Code archaeology is one of the most important skills you’ll ever learn as a developer. How many times have you been thrown into projects with no environment setup, no documentation, and very little support from coworkers? Being able to quickly work out how an application is structured so that you can start making changes is a sought after skill for many employers.

In this talk, we’ll take an open source project that we’ve never seen before and work through the steps required to get it up and running so that we can start working on features. Once you know the steps, they can be applied to any project in any language to get you contributing in no time.


Comments are closed.

Thijs at 16:57 on 27 Jan 2017

The talk focuses on a lot rather simple and obvious methods which most programmers already know.

The description of the talk is a bit misleading. There is no actual debugging of a real open source project. But a lot common knowledge slides. It's a beginner talk, perhaps mention this in the description.

The delivery is ok, great slides, but throughout the presentation the tone of voice is a bit monotone for me.

Matt Cockayne at 16:58 on 27 Jan 2017

Very fun an engaging! the story that was woven around the content was well thought out and brilliantly delivered. Props for dressing up like Indiana Jones!

Michael Heap (Speaker) at 17:01 on 27 Jan 2017

@Thijs - I agree that the abstract needs updating, sorry for misleading you. It turns out that most open source projects have excellent getting started guides, which makes delivering a talk on how to navigate open source projects much harder.

Robert Basic at 17:18 on 27 Jan 2017

Bits and pieces of useful information what to do when you land in an old project that's new to you. Legacy applications can be very difficult to figure out and piece together, and the presenter gave advice how to deal with them from their own personal experience.

Actual examples would have been nice to have.

All in all, a good beginner talk.

Robert Basic at 17:21 on 27 Jan 2017

Oh, I forgot. The presenter made an excellent point that we as programmers read a lot more code than we actually write, so knowing how to get around a new, or even any kind of project, is a really useful skill to have for any programmer.

Van Belle Jonathan (Grummfy) at 18:14 on 27 Jan 2017

I appreciate the talk but it could go faster for the introduction to the topics. and speaking a bit faster could help to make it more pleasant. otherwise I learn some tools. .

Did I learn anything new? No.
Did I hear a new tool or two? Yes.
Still great talk with a nice flow, and Indiana Jones theme gives and extra star.

What an amazingly narrated story, I loved the theme! The music background went a bit wrong because the music was too loud, something to think about next time but not a big deal.

As someone who currently struggles to go trough our huge codebase I got inspired and left with a feeling that I can do this, and I can dig in. Thank you for inspiring me and making me think more positively about something I have been struggling with a lot lately, I really needed that and this talk was probably the most helpful talk for me this conference.

Also thank you for speaking clearly, projecting your voice well and articulating really really well so that we could understand your accent, it does make a big difference to me.

Koen Cornelis at 14:44 on 28 Jan 2017

Good talk, but you took the analogy too far. At times continuing with the analogy hampered the explanation and thus understanding.
Also a slight remark: intonation could be better, especially in the field of monotony.

Good story with a great theme with some nice tips. Your accent made it a bit harder to understand sometimes but I got the point anyway.

Nice idea for the theme, but I agree with @Thijs - it would be good to mention that this is a beginner talk. Also you should work on the voice tone and possibly gesticulation.

Good talk overall, found some interesting ideas and tools

First off, loved the theme, story and your costume to do the talk. That made it a bit more unique from the rest.
Secondly, the content. Now I agree that most of it is beginner wise. But that's ok. There are always new people coming to the conference. So we need these kind of talks as well.
Third, the accent made it a bit more challenging. The tone of voice was indeed a bit monotone for me as well. But those are things that can be improved by training :)
All in all, good job!

After reading some comments, I do have to agree with some people in saying that the talk itself was good, but I expected a bit more from it. Now, this could be my fault (for expecting too much), but it would be good to try to set a level for this talk (beginner - medium - advanced), so that people can set their expectation accordingly :)

Also, loved the anology with Indiana Jones, that was a pretty good thing to do :)

Muhammed at 22:40 on 29 Jan 2017

The Indiana Jones part could be skipped in favorieten of live examples.

The talk had potential but didn't quite manage to live up to it. The Indiana Jones theme was fun and the speaker put a lot of effort into it, but the very monotonous delivery made it hard to remain engaged. This is for me the #1 point of improvement, because a livelier voice & speech would make a huge difference! Content-wise, the main problem for me was that the Indiana Jones metaphor was so intertwined with the content that it sometimes made it hard to understand what the speaker was actually talking about. The content was OK but the examples were too far removed from real-life code.

Anonymous at 16:08 on 30 Jan 2017

Michael Heap (Speaker) at 12:34 on 31 Jan 2017

Thanks for the feedback everyone. I'm going to make improving my tone of voice and intonation a priority for this year :)

Dries Vints at 21:18 on 1 Feb 2017

You were pretty passionate about your talk so that's definitely a plus.

The talk wasn't really what I expected. I expected more deeper knowledge about handling new projects. Instead it was more basic techniques. But still a nice and easy to follow talk. I'm sure others have found it more useful than me. Perhaps don't go too overboard with the theme and add some more personal stories. Keep up the good work :-)