XProLo January meetup

I gave a talk last night at the Extreme Programming London meetup (XProLo). The talk was about why everyone should start blogging. Or continue blogging if you’re already on it. Lots of people said to me afterwards that they felt really inspired to write blog posts because of my talk, which is great! I love to hear that I inspire people.

And it seems like I also inspired myself because... here's a blog post! The organiser of the meetup suggested that I should write a post about the event. Not a bad idea. I learnt quite a few new things. Unfortunately I didn’t take any notes - but let’s see what my brain still retained.

There were three lightning talks last night, including my own. There were only about 15 people or so at the meetup, which made it feel quite nice and friendly. I met some new people and had interesting conversations.

The conversations

Firstly, I was very happy to get reassurance from a fellow XProLo-er that the AWS documentation is very hard to work with and possibly incorrect at times. Phew! So it’s not just me.

And I also learnt about life as a programmer at IBM, which doesn’t sound like something that I want to experience any time soon. But more importantly I found out that the CEO of IBM is a woman. I had no idea, to be honest. I need to research her.

The pizza

There was also some very delicious pizza including a vegan option. I think it was from Paradise Slice on Brick Lane if I remember correctly.

The talks

The two lightning talks besides mine were about critical thinking and about the programming language Idris.

The former highlighted some common misconceptions and biases that our brain tricks us into having and was a nice wake up call to not just take things at face value but try to consider them from different angles or to find some additional background information. Maybe everyone should listen to this talk once a month, just as a refresher!

The talk about Idris was called “Pairing with Idris” and the presenter, demonstrated how the Idris compiler can help you figure out how you implement certain functions. I’d heard of Idris before but didn’t really know anything about it, so it was nice to get a bit of an insight.

It’s a language which has dependent types. That means that the type definition depends on a value. So for example you can specify the length of an array as a type. If you declare an array with a type of 7 but the array has only 6 items in it, you get a compile error. Interesting! However as someone who has recently switched from VanillaJS to TypeScript and can only compile her code 1 out of 5 times, I don’t really have any desire to dig deeper into an even more strictly typed language. But I’ll keep it in mind for future reference.

Overall, it was a really good meetup. I’ll go again!

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