First .debug conference


In this post, I'll show you some pictures and notes from the very first .debug conference.

⚠️I know, I know, this post comes veeeery late after the conference was already finished 🤦, but I figured that this will (sadly) most probably be the only one I'll attend the whole year, so I might as well share and recall how it was.

The Swag, oooh the Swag

I was impressed by the amount of stuff they put in the rucksack (oh yes, there was a rucksack too 😊). Yeah, sorry, the chocolate didn't make it intact to the picture time 😛


I'll now go through all the sessions that I attended, share a few pictures and notes.

A new World for Your App, Justyna Jaworska

  • Basically talking about the ‘business opportunity’ to build stuff for this platform


10 types of devs you’ll meet at the conference, Dora Kalneus (Militaru)

  • speakers, thought leaders, hipsters, influencers, nomads, entrepreneurs, consultants, blockchain something something 🙂, hackers, #iamdeveloper
  • awesome presenter, great flow
  • “Suffering unites people”
  • Personal branding is about creating an opportunity for you to grow


Companies without designers are building a catastrophe, Tom Kozačinski

  • "Just build it doesn’t work in big companies anymore"
  • "Never hire on the lower end of the salary spectrum"
  • "Rather than focus on artifacts, we focus on prototypes and validating those prototypes in Discovery, with the added benefit that the prototype serves as the spec for Delivery.


Panel discussion on how to get paid for your work and knowledge

  • Luka Abrus
    • gap getting tighter for seniors
    • Agreed that people once coming from the college have to have projects behind them
    • Government is not helping at all
  • Alan Sumina
    • Our tax system is like Swiss cheese and they weren't prepared for 'pausalni'
  • Tatjana Barančić
    • People stopped going to Ireland
    • We see a lot of developers coming back now
    • 'Pausalci' that work in a freelancer setup will have no problems
  • Hrvoje Balen
    • We are stupid as people will just start companies outside of our country.
    • Lower the tax on work and increase on real estate (only 8%!?), as otherwise, we’re turning into a renting country

Devonomics - Expanding the developer horizons, Srdjan Vranac

  • "Later equals never"
  • "Never talk about technical debt" - 🤔🤦 oh, really?
  • "Your mandate as a software engineer is to find solutions for the problems presented, with acceptable compromises between time, cost and quality, with buy-in from the management/leadership."
  • Time to market is the only metric - shorter TTM -> more money
  • Everyone is a salesperson!


AI in banking, Draženko Kopljar

  • "AI is a buzzword for sales people so they can sell stuff easier" 🙂


Panel discussion about 'the life after coding'

  • Mihaela Smadilo
    • It’s hard to make the switch to manager, and communication skills are the key
  • Tomislav Grubisic
    • Regular 1on1 check-ins are key
  • Luka Kladaric
    • Your knowledge evolves, so if you work on a new technology you’ll actually have it easier to learn new things
  • Oleg
    • "Most CEOs are complaining that devs are bad"
    • Personally, I think that the panelist was pushing this question of "what are you gonna do at 60!?", and they were trying to explain to him but with no luck. Even to, it seemed, a point of irritation.
  • Sven
    • I think that the main motive nowadays is that people work on interesting things


From diploma to Google, Maja Bilic

  • This was an awesome presentation, should have been the keynote yesterday
  • Imposter syndrome is real
  • The important thing is to like things that you do
  • NTH sucked: on the third day became the design team lead, then the web team lead - I knew exactly nothing about this!
  • Did a lot of retrospection and thinking what I want to do
  • Got two jobs in Google - and then had to make a decision
  • Putting things on the paper and weighing is bullshit as you always deep down have an actual decision you want to do
    • I make a decision, tell everyone, sleep on it. If I don’t regret it, then I actually execute on it.
  • People need growth and challenge that’s out of their comfort zone
  • Interview to realize what’s your value on the market
  • I was so disappointed that there’s no ideal organization - but here’s your chance to bridge the gap
  • A good manager will give you feedback on your performance but also tell you what you need to work on
  • Change is what brings progress as that yields a lot of spaces that aren’t covered
  • Titles don’t say anything about what you actually do
  • Know something that no one else knows
    • Never say that’s not my job, and always know what you’re doing
  • Ask for feedback
  • Know when to move on: when there’s nothing that excites you
  • Mentor - you have to click with this person to ask what to do at a certain problem point
  • Good team, interesting job and opportunity to learn - money comes after this


10 mistakes I did as a young IT guy, Luka Abrus

  • I thought that people will appreciate my code
  • Vanity metrics
    • Today we’re actually celebrating when we see good metrics and not when we launch!
  • I thought I knew what customers want
  • I loved emails and didn’t wanna go and meet with people
  • As an employer, I was slow to fire
  • I thought that money was the most important
  • I didn’t know how to make a good project deal
  • I didn’t know when to say 'go to hell' to the client
  • I applied to things I didn’t have the competency for


Experiments done in business and life, Martin Stenkilde

  • "As long as you learn something from the failure, everything is great"


Tech Leadership: People + Technology, Kátia Nakamura

  • Ooof, didn't resonate with me
    • I totally disagree that someone **shouldn’t ask something in the public Slack channel
    • Does 1on1s every other month - come on, seriously?!
  • Agree only on the last point that you have to have people that take care of other people, and the importance of (written) communication


Hairy Developer and the Sorcerer's Startup, Shahyar Ghobadpour

  • Great presenter!
  • Learned how to be tough after they got evicted
  • Office politics is real and it’s not always about how good you are
  • Learn as much as you can anywhere you go
  • Risk, but research beforehand
  • Be good with people, time, skills - if you aren't, then find a matching partner


Till next time, stay safe 🙏

Written by Nikola Brežnjak