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27 January 2009

BarCamp Zagreb 2009, Zagreb, Croatia

by Željko Filipin

I few days ago I was at BarCamp Zagreb 2009. I wanted to talk about Taza, "an opinionated browser-based test framework". I heard about it at AWTA 2009 and I wanted to learn more about it, and giving a talk is a great way to learn. I did not have enough time to prepare my presentation, so I had some broken code even when I got there. I decided to skip a few presentations until I fix it.

I am sorry I skipped Ivica Kartelo talking how he became the most important person in Croatian web industry. I was outside of the room where he had his talk and the people were laughing so loudly I had a hard time concentrating on my broken code.

I fixed the code just in time to see Mislav Marohnić talking how marketing and $$$ are great, but some of us create code. He shared some tools his team uses.

The next slot was marketing talks in both rooms, so I skipped it and tried to concentrate for my talk, because I was next.

The same as at BarCamp Zagreb 2008, I have chosen the smaller room (there were two rooms, smaller and bigger), because I knew there will be just a few people interested in testing and Watir there. To my great disappointment, I was not able to connect my computer to the projector. I moved my presentation to organizers' computer, but I was not able to show the code and run it. I invited interested to come and see it at my computer, but the time was up. I said I will show them the code and how it runs outside, but then I guess I forgot to do it, because I do not remember showing the code to anybody. Maybe no one was interested. :)

I do not think my talk made a lot of sense to people. I asked how many were familiar with Ruby or Watir and saw just a few hands. I guess a talk about testing framework would be too much for the crowd like that. I gave my introduction to Watir talk last year, and organizers kindly said it would be better to do something else this year, so I choose Taza. Maybe that was not such a great move.

This is my presentation. I hope I will have some time in the near future and update it with the code.

After my talk two people approached me. Alex (American living in Italy, or Italian living in US, or some other more complicated combination) asked some general questions about Watir, and Jure Čuhalev asked if I would talk about Watir in Ljubljana, Slovenia. That was a surprise. I am all for it! I hope we will be able to arrange it in the next few weeks.

I planned to skip the next slot, because there were again two marketing talks. Also, I got a call from my ruby-hr team to join them for a beer. It was to crowded at their table, so a few of us sat separately and had a nice talk.

After the break I heard Ivan Guštin asking us why didn't we still switch to Linux desktop. Interesting talk about advantages of Linux desktop. I was using Linux at home for years. Then I got Windows machine from my company. I used that for years. Recently I got a mac from my company. Now I use that. I like open source. I just do not care about operating systems. They are just a tool. I use what I have.

Next I saw Goran Peuc destroying the interface. Interesting talk about good and bad interfaces, and how the interface should be minimal.

Vlatko Kosturjak was talking about Open Web Application Security Project. It is always interesting to hear security ninjas talk.

Zoran Dominković talked about sharing and privacy on the internet. That got me thinking. I share a lot, but I try to keep some privacy. I hope I am choosing the right mixture.

Vlatko Kosturjak talked how he used favicon.ico to get statistical data what software is used on the internet. Very interesting approach.

Stjepan Zlodi was talking about development for small screens. They are gaining popularity because of phones with browsers and netbooks. I have been reading his blog for years. I wanted to introduce myself and just say hi after the talk, but I guess I forgot (the same as the last year).

The last talk was Goran Peuc on banks blocking development of web design. He showed us some horrible internet banking web applications that Croatian banks have. So true. Also, he talked about redesign of insurance site his company just finished.

To sum up, it was great to see some interesting talks, and to talk about Watir once again. Still, networking is the best part of such (un)conferences.

tags: event - facebook - photo - speaker