MSCC meetup – Gang of Geeks

October 26, 2013
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As planned we had another session of MSCC meetup today. I kinda liked the idea of hosting the meetup at Ebène Accelerator when Jochen announced that 3 days ago. Nice for a location change.

The Ebène Accelerator is a business incubator. The project was set up by the Ministry of Finance & Economic Development with the aim to help local bright minds get a platform that facilitates starting up a business.

I reached Ebène around noon and went to InterMart Foodcourt first. I needed to meet Ibraahim, president of UoM Computer Club, to discuss a few things about the upcoming Linuxfest 2013. Ibraahim and two more of the club members were there. I greeted them, took a seat & we started discussing the event. A while later I met Jochen who was around to buy a few things for the kids. He left for Ebène Accelerator. Anshuman (another UoM CC member) joined us a short while after. Finishing Linuxfest discussion we had a quick lunch and joined meetup at 13h35. Oops! We were late. Jochen had already setup the projector & stuffs. Conversation was ON.

####Who made it today?

Jochen, Ashley, Yannick, Avinash Mayaram, Nirvan, Anshuman, Ubeidullah, Ibraahim, Pawan, Yunus, Shivek, Nitin J Mutkawoa, Nayar, Toshan & me … oh, not to forget Jochen’s two adorable kids.

When we entered the conference room Jochen was explaining about cost issues regarding rent (etc…) when managing a start-up; especially if you’re planning to run your business at Ebène.

We then talked about the IT industry in Mauritius, salary issues in various fields like system administration, software development etc. We analysed the reasons why people tend to hop from one company to another. That was a fun debate. Jochen told us how he manages his business & rewards himself with a little “good work” pat on his shoulder when the job is well done. The aim of Mauritius Software Craftsmanship Community was explained to newcomers. We told them of facilities & discounts available from O’Reilly & Pluralsight. At this point we started talking about books … and Jochen asked for the number of books each of us read in a year. For the record, things like “Twilight” didn’t count. It was quite fun to see the response then.

We continued with a recap of Clean Code Development from the previous Saturday meetup. Newcomers laughed at hearing the WTF per minute analogy. The Clean Code book was with Yannick, he brought it today. We asked him for a feedback. It was nice to note that Yannick compared what he learned from the book to actual practices by his developer friends locally and a few from India as well. Seems like he’s still half-way reading the book … we’re eager to read his full review when he blogs about it later though.

Around 15h00, Manuel & Paul joined us through a Skype video call from USA. They’re Jochen’s friends who are currently looking for some local talent for their upcoming project. It was nice to hear about their project and we pulled the University students to have a chat with the guys. Hopefully, some will consider building their nice résumé and send to Manuel & Paul.

After the video call we continued our discussion regarding Clean Code Development. We talked about Level 2, denoted by the color Orange. This can be broken down into the following sub-topics:

Single level of Abstraction (SLA)
This deals more with code readability. At this point Jochen asked us about the number of lines we have used in writing a method… Response made everyone laugh. It happens to be if your method is longer than one page, the less readable/understandable it becomes.

Single Responsibility Principle (SRP)
Simply said, one class should have one functionality. While I was still finding my way understanding this part, Jochen took the example of init scripts to make it clearer to me.

Separation of Concerns (SoC)
Avoid tackling separate issues in one class.

Source Code Conventions
We discussed about naming conventions while declaring variables or functions.

We also talked about Issue tracking, Unit Tests, emphasis on reading and code review. We saw how local companies ignore the importance of allocating some spare time to employees for reading & knowledge enriching.

While we were reaching the end of meetup, we had some quick insight on Developers Conference. Jochen shared experiences he had when attending various conferences back in Germany & other countries. That definitely gave us an idea of the type of conference he’s planning for next year. We talked about activities that should redefine the country as a Cyber Island. I hope the upcoming activities by MSCC & LUGM will make this possible.

Meetup ended shortly after 17h00. Everyone was happy as usual. We should indeed thank the Ebène Accelerator to have provided the conference room for another Clean Code Marathon.

Photos, courtesy of Nirvan Pagooah.

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