Simon Gerber

Engineering Manager, Prospection

Simon is an Engineering Manager at Prospection. He cut his teeth building 'enterprise software' for the legal industry in a variety of non-agile environments, crunching through waterfall projects and working late-nights and weekends around painful build and deployment procedures. From there he moved to a FinTech that set out to prove that you can be a 'decent disrupter', and succeeded. Since then he has lead a variety of product and platform teams, often working in and around engineering efficiency, with a mission to proving you can change the world while still balancing life and work.

 

Talks on Wurreka:

Trunk-based-development, continuous deployment and blue/green deploys are powerful techniques to increase the velocity and safety of our releases. But they have a dark side. Life becomes more complicated when new code and old code can run side-by-side. Much of the advice on the broader internet boils down to "Just use feature flags." Reality is a little more nuanced...

The good news is that we engineers have been wrestling with compatibility problems for years and there are some well tested techniques and strategies for coping.

In this talk I want to share some production-ready, battle-tested strategies for evolving live systems with zero down-time. We will look at adding new functionality, refactoring live code, evolving database schemas, and a few of worst mistakes we made along the way.

This talk should be of interest to engineers who are new to, or interested in, working with continuously deployed services (be they micro or otherwise).

We need to talk about code reviews.

Having a strong, effective code review process is the key-stone of quality, culture, learning and all-round engineering excellence. It will accelerate learning and knowledge transfer, reduce your "bus factor", improve collaboration, reduces friction and increase developer efficiency. Despite this, code reviews are rarely taught or discussed during formal computer science or software engineering education. As a result, code review practices tend to grow in an organic and undirected fashion. Often code review cultures are simply are not as effective as they could be. At worst, they can lead to a toxic brew of conflicting egos.

The dominance of GitHub and Git has lead to the "Pull Request" becoming the de facto form of code review. In this session we will take a step back and learn that there is more to life than the 'pull-request', when it's appropriate to use different review techniques, and how to make your reviews as efficient, humane and safe as they can be.

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