Ekobit DevArena X 2015

I just came home from the ever so slightly awesome Ekobit DevArena X conference. As I usually do, I’ll share my notes that I took in my notebook and a few pictures.

Start your engines

Well, you can’t start a day on an empty stomach, right?


This is how the accreditation looked like:


The accreditation had a handy list of all the presentations on the back side:


As you can see, there were 4 tracks between which you could choose (yes, you could go to any presentation in any of the tracks in a certain timeslot). Chalk n’ Talk presentations are actually a cool thing where they aren’t actual presentations rather something like a round table where the presenter(s) discuss their real life experiences (and the input from the crowd is also highly desirable).


  • Presenters: Ivan Kardum, Nenad Bakić, Domagoj Pavlešić and Saša Tomičić
  • 10th in a row Ekobit DevArenaIMG_5017
  • A very interesting project called Croatian Makers by Nenad Bakić who was very inspiring and kudos for starting all this
  • They donated robotical equipment to over 50 schools in Croatia
  • Serwantes
  • Fantom 3
  • Lego Mindstorms – can’t wait to get this for my little girl! Yeah, I know it’s an excuse for me to play with it too 🙂
  • He shared a quite intriguing image with us:

Modern web application development in Visual Studio 2015

  • Presenter: Ivan Popek
  • IMG_5022
  • IMG_5023
  • Bower and npm come preinstalled with Visual Studio 2015. I wrote a detailed tutorial for Digital Ocean about Bower if you want to take a look.
  • Gulp and Grunt are task runners which offer tools like minification, concatenation, linting, etc…
  • Personally, I like Gulp better because of it’s clearer syntax
  • Gulp is faster because it uses streams
  • Git and Node are also preinstalled by default on VS 2015
  • The way you “add” packages for Bower is that you create a bower.json file in the Solution explorer and as soon as you hit Save it installs the listed dependencies. It creates the Dependencies folder and a bower_components folder
  • bower install runns automatically after you open up the project
  • To add Gulp create a package.json file in the Solution explorer and as soon as you hit Save npm will install it. You can add additional Gulp dependencies the same way.
  • To start writing Gulp tasks, create a gulpfile.js and hack on 🙂
  • Visual Studio 2015 has a nice TaskRunner explorer where you can run the tasks manually. However, it’s way better to set a “watch” task inside Gulp so that it runs the tasks automatically for you. For example, if you’re using SASS it will compile to CSS automatically on every change to the SASS files. You can set the watch tasks to run after you reoppen the project with Watch -> Bindings->Project open

Clean code is your friend

  • Presenters: Bruno Brozović and Antonija Malenica
  • Technical debt
  • Writing code : Reading code = 1 : 10 in terms of time. It’s way better to invest time at the beginning to write “clean code” as it will pay of in the later stages of the project
  • The boy scout rule – always leave the campground cleaner than you found it
  • YAGNI (You ain’t gonna need it) – do not add functionality until deemed necessary
  • KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) – Simplicity is better than complexity
  • DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself) – every piece of knowledge must have single, unambigious, authorative representation within system
  • Principle of least surprise – do the least surprising thing
  • SRP (Single Responsibility Principle) – a class should have only one reason to change
  • Single level of abstraction
  • Methods
    • names – detail and descriptive
    • short
    • number of arguments as small as possible (0, 1, 2)
    • SRP
  • Comments – you should strive to write selfdocumenting code
  • Classes
    • QualitatyClassName (25-30 characters)
    • SRP
    • smaller number of cohesive classes
    • Open Closed Principle – open for extension, closed for modification
  • Learning test
  • And now, a spectacle! In a room of about 100 people when the question “How many of you are using Unit testing?” was asked only 4 people raised their hands 1415131129_smiley-evil




We’re outsorcing products and services, not people!

  • Presenters: Luka Abrus (Five Minutes), Vedran Brničević (Ekobit)
  • Ekobit started in 1992
    • ALM, BizDataX
  • Five minutes needed 7 years to come to the point where 100% of the things they do is on the USA market
  • Customer feedback by literally going live from door to door and ask
  • Landing pages + AdWords + Sign me up
  • Nobody buys enterprise software without a support
  • Europe’s problem is language barriers from country to country
  • Funny anecdote: when you say to an American that you’re from Croatia: “Oh, yes Dubrovnik – Game of Thrones!”. Also funny one was “oh, you’re just a Russian school of mathematics”. And thus, they believe we are good programmers; designers not so much.
  • You need to be willing to hop the plane and go to a meeting at any time
  • Five Minutes has currently 12 free spots
  • NY Area software developer 150-200$ per hour (jaw-dropping!)
  • Quality is everything!
  • Put your code to GitHub, designs to Dribble, Behance
  • The main problem that both of the presenters expressed was that there are just not enough (quality) developers

Where is this web going?

  • Presenters: Domagoj Pavlešić, Ivan Popek, Renato Železnjak, Josip Klarić, Ratko Ćosić
  • this was a round table like presentation
  • Browser as an Operating System
  • Microsoft is slowing down the Web standardization
  • Too many JS frameworks (you don’t say 😉)
  • NO for monolith framework
  • Use linting
  • Gridster, Selectize, Knockout
  • Throw jQuery out
  • TypeScript two thumbs up

Automated delivery in Visual Studio 2015

  • Presenters: Ognjen Bajić and Ana Roje Ivančić
  • Build vNext
  • 2015 Intentional Extensibility – open source
  • Custom build workflows
  • Real time output
  • Versioning
  • Cross-platform build (Win, Mac, Linux)
  • Build .NET, Java, Android, iOS
  • Ant, CMake, Maven, Xcode Build, Android Build
  • Agents, Pools, Queues
  • Testing, web performance, load tests

Aurelia – new generation JavaScript framework

  • Presenters: Ratko Ćosić and Mario Peroković
  • AMD
    • modular programming
    • RequireJS
    • CommonJS
    • TypeScript
  • SPA
    • chunking
    • templating
    • controllers
  • Which framework should I choose?
  • Durandal -> Aurelia
  • JavaScript is a subset of TypeScript which is compiled in ES5. Microsoft is developing along with Anders Hejlsberg (C# creator)
  • Angular2 uses TypeScript
  •  Every view starts with <template>
  • MVVM – model view view-model
  • DI – dependency injection
  • Parent view models
  • Routing
  • Screen activation lifecycle
  • uses jspm
  • jspm install aurelia-http-client
  • <input type=”text” value.bind=”firstName” /> and then reference it like ${firstName}
  • Debugging
    • compile-spy
    • view-spy

They had a nice additional prize draw for those who asked questions (you get a small paper which you toos in a drawing bowl). I got mine on the last presentation. However, no luck in winning something 🙁


However, as every year, they are giving prizes for the first few people who sign up for the conference. This year I signed up at 6th place, and because of that I got a nice 2 tickets at Terme Tuhelj, and also a nice hoodie with a number 6 🙂IMG_5047

Thanks and hope to see you next year!

Written by Nikola Brežnjak