- Satellite was in London. It’s delightful to jump on a train rather than a plane to get to a tech conference. Totally selfish I realise, and obviously plenty of other people had to travel to get there. But having cool conferences in London is really good news. As an industry analyst I travel to the US a lot, but mostly to MASSIVE VENDOR CONFERENCES in Las Vegas. Why i do travel to these conferences? In the immortal words of Willie Horton – because that’s where the money is. But small intimate conferences are definitely my preferred mode for learning about technology and how it’s used. Give me a single track conference capped at the Dunbar number any day.
- The company had real news to impart, in some ways a bookmark to announcements from GitHub Universe, but significant nonetheless. Today GitHub launched Marketplace, allowing third party tools vendors to sell directly to developers, like an appstore – GitHub is taking 25% of sales, but for a volume channel like that, according to current industry norms reasonable. The narrative and story were really strong here. As I never tire of saying CI/CD is the onramp to pretty much everything good in modern software development. Increasingly though CI/CD can be replaced “development pipelines”. We’re seeing massive fragmentation of tools choices, which is a problem for engineers, not just buttoned up enterprises. But GitHub increasingly is the glue by which different toolchains can be integrated. Travis CI, one of the early marketplace vendors, runs on the GitHub API. Heroku Pipelines, same. We need tools that allow us to embrace open ecosystems and its associated fragmentation in new ways.
- Panels can be dull, but Satellite had a neat update on the old format – four different Marketplace players on stage demoing how they supported the delivery of a new feature through a GitHub pipeline. Starting with Waffle for project management, then CI/CD, test build before deployment with CircleCI, automated code review for complexity, security and duplication with Codacy before error monitoring, crash reporting, linking stack traces to repos with Rollbar.
- I heard a baby crying, and not just because their pull request was rejected. Seriously – it is so unusual to have babies at a tech conference, which is a shame. Creating a welcoming atmosphere for women is obviously super important and generally not done well. Providing an area dedicated to mothers is a good thing.
- The toilets were all unisex – neatly sidestepping any issues about which one to use depending on gender.
- Free tampons and pads, again a simple small touch that any conference can learn from, to make a more welcoming environment. I know that we’ll be making sure we take care of this at RedMonk events from now on.
- Explaining that all GitHub features are now GraphQL-First to give a richer semantic experience. When GitHub builds a new feature it now firsts build a GraphQL API, which is used internally, before opening it up externally. This change allowed for example, suggested reviewers in the GitHub Code Review feature. Project boards is another new feature built this way. GraphQL is an open source query language for APIs created by Facebook. GitHub is now seeing 125m GraphQL queries per day, and sees this approach as part of the future of APIs. As CEO Chris Wanstrath pointed out, we need some new API design points and patterns for a web where some services, like GitHub and Twilio see more API traffic than UI traffic.
- The coffee was very good. No surprise, but welcome. Also conference best practice – have espresso sure, but always have amazing filter on tap so you can avoid really long lines for coffee theatre. Light bright amazing filter coffee for the win.
disclosure: i got a free ticket. thanks joe!