Space Pirate Trainer has you ducking and dodging laser fire from increasing waves of drones. Destroy them before they land three hits on you! Defend your castle gates against paper attackers! From atop your battlements, use your bow and arrow to stop attackers from destroying your castle gate. Feel the stretch of the bow as you prepare to unleash arrows against your paper foes!

Making static content pages fast! An introduction to the Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
Talk by Edward Chen in Alt/Tab (20 minutes)

Our mobile web experience is still frustratingly slow. See what some of tech giants are doing including an overview of the Google Accelerated Mobile Pages Project and how to get started building compatible pages.

Git's Guts
Talk by Sam Burns in Shift (20 minutes)

These days almost all developers use Git on a daily basis. Many of us learnt a few relevant commands by rote, but a deep understanding of what it is actually doing seems to be a rarity. Git's man pages frequently lie about what is really going on, and the majority of third-party documentation is similarly misleading. This isn't a 'how to' talk on Git. I won’t give you a list of commands to learn. There won’t be any advice on merging vs. rebasing, or on continuous integration. The goal of this talk is to give a clear, factual insight into what the various Git commands actually do, and what is actually being stored in the commit graph. Afterwards, you may be able to make sense of a Git problem more easily, but I’ll be focusing on understanding the tool, not on the best way to use it.

Talking in Examples
Talk by Ciaran McNulty, Ben islin in Alt/Tab (20 minutes)

A talk about requirements and acceptance criteria: Why do we try and write scenarios? What is an example and what is a rule? How do we have these conversations efficiently with customers? When should we not do it?

Commits tell a story, squash them.
Talk by James Halsall in Shift (20 minutes)

Your commit history should tell a story about your code, and rebasing is our best friend when writing this story. During this talk I will highlight the benefits of rebasing, squashing, writing great commit messages (and how squashing makes it easier to write them) and how to do all of this safely within a team. I will also look at the reasons that some engineers are against the idea rebasing and squashing, and why I believe the benefits of doing so far outweigh the drawbacks.

How To Ship It (in October)
Talk by wodor in Alt/Tab (20 minutes)

Story about extracting business value till last drop and choosing technical solutions that fit the problem.

Early QA for better delivery with ContinuousPipe
Talk by Samuel ROZE, Sweta Pandey in Shift (20 minutes)

The technical quality of a project is a thing. The value brought by the Quality Assurance team is beyond the technical side, it's on the user-side: the quality brought to the final user.The usual development workflow involves the QA (from our teams, the POs or the client's teams) at the end of the sprints or even after, in a separated stream, which have many drawbacks. By using ContinuousPipe on a project, we can drastically reduce the overall lead time and at the same time improving the quality of the delivered application. We'll see how we can use this continuous deployment tool and its impact on the delivery from the developers to the product owners' point of view.

Generating experiments for your site using heuristic testing
Workshop by Mike Body, Grant Kemp in Esc (45 minutes)

Good afternoon dev day attendee, your mission should you choose to accept it, is to change the world, or at least find ways to change an Inviqa customer web site for the better, in 45mins. Race against your teammates and be mesmerised by Grant Kemp’s photoshop skills. As always, should you or any of the team be caught or killed during the process, the CEO will disavow any knowledge of your actions. Your mind will explode after the 45mins. This interactive workshop aims to help you learn new ways to identify and write up measurable improvements to the usability of the web site you are working on.

Ping Pong, Pubs, and Pool: How team spirit can help improve a difficult project
Talk by David Herbert in Alt/Tab (20 minutes)

This talk aims to convey the challenges of working on a difficult project, the effect this can have on both individual and team morale, and ways morale and team spirit can be improved to help make a project more tolerable.

Improving the Developer Experience with Continuous Pipe
Talk by Tony Piper in Shift (20 minutes)

We'll talk about how using Continuous Pipe to host the development environment affects three metrics - time to onboard a developer, downtime per month and page refresh time - and how this helps our developers have an environment that's a delight to use.

Why constructive feedback matters
Talk by Amelia Bradshaw in Alt/Tab (20 minutes)

A talk on why we all tend to only give nice feedback, but how it's actually really important to give constructive feedback. How to overcome the awkwardness of this, how to give it well, and how to receive it.

Databases and Dragons
Talk by Rupert Jones in Shift (20 minutes)

In this day and age of database abstraction libraries it's easy to forget about what's going on underneath the hood. Why would you want to know, when the library takes care of it all? Unfortunately, for the unwary there are some gotchas that can bring your application to a grinding halt, especially when you've got more than a few users on your system. This talk looks at a few of the issues you might run up against and how to plan your application around them, or at least be aware of them when it comes time to try and diagnose your struggling application.

Navigating a Git Repository
Workshop by Sam Burns in Esc (45 minutes)

A hands-on Git workshop

The Future of Content and the Unknown Consumer
Talk by richard jones in Alt/Tab (35 minutes)

We've been talking about headless CMS systems for a while but much of the focus has been on javascript frameworks to present websites - that's one application but it's not the big opportunity. The market is starting to talk CaaS (Content as a Service), in which content is created and managed independently of the place it will be consumed. CaaS becomes especially important when considering the Internet of Things or more traditional end points such as websites and mobile apps. In this session I'll be presenting some "future gazing" and some real world examples of current applications. This is where I think the content practice will be going in the future. This is a version of the “critically acclaimed” presentation mentioned in Isobel’s marketing update. No pressure.

Event driven architecture with Magento and Scala
Talk by Liviu, Marcus Hayward in Shift (35 minutes)

muscles? Well look no further. In this talk, we will present how the Talkmobile team managed to integrate a Scala application into a pre-existing, fully developed, mammoth of a Magento project. We will explain step by step how this was implemented, discussing the architectural decisions and why they were necessary. Finally, we will go through how you can achieve this on your project, regardless the platform; Drupal, Symfony, Magento.