The PHP Mauritius Users Group organized their second meetup today at Voilà Hotel, Bagatelle. I spoke to Sun, my developer colleague and he planned to attend. Pritvi, the SysAdmin from the Meteorological Station dropped me a word on Facebook. We all reached the hotel by 18h30. Minutes later as we entered the Accelerator (that’s the name of the conference room), it was full.

Wasseem from the PHP Mauritius UG did a quick welcome speech and introduced the first speaker, Mozammil Khodabacchas.

Moz, as we usually call him, explained how he’s been keeping a diverse (& remote) team happy. He gave us a brief overview of his career history, starting with Cahri as developer and currently being the VP of Oryx Cloud Inc.

He put a lot of emphasis on employee satisfaction and the mobility of people, stressing that the office is not a place where you really get work done. He proposed his company to have an optional office policy and ever since he’s noticed a boost up in company work. Moz is also against « meetings » although he’s certain that communication is key. For that matter he recommends work tracking using Trello.

That was a short presentation on being far, dispersed, yet connected.

The second presentation was by David Dias, a front-end fellow from Proximity BBDO Indian Ocean. He manages a team of 12 and he went on to explain how to « dance » with a front-end dev? At first, I did not grasp the title; but that was on purpose I guess.

David presented five steps to get to know a front-end developer and dance with him/her. He starts with tools that front-end devs should be familiar with. There was a whole bunch of them.

The next step is about letting a front-end dev choose his tool. Here he makes a compare & contrast with various tools; going through SASS vs LESS, a quick note on PostCSS (while recommending an article by David Clark), Grunt vs Gulp, Angular vs React, Express.JS vs Meteor.JS, talked about NodeJS among a few other stuffs. He did a demo showing a NodeJS application calling PHP and how he’d use a “watch task” to re-compile the CSS and reload it live as changes occur in the SCSS file.

David invited everyone to have a look at TodoMVC, an online tool that helps selecting a framework.

There was a mini-discussion about whether or not is it a good thing to off-load data processing on the front-end side; why not leave the abstraction of backend / front-end as it used to be, thus letting the scalibity of backend handle growing processing needs. I’m not usually into dev talks and I remained an observer. Correct me if I’m wrong about the debate there.

Sun, however, hopped in earlier to answer a question about the growing complexity of front-end; compared to several years ago. All while ascertaining that new tools continue to pop every now and then, making it the duty of a front-end developer to keep pace with, he explained that the trend (of processing more data client-side) could be attributed to the ever increasing processing power on devices.

Wasseem thanked everyone for participating and said a few words about the sponsors; among which WeCamp drew some attention ?