GDevCon #1 – “An Independent Conference For Graphical Programming” – was the first truly independent, community-run Conference for LabVIEW and Graphical Programming in general. As founding members and participants, it was an incredible experience for us!
The GDevCon Alliance was formed in 2017 by 10 international companies – Hampel Software Engineering being one of them – with the goal of creating an entirely independent LabVIEW conference.
The conference is built upon several core values. Most importantly, it’s independently organised. That means there is no possibility of any influences or biases due to sponsor pressure. In addition, the topics are entirely democratically chosen and discussed. This benefits the community.
GDevCon was created to be the “User Group of User Groups”. In essence, this encourages integration into the community. Above all, attendance is open to anyone, anyone is free to volunteer for presentations. These principles both strengthen individual ties to the whole LabVIEW community and the ties between teams and companies.
The main focus of GDevCon is tackling practical challenges. This way the conference helps developers to better face all the requirements of real-life projects.
The very first GDevCon happened this year in early September. Hosted in the heart of the “Silicon Fen”, the location couldn’t have been more perfect, as Cambridge is one of the innovation epicentres of Europe.
GDevCon took place over the course of two days. This allowed the participants ample amount of time to properly digest the immense quantity of information they received. In total, there were 17 presentations, ranging from 30 to 45 minutes in duration. For this to properly function, the schedule was brutally enforced. 🙂
The presentations were varied in topics, from programming practices to industry applications. Every single one was engaging and noteworthy.
(Copyright (c) Malcolm Myers / GDevCon Ltd)
A very important thing about GDevCon was its running theme, #OurGiantsAreFemale. This initiative was started by Fabiola De la Cueva, founder of Delacor and presenter at GDevCon. Every presenter chose a female role-model and explained her contributions and achievements. Read her insightful article, that started it all on the Code Like a Girl blog.
How to Blow your LabVIEW Project in Surprisingly Few Steps
After overcoming one of the largest hurdles of presenting – getting a foreign audience to pronounce your name correctly – Joerg started out by telling the audience about the life of Dr. Erna Schneider Hoover, an influential mathematician. Dr. Hoover earned one of the first software patents ever issued. As a result, she revolutionised modern communication by inventing a computerised telephone switching method. Moreover, she was also the first woman supervisor at Bell Labs. Dr. Hoover’s work was closely linked to Joerg’s main topic, she identified and prioritised processes. This is an early example of best practices in development.
Afterwards, Joerg dived right into the world of software development best practices. He started by detailing what exactly constitutes a successful project. This seems fairly self-explanatory, but it actually isn’t. Success is always a matter of perspective and isn’t always readily visible.
He then listed the main pitfalls that can happen during a project:
- Not talking to the customer
- Not writing down the requirements
- Not planning tasks, schedules, budgets or anything else
- Not talking to your team
- Not using best practices (not even a little bit)
- Not tracking and controlling progress
The presentation was very well-received, with a huge amount of audience participation. You can find a full-length recording of the presentation on Youtube:
The presentation slides (PDF, 13.9 MB) are available for download, too:
The GDevCon team had all the presentations recorded and they are now freely viewable on Youtube at bit.ly/GDevConYT.
The photographer, Malcolm Myers also took many more photos, capturing a lot of interesting moments. Check out the official GDevCon Flickr page at flickr.com/photos/gdevcon.
Due to the overwhelming success of GDevCon #1, the Alliance is already organising its follow-up. GDevCon #2 will take place in one of the industrial centres of the UK, Birmingham, on 21st and 22nd of August 2019.
Please get in touch if you wanna present, sponsor or get involved in any other way! As always, we are looking forward to meeting you there!