06 October 2008

citcon Barcelona 2009?

On Saturday 4th of October 2008, the participants of the Continuous Integration and Testing Amsterdam 2008 conference voted at a large majority for Barcelona to hold the conference next year.

I think this is going to be a challenge for the following reasons:

  1. Language. Spanish people have a poor command of English - as bad as French people - which might limit the communication and especially the affluence. Nearly half of the people in Amsterdam came from the NL! Despite my 2 years in London, I found it hard to follow native english speakers at citcon 2008...
  2. Agile Community. Does it exist in Barcelona? I don't think it does. There was no one from Spain at citcon 2008. When I worked for a spanish company, developers did not value or practice testing and Continuous Integration (especially the architects ;-) I would not expect any support neither sponsoring from spanish companies. For example, onlu 20 job offers out of 2812 contain the keyword "junit" in the main spanish job site
  3. Venue. Barcelona holds hundreds of conferences every year so it might be an hard time to find a free venue such as in IBM Amsterdam.
  4. Barcelona hype. Barcelona has been very good in the last 15 years to promote an image of "cool" city worldwide. It spends 74 000 000 € each year to promote its image and it has done well so far as the city is always packed with tourists and lots of people would love to live there (and earn a decent salary). Life is more expensive in Barcelona than most of medium size french cities and it's hard to find good and cheap accomodation if you don't book in advance.
As far as I am concerned, I'd suggest Berlin. It is is also a cool city, much cheaper than Barcelona and with lots of agile geeks ;-)

Spanish people, please prove me I am wrong and contact the organizers to help!


Anonymous said...

As spaniard I'd like to have arguments against what you say in this post, but I have no one.

Hopefully things begin to change in the near future so we could organize such a interesting event in Spain.

In fact something is changing right now as you can see in Conferencia Rails 2008 proposals [1]: at least five of them are about testing, one is explictly about CI and two other have CI contents.

[1] http://ponencias.conferenciarails.org/charlas/lista

Xavier said...

Painful reading, because it is true. But sure, I'll do my best to prove you wrong :-)

cdamian said...

I also have to agree with most of the points.

But I also see a change. At the recent (small) phpconference here in Barcelona all the talks were in English. Even though there wasn't a talk about agile or testing, some of the talks mentioned it indirect with code coverage tools and frameworks.

The location at citilab was also very good and well organised, but it is rather small.

Jean-Michel said...

Thanks Fernando & Xavi for your comments. Reading the program of Conferencia Rails 2008, I feel the spanish Rails community is definitely ahead of the other folks: Acceptance Testing with cucumber, Continuous Integration, BDD, HowTo Testin, ...

Well done! Shame I will not be able to make the conference at Madrid. However, I will go the Paris on Rails which has a very lightweight program compare to Madrid, due to the lack of a French speaking Rails community ...
French are definitely behind Spain regarding the adoption of innovative technologies!

Proving said...

I totally agree with your post. I've been looking for an agile related job in Barcelona for more than 6 months with no success. Our english skills are weak, too.
I'have found myself trying to promote agile practices at job but nobody cares about quality, just get paid for an amount of crappy code.