Momentum Cincinnati

3 minute read

This has been a weird week. I’ve had a slow work week and little motivation for cranking out code or diving into any topic for longer than a few hours.

First I thought my obsession would be Lego, specifically the storied history of Lego Star Wars or Lego Space themes, but I haven’t been able to devote the time to research that topic well enough to do it justice. Still to come.

Since then, I’ve spent some time going through an Angular 5 tutorial which has peaked my interest in front end web frameworks. But I haven’t done enough to bring anything new to the table.

In the end, the most inspiring things I discovered this week were presented to me at my local developers conference.

Momentum Cincy

This past Thursday I was able to attend the Momentum Dev Conference in Cincinnati, where I sat in on some solid presentations. Most notably, with my recent web framework experience in mind, were sessions on Vue.js and a talk specifically about the possible end of web frameworks. I also heard presentations on Kotlin, building your personal brand, and a particularly interesting one on effective teams.

I think what struck me the most walking out of Momentum was

  1. I wish I knew more about building web apps.
  2. How can I apply lessons Google has learned to improving my team?
  3. Could I give an effective and engaging conference talk?

Web Apps

I attended a pretty great presentation to start the day that was a quick introduction to Vue.js. I had heard of Vue but still didn’t quite understand what made it different from Angular or React.

The presenter, Carrie Scono, did an excellent job introducing the topic with code and highlighting Vue’s benefits in her short time onstage. I walked out with a general working knowledge of what Vue is and how to go about getting started with my first project to learn more.

Vue seems a little more lightweight and organized torwards the view than some other frameworks, so it seems like something that would be fun to use to crank out a demo web app - the kind of thing I want to be doing more of. In general, the presentation inspired me to spend a bit more time in the browser.

Team Effectiveness

Jason “Slim” Blackhurst gave a presentation on Google’s Project Aristotle, an internal Google study on the effectiveness of their teams. His take on the project focused on the archetypes of troubled teams that he’s been on and how they can negatively impact the physchologicical safety of a team. Using examples from his career and examples from the audience he tried to address solutions using Google suggestions from the project.

While nothing was really solved in the discussion, it did highlight some possibilities for a team member on a team trying to be more effective. I think what’s interesting from the Aristotle discussion is that individual capability is never something that impacts effective teams. It’s so much more about how the team is working together and how each member feels.

Giving a Talk

I was inspired to work on web frameworks, I was inspired to improve my team, but perhaps most of all I was inspired to try to present on a topic. I feel like the one thing Momentum was missing as a topic was something on the native mobile side, and I felt a little guilty that I didn’t try to think harder about something to bring to the table.

If anyone has any experience or resources when it comes to giving your first 30-45 minute technical presentation on a topic, please let me know. I have some ideas swirling around, but would love to learn more about how to get started.