QCon London 2012 Day 1: Be stupid

Diesel | Be stupid The QCon London 2012 conference has started and is so far amazing. Great speakers presenting highly interesting stuff from first hand experience. Having Joe Armstrong presenting Erlang or Gil Tene explaining garbage collection is just beyond awesome. There are just too many things that I've learned today to put in a single blog post, so I won't even try. In a few months InfoQ will be posting videos of all the talks online, so you can watch them also yourself. And if you're impatient you can find most of people's slides from other conferences and you'll get a very good picture of what they were talking about. Quite often the most important thing that comes out of the conference is the conference program itself that shows what is hot and coming at the moment. UPDATE: Wednesday's slides are now available here.

Instead of focusing on more technical things that I've heard today, I'll extend the rant given by Greg Young at the evening's keynote. Greg is not your typical developer. He acts, talks and walks more like Robbie Williams, than your typical shy and introverted geek. Maybe that is why he had the balls to stand in front of an audience full of java developers and call them abstraction astronauts obsessed with solving problems that nobody has. I've seen time and again (and also did it myself quite often) that primary objective of developers was not solving user's problem but show off in front of their peers with their knowledge, experience or just talking capacity. In my experience it takes quite some guts and a lot of self-confidence to solve the problem in a "stupid" way instead of using all the latest bells and whistles. I have nothing against smart, elegant, efficient solutions. But unfortunately, just optimizing for these objectives makes software very hard to support, because the one supporting your code one year from today might not be so smart, experienced and cunning as you are at the moment, or has just forgot all the smart details needed to understand the solution. And quite often yourself will be moving to new projects, technologies and approaches, and along the way your skills of yesteryear will fade away. And there will come time when you'll have to fix problem with some legacy application and you'll look at some piece of code asking yourself which preposterous asshole wrote that piece of brainfuck, and the answer will be, it was you!