By John Sonmez November 24, 2014

I Spoke at Oredev This Year

I've been waiting to put this post up until the videos from my talks at Oredev were put online, but since two of the three are online, and I wasn't sure if the third was actually going to go up, I decided to go ahead and put up the post now.

Pretty cool residential building in Malmo

I don't speak at a lot of conferences, and I don't travel out of the country that often, so this was a very unique and good experience for me.

I have to admit, when I was first invited to speak at a software development conference in Sweden–especially in November–I pretty much thought I was going to freeze to death.

I had this vision of Sweden being this very cold place where everyone wore parkas all year long and the sun didn't ever shine.

I was actually about to go onto to buy some really warm clothes for the trip, when I decided to check the average temperature during the time I would be there and found that it was actually almost warm enough most days to go without a jacket or with just a light one.

As it turns out, I am happy to report, the southern part of Sweden, where the conference was, is not that cold. And Malmo was a pretty nice city.

My first talk: Getting Started With MeteorJS

I actually spoke at two conferences while I was there. The organizers of Oredev also hosted a single-track, one day conference in Copenhagen, Denmark called At the Frontend, which is just across the water from Malmo, Sweden, where Oredev was taking place.

For this conference, I did a talk on Meteor.js.

Here is the video from the talk:

Ok, so I'll admit. I was a little cold. I did wear my jacket while giving the talk.

One of my fellow Entreprogrammers, Derick Bailey had this to say about the talk:


For this talk, I decided to live code a TODO list application, using a Cloud Based IDE. I know, I know, that is a bit crazy. But, I did practice it about 20 times beforehand and I had a backup plan if the wireless was bad.

Turned out, everything went extremely smooth–which almost never happens.

But, I probably wouldn't recommend live coding an application in the cloud. I probably won't do this again in the future.

It's sort of like that time when I was a kid and was swinging on a rope swing and thought “hey, it would be cool if I wrapped the rope around my neck so I could swing with both my hands.

Luckily, the rope unraveled quite early in my swing and dropped me right on my back. It hurt, and I survived, but I made a mental note never to try it again–and because of that, I am still alive today.

 My second talk, Marketing Yourself to Boost Your Career

I was a bit nervous about this talk, just because I wasn't sure how the mostly Swedish audience would respond to some of the ideas and concept in it.

I've given this talk quite a few times at code camps and user groups and it is definitely one of my most popular talks. I usually pack the entire room and have lots of developers asking questions afterwards.

It turned out, Oredev wasn't much different. The room was pretty packed when I started the talk.

This talk is sort of a very short summary of what I cover in my How to Market Yourself as a Software Developer Package.

Unfortunately, the video for that talk is not up yet. I'm not 100% sure it is going to be up, because I know some of the soft-talks didn't get posted. I'm working on trying to get the video. If I am able to get it, I will post it here.

I'm also planning on doing a webinar presentation of this talk; if you are interested, sign up for my mailing list and I'll make sure I let you know when I open registration.

My third talk, How to Create a Test Automation Framework Architecture With Selenium

This talk also went extremely well. No one threw any tomatoes or snowballs at me–which is good, because it is a bit difficult to dodge from that close of a distance.

Fortunately, this talk is online and you can find it here:

This talk is a very condensed version of what I cover in my “Creating an Automated Testing Framework With Selenium” Pluralsight course.

By the way, if you are looking for some Selenium consulting or help with building a test automation framework, I am opening up a few slots for new clients. Just email me from the contact form.

Overall experience and lessons learned

This was a really fun trip and a great experience. Having never really been to Europe–ok, when I say never really, what I mean is: having been a chicken who is afraid to fly across the Atlantic ocean for most of my life–I really enjoyed seeing a place that was totally different from what I was used to.

I got to do some pretty cool things while I was there, like:

  • Go into an 180 degree Fahrenheit sauna then jump into the ocean, in pitch black darkness, naked. (Actually a really cool experience.) 20141103_180659
  • Have a fancy dinner with the mayor of Malmo–who by the way made reference to Rage Against the Machine. 20141104_201534
  • Visit Copenhagen and see a really decked out castle as well as ride around the canals on a boat. 20141108_103015
  • Eat some Shawarma for the first time at–get this: Shawarma King. No Joke.
  • Climb up a climbing wall for the first time. I even won a prize for getting the fastest time. (Ok, the fastest time on the easy side–but it was still the fastest.) Oredev-wall

I also met quite a few really awesome people and had some great conversations about all kinds of topics.

I feel like after coming back from the conference, I have some fresh perspectives, which I'll be sharing on this blog and with the Simple Programmer community.

I've always felt that I didn't really have time to speak at conferences, but this trip has changed my mind. I feel like I got a large amount of value out of the whole experience.

So, if you would like me to speak at a conference you are organizing, or you know of a conference that you think I should speak at, let me know. I'm starting to plan out next year's schedule.

Also, it turned out flying over the Atlantic ocean wasn't so bad. I was a bit worried about the length of time and whether or not I would get really, really bored, but before the trip I bought a 3DS XL Retro NES Edition System, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, and Bravely Default. Plus, I had my Kindle Voyage, which I didn't need to charge the entire trip.

Oh, and how can I forget that I actually watched a movie. If you know me, you know that I don't watch any TV and very few movies each year, but Guardians of the Galaxy was so good that I actually watched it twice.

I was also able to listen to an entire lecture course on Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.

Hope to do it again next year. Thanks to everyone who attended my sessions and for the great hospitality from the Oredev organizers. They really take care of their speakers.


About the author

John Sonmez

John Sonmez is the founder of Simple Programmer and a life coach for software developers. He is the best selling author of the book "Soft Skills: The Software Developer's Life Manual."