End of Line blog

Thoughts on software development, by Adam Ruka

Lessons from leading a conference workshop – Warsjawa 2014

Warsjawa logo

At the end of September, a very cool event took place in Warsaw. It was an annual free software development conference, with a focus on (but not limited to) the Java ecosystem. It is called Warsjawa, and what is so special about it is that it consists entirely of workshops – there are no lectures in it whatsoever. I had the pleasure of leading one of them, ‘Automated browser-based web application testing using the Geb library’. As is pretty obvious from the title, its goal was to demonstrate writing end-to-end tests that utilize a real browser with the help of the Groovy library Geb. I was quite nervous beforehand, as it was my first time in the role of a speaker and not just an attendant at a conference. Fortunately, everything went fairly well. Below are some thoughts on the experience. The code for the workshop, along with the slides, is available on GitHub.


The actual workshop

The aftermath

In the end, I was really happy with how the workshop turned out. Out of the 16 people that attended, only 4 filled out the post-conference survey, and their average score rated the workshop a 3.75 out of 5, which I think is quite alright (by the way, if by chance anyone who attended the workshop reads this article – please, leave a comment describing how you liked it!). I got to talk about everything that I planned to, and the examples worked fine out of the box for the vast majority of participants. Even though it took a lot of time to prepare, I really enjoyed being a speaker, and I hope I’ll have more opportunities to be one again in the future. If you’re thinking of trying it youself, I encourage you to do so – it’s a lot of fun, and also very rewarding.