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SphereCon 2018

Promoting Collaborative Learning at SphereCon 2018

At Sphere we embrace a culture of innovation, entrepreneurship, excellence and teamwork. The culture influences everything we do. This spirit also encourages us to collaborate with others and share knowledge and is the impetus for our ongoing SphereCon event, which we recently held in Kiev, Ukraine on November 17th, 2018. We gathered together some of the top engineers and designers from around the world for a great day of knowledge sharing. The goal of this event is to present a variety of insights into topics including IoT, Blockchain, Ruby, startups, and other timely topics. Many of the SphereCon presentations focused on the development process and offered valuable lessons for everyone involved in the development process.

We’re an international company, and therefore pulled in speakers from multiple countries to offer varying global perspectives. For attendees, SphereCon offers them a chance to learn about how leading-edge development works differently for various companies because every deployment is unique and offers lessons.

I was really excited to meet all these people in one place. Very good speakers and interesting lectures made me a better expert, and made the world little better too:)

Ivan, Software Engineer for Sphere

Attended the event and had this takeaway

Great speakers, presentations & discussions. Thank you for gathering so many ruby developers in one place. Looking forward to SphereCon 2019!

Oleg Kukareka, a Software Engineer at Lemonade

Greatly enjoyed the event

Here are some thoughts on the key presentations from the 2018 SphereCon event.

Sergey Kovalev, Senior Software Engineer at Sphere headlined a presentation called “SOLID Design Principles in Rails and the feeling of code smell.” He has more than 10 years of experience in various roles and has a keen interest in where technology is headed. This presentation looked at SOLID principles as they apply to Rails, and the idea that bad code has a certain “smell” to it! Here are some highlights:

S.O.L.I.D is an acronym for the first five object-oriented design(OOD) which should make it easier to develop software that easily extendable and maintained.
A discussion about the open-closed principle
Information about how the Liskov Substitution Principle (if S is a subtype of T, then objects of type T may be replaced with objects of type S) applies to Rails

Our Director of Technology, Anton Shemerey, moved towards a Blockchain and IoT topic when he spoke about “IoT & Blockchain. The future is already here, it’s just not equally distributed.” He discussed practical applications for IoT and the blockchain, and ways these transformative technologies need to fit into the modern business. Session highlights included:

The implications of Moore’s Law and IoT chips
Why the future will require system on a chip (SoC)
An exploration of blockchain and cryptocurrencies, distributed apps, smart contracts, tokenization, and other related topics

For this next presentation we move deeper into Ruby, with accomplished developer Pavel Shutsin for a talk titled “Regression Test Selection for RSpec.” He discusses the use of RSpec for testing in order to speed up and improve the development process. Some of Pavel’s key points:

A review of Crystalball, a Ruby library which implements a regression test mechanism which helps developers ensure their changes do not break anything
Learn how to get feedback from CI faster

Vladimir Shulman a R&D leader from Amazon AWS R&D center located in Israel, leveraged his experience in leadership roles at firms including Intel, Qualcomm, and Amazon to discuss his startup journey. The topic of his presentation was “A successful failure story: how my own startup failed miserably idea-wise but was a technical achievement.” He talked about how he moved from the idea stage to a company that was successful technically but did not reach the heights he expected. Vladimir raised several key and insightful points:

He discussed the AWS serverless framework used with the company and provided multiple tips for attendees looking to launch a startup.
A look at the patenting process
Tips on “what not to do” when you have that big idea
An exploration of the AWS innovation curve and where it’s headed

Mark Friedgan from Chicago is an early-stage investor, advisor and an experienced tech and business leader. His topic was “The fine balance of duct tape to bubble gum, or why done is always better than perfect” and provided great insights about writing code for startups and how people can better manage the tech and business needs during the development process. Mark entertained and educated the audience by sharing:

A deeper look at the benefit of getting projects to “done”
How to get to revenue and profitability sooner in order to buy more time
A story about the software bug that personally cost him $473,000 and the need to have “skin in the game” for quality development
SphereCon reflects not only the company’s deep expertise in sound development practices, but also the firm’s belief in improving the industry and helping other organizations reach their full potential.
I would highlight some positive points about this event. Reports about IoT and regression test selection was interesting, The ability to ask some additional questions after the main part of the event, chance to meet colleagues and of course, the presents and food were good. Thanks for the event.

Oleksii, Software Engineer

SphereCon gained the attention of not only backend developers, but also frontend, QA engineers and management. Whatever you could be interested in, whether it was blockchain talks, coffee breaks with snacks or afterparty networking – there was room to fulfill one’s expectations!

George, Software Engineer at Sphere

I was glad for the opportunity to visit the SphereCon’18 and wasn’t disappointed at all. Everything was well arranged, on time, with a yummy coffee break. Impossible to remember any flaws. A good set of unique speakers and keynotes. I liked that not only technical related topics were present but business related ones as well. Hope to visit the SphereCon’19 next year.

Vladimir, Software Engineer at Sphere

Didn’t make it to our past debates or just want to relive the fun? Check out our past event videos and some of our favorite shots taken throughout the SphereCon 2018

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