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.

Wednesday 22nd February 2017

Opening Keynote
Keynote by Ben Longden in Alt/Tab (25 minutes)

A look back over 2016, what we achieved (and what we didn't), where we are today, and plans for 2017.

Account Management WTF
Talk by Tim Bailey in Alt/Tab (20 minutes)

Account management, viewed from the outside, can seem an opaque and obscure art form. I will walk you through the principles, whys and wherefores, and will try to convince you that your AM is an important ally in the profitable delivery of your project. Warning: there may be inadvertent attempts at humour.

The Evolution of Command Line
Talk by Mahdi Hastie in Shift (20 minutes)

A walkthrough of how the command line has evolved from the first shell all way to what we know and use today. We'll explore the power of command line, how the different flavours work, why they exist, what came before, and how we can use it to its full potential – with live (ish) demos.

Communicating Information
Talk by Giles Airey in Alt/Tab (20 minutes)

Communication overload is everywhere we look. From clients and project briefs – from colleagues, the internet, social media, platforms, TV, and so on. Giles will review the landscape based on his 19 years' experience in branding, marketing, and UX. Look forward to five tips on how to focus on and communicate the information that's relevant (and how to discard what is not).

A Random History of PHP
Talk by Nathaniel McHugh in Shift (20 minutes)

PHP 7 for the first time introduced simple consistent functions to access good quality pseudo-random values from within PHP applications. But many applications written for earlier PHP versions, or still supporting them, use other methods to generate random values – with mixed results. Such home-cooked methods often use unsuitable pseudo-random generators and seeding methods. We will take a look at the weird and wonderful methods developers have used in common open-source applications such as Wordpress and Magento. After digging down into the PHP source to find what the underlying functions actually rely on we will be putting on our hacking hats to try breaking an example application using bad random.

Talk by Konstantin Kudryashov in Alt/Tab (20 minutes)

How long does it take to deliver a feature? Indifferent of an answer you might give, my reaction would be 'too long'. That reaction would not be due to my overblown expectations, but rather to the fact that I believe there are no right answers to the wrong questions. This talk will attempt to explore and demonstrate how project delivery looks when the team focuses on delivering software increments rather than features.

Talk by Daniel Leech in Shift (20 minutes)

PHPBench is a benchmarking tool. In contrast to profiling tools it allows you to accurately measure and statistically analyse the real time taken for 'units of code to run'. It is strongly influenced by PHPUnit. This talk will provide an introduction to PHPBench.

Julienning Features
Talk by Jason Murphy in Alt/Tab (20 minutes)

This talk is about my journey of embracing the concept of slicing features into small, demonstrable stories with some real examples of how I came to understand it. It will then explore what can happen when features are broken down in this way.

Load Testing with Gatling and Flood.io
Talk by Mark Ross in Shift (20 minutes)

With big sales events such as Black Friday becoming increasingly popular, load testing can provide crucial information when planning for periods of increased traffic. I will relay my experience of developing Gatling load test suites for two of our clients, the hurdles and pitfalls I encountered, and the lessons learnt. It will be a mix of technical plus some non-technical aspects, such as planning a load test and dealing with customer expectations. I will also cover how we have recently started using Flood.io to provide infrastructure for running our tests and the benefits it provides.

You Have Been Ad-Served
Talk by Grace Zarczynska in Alt/Tab (20 minutes)

As a survivor of an ad-serving industry, I have decided to share my knowledge of the complicated intricacies of the online advertising industry. What is retargeting and what do media buyers do? This talk is here to help you understand what goes into making those tiny annoying boxes on websites.

Some Practical Uses for Cats
Talk by Richard Miller in Shift (20 minutes)

This talk looks at some of the practical uses of Scala Cats library. Whilst Cats' documentation focuses on the more theoretical side of functional programming you can benefit from it without learning that first. Cats will be introduced by looking at some examples of common patterns that crop up when writing Scala and how Cats can be used to clean them up. Some theory will be introduced along the way where it helps to tie these examples together.

Kanban + QA - A Match Made In Heaven?
Talk by James Sheasby Thomas in Alt/Tab (20 minutes)

QA within a Scrum context has one big problem: stories tend to become testable only towards the end of a sprint, and often all at once! This can greatly reduce the amount of testing time available for each sprint. Kanban's 'stop starting, start finishing' principle, which encourages the team to limit work in progress and collaborate to get stories across the board, is potentially an ideal solution to this problem. This talk discusses the benefits that Kanban brings to the QA process, including better dev-QA collaboration, faster feedback loops, and less wasted resource. James will also discuss the challenges and stumbling blocks of adopting Kanban for greenfield projects, and introduce a recommended workflow for effective QA within a Kanban context.

Laying It All Out
Talk by Barry Bloye in Shift (20 minutes)

This talk is about the evolution of how we present information on the web, from plain, linear documents in the early days of the web, to flexible layouts and new layout standards for the mobile age.

Lightning Talks in Alt/Tab (20 minutes)

Sign up on the day

Inviqa Engineering Culture
Keynote by Marcello Duarte, Alex Blaney in Alt/Tab (15 minutes)