When the rich and full of new experience year 2018 was coming to an end, we all heaved a sigh of relief ("PVS-Studio. Thank you for being alive") and thought that everything was over. But it wasn't. The first half of year 2019 turned out to be more than intense. On some warm days in May, our spacious office was literally dying out because the conference time was going full speed.
For those who have not read yet or want to refresh their memories of 2018, you're welcome to click here. But less talk, more numbers. Since February to June we have attended 19 conferences (19 in half a year, against 23 in the entire year 2018, Carl!) and took part in 1 online conference remotely. We can say that the guys broke last year's record. They were present at 11 ones with a booth. We made 18 talks at 16 conferences (i.e. at some of them even twice)!
What can I say? We rock, man! Now let's take a short trip through all these conferences and remember how it was.
We started the season in February in Siberia. C++ world is our old friend and hospitable home. Here we feel especially confident because our story began with C++.
But that's not what this is about. Not only have we represented the company with the booth, but also our CEO Evgeny Ryzhkov had a talk "Modern static code analysis technologies" (talk in russian).
It is a pity that that time there were no more sponsors, as we like to communicate with our neighbours and exchange not just handouts, but also experience:)
This is the second time we've been to Team Lead. And we will come again!
What has static analysis to do with team leads? We believe that it is striving for the development of a great high-quality product and weeding out complexities and errors. That is, a lot of things :)
We love Ontico conferences for their magnitude, for awesome speakers, for interesting and diverse talks. Sometimes we manage to charm the program committee with the theme of static analysis, sometimes (as, for example, this time) - not. But we never shy away from it and ... We put up a booth.
The events that stand out are pre-parties for speakers and sponsors: here you can meet face to face with those who sear not only hearts but also minds of the public. Among the speakers we often meet client companies' representatives and never miss an opportunity to ask how business is going.
Often exactly this 'tete-a-tete' communication allows us to increase the loyalty of users, to reveal their real needs. We also love critics - this is an important component of the driving force of our development. Yessir! And of course, there is an opportunity to discuss with the members of the program committee what topics are trending for the audience, how to make a really interesting talk, which will "hit the taste of the audience.
Our tip: Never miss preparties! And don't miss the beer party at the end of the first day of the conference too. And not even because of the beer. Actually, quite a lot of positive and constructive conversations at our booth took place along with foam caps and under the accompaniment of a caressing sound of clanging glasses.
For the first time we were at an Agile conference. The impressions came in a lot. As well as new fashionable terms. It is easy now sneak in scrum, agile, kanban and so on in conversation. But we did not come empty-handed, as they say.
We gave an hour and a half of hardcore master class "Raising Software Quality with SonarQube: from Installation to Source Code Analysis" in the Engineering Culture Section.
And for those who cannot or simply do not want into hardcore, Evgeny Ryzhkov told "What should DevOps know about static code analysis?" in the same section so that everyone understands that static code analysis is a process, methodology and philosophy, not just tools.
But enough about us, let's talk more about the conference! It was nice to meet representatives of the banking sector (Raiffeisen, Home Credit), the largest HR-portals (HH.ru, Superjob) as sponsors of the event.
The audience of the conference was not only large, but also generous: everyone is a mature specialist, who knows exactly why he came (to improve efficiency, of course!), and we were right there, seeing their request through time and space, ready to relieve code pain...
Another interesting and detailed overview of the conference can be found here.
It's as great as C++ Siberia, but for 2898 people! We spent 2 days at the PVS-Studio booth side by side with cool programmers answered a lot of questions and dispelled a thousand and one doubts.
Suddenly we faced the fact that we ran out of our handouts with tasks. That is, every single one of them was taken. It was quite a zeal! Taking home empty suitcases is a special kind of joy. How do you like it, Ilon Mask?
Yo, kid! You don't want a little CodeFest anniversary?
10 parallel tracks, plus spontaneous "flatmates" - the coverage by themes was enormous. How the listeners managed not to get lost and confused in such abundance - we have no clue).
I dare say it's the biggest Siberian IT-event.
Our sympathy prize went to Dylan Beattie - CTO Skills Matter, London. Not only did he deliver the top talk in the Backend section, but also sang some songs about everyday life of programmers at the after-party at the end of the first day!
The audience was delighted, see for yourself:
Plenty of great booths were at the conference venue, but we were most impressed by the following ones:
1. VK balloon pool
The point was to find the lucky balls with the prizes. My colleague Ekaterina Matveeva dived, but, alas! Nevertheless, in order to relieve the tension - it's just great!
2. Bicycle from Tinkoff
Sports, and attention, and coordination... and a cocktail for the scores at the end of the race :)
Here we had to spin the pedals of the bicycle on the podium. Synchronously with the wheels a feed similar to that in Instagram was scrolling. You had to ring a bell when you saw a liked photo and skip disliked ones. For a misplaced ringing points were burned or halved, or something like that.
At the end of the given time the operator of the "attraction" handed out a ticket with the amount of points earned, which could be exchanged for a non-alcoholic cocktail in the bar.
There were a lot of other great activities at the conference. We decided that when we grow a staff like Tinkoff, we'll stir up something as epic too :)
It was the first time we've attended this conference, as well as many others. Two days of selected talks in Russian and English in three tracks at the Red October venue - cool!
Not only the talks, but a little bit of rock
That time our acquaintance began with Sergey Khrenov's talk "Static analysis as an additional barrier to error".
We believe that the focus of the conference is consonant with our mission to improve software quality, and the talk was useful for QA engineers, developers and all those for whom it is important to contribute to the evolution of a smooth software development and quality assurance cycle.
- Look, they're talking about static analysis again! :)
We were very positively surprised that a lot of people came to our presentation and, judging by the questions, the talk "rocked". Sergey Khrenov also noted the convenience of using the system sli.do by the organizers, thanks to which the listeners could connect to the event of the conference and ask questions immediately during the talk, and then the speaker saw the received questions right in the list and answered. Thanks to this system, we were able to double the number of answers having the same amount of time. Great!
A new conference from Ontico. Philip Khandeliants made a talk "Static analysis and writing quality C/C++ code for embedded systems" (talk in russian).
There were quite a lot of listeners in the room, someone even made notes.
Many specialists came to listen. It was nice to realize that the issue of code quality is very important for large and small companies of various spheres.
- They say that static analysis is expensive and useless.
- You just didn't have a proper analyzer :)
A detailed note for those who are interested in the event.
On April 5-6, 2019, the seventh JPoint was held in Moscow. Every year the conference grows, becomes even more interesting and hardcore, gathering in one place more than a thousand participants. And to be exact, 1600 this year. Wow! In our opinion it was the most energetic conference in the first half of the year: 2 days at the booth were very intensive.
Still fresh, smiling...
We used to relax a little on the second day, but not here. The endless flow of people... It was a rare case, but we had ALL the handouts with the tasks taken away. And the most wonderful thing was that all those people were our target audience.
Business cards were flowing like water.
We have been to many great events, including various festivals, such as RIT++. Such a whirlpool of various specialists and topics, but, alas, it is difficult to identify "our own" from such a dense flow. And it's a different thing entirely, when you have just released a Java-analyzer and immediately got into the heart of the Java-community.
At this conference Evgeny Ryzhkov told a little about our analyzer and why developers need it. It's not a full talk but it's still nice (talk in russian).
At the conference, almost nobody knew anything about us, but we look at the world optimistically and are glad that we have such a huge field of upcoming activities and promotion! This is a great start, seriously. Visitors were very active in communicating, asking us questions about the product itself, about its difference from SonarQube and IntelliJ IDEA, about integration and much more.
That's what we all love :) And, of course, after such a prolific attendance at the conference there is always some vision of the further development of our analyzer.
Faces of static analysis.
After mega-intensive JPoint, we went to St. Petersburg on HighLoad not even going home.
The impression of the trip was ambiguous: there seemed to be a lot of pleasant and useful conversations at the booth, but at the same time, quite a lot of conference participants, with whom we managed to have a chat, code in languages that we do not support (php, js, etc.).
And it's obviously hard for one team to participate in two conferences back to back. We must admit that we were very lucky that we managed to take a breath and relax on Highload.
In addition to the booth, we also had a master class conducted by Sergey Khrenov and Philip Khandeliants.
By the reaction of the audience, by the number and essence of the questions asked, it becomes more and more obvious that the developers' community is more and more concerned about DevOps in general, and regarding our scope - the quality of their product code. This is very encouraging and stimulating for us to continue our mission.
We are glad that static analysis piques people's interest.
So, we were past the equator, facing the first disappointment of the season. The abundance of various spheres and topics (targets, that is) in IT leads to the fact that even Clint Eastwood sometimes misses.
At Product Sense, first and foremost we expected to see product managers who were also technically skilled (e.g. in development), who knew what the product was missing and what could be improved in it, how to optimize its creation and promotion.
Well, we have made a mistake. The audience of the conference mainly consisted of product managers who were not familiar with development, or managers of small projects, mobile development. That's why, alas, we couldn't find much common ground here, and there were very few useful conversations. It even seemed to us that our code roll-up and "find an error in code" tasks scared away already frightened product managers. :(
Once again, we're back in our native C++ environment.
Our booth is buzzing here: everyone knows about us, everyone wants to talk about us on life, the Universe and
everything PVS-Studio. Also, Andrey Karpov gave a talk "What we should pay attention to when reviewing the code of the library under development" (talk in russian).
Yes, indeed, it feels like home here! We cannot wait for the autumn C++ Russia in St. Petersburg!
We know that C++ programmers like when it's tough, so we brought tasks. But to be so tough, as to give all tasks away in one day? We didn't even expect that!
It's a good thing we got another magic suitcase later.
We suspected, but we weren't sure that there were people who knew about us, but haven't tried our analyzer yet. Well, we met those who have been reading us on Habr for 10 years, but somehow didn't get a chance to try our analyzer on their project. We remedied this regrettable misunderstanding and gave them free licenses.
We've long been watching neighboring booths at different conferences, and how companies held contests for valuable prizes. This time we also decided to do something like that.
That's what we've come up with (in russian):
At the moment, we have a hard time assessing how effective the quiz was, but at least we have gained experience and we will contemplate on it.
And here are some more pictures of happy people in PVS-Studio hats:
Our Maxim Stefanov went to Penza with the talk: "Around Java in 60 minutes".
For the regional conference - a great number of visitors (about 1500 people, and it's not in Moscow, St. Petersburg or Novosibirsk, it's in Penza!), about 60 people gathered just to hear our talk. And this is despite the fact that 11 (!) tracks were running simultaneously.
The scope of topics was immense. We rest assured in Penza IT, even a little jealous. We don't have such a thing in Tula. And Maksim was given a cool Secon toy for his talk.
Now it lives with us. :)
Here our team was represented by Yuri Minaev with his talk "Static code analyzers as DevSecOps solution" (talk in russian).
At this event, Yuri was our eyes and ears, and that's what he told us when he arrived: "The conference was quite small, there were only two simultaneous tracks. Plus, there were several booths packed in a small room. I personally didn't like the fact that there were no pauses between talks. As soon as one of the speakers was done, the next one started immediately, and so on in "assembly line" mode. Generally, it went well, although there was a feeling that many people didn't understand where they were. It seems, my talk turned out too technical. Most of the audience there were not developers. The questions were mostly about using static analysis correctly and ways to make people check their code. "
Well, that concludes it! We hope that the next time the schedule will not be so tight.)
There is an opinion among the members of our touring team that DotNext almost left JPoint behind in terms of overall excitement level.
"How is that possible?" - You may ask. Well, it turned out that not everybody, even very few people, I would say, knew that PVS-Studio had a C# analyzer. And those who knew did not even grasp how much it has been improved in recent years.
Joyful and sad at the same time. But it is probably more delightful, because it means that there are boundless spaces before us again... We gave away a lot of licenses and got great feedback from users. Yay!
The developers actively participated in solving the tasks, asked questions about usage scenarios and principles of the analyzer, the features of integration into the development process on local machines and integration into CI.
We will definitely come to the next conference to reinforce our success. :)
Sergey Khrenov made a presentation "SAST, CWE, SEI CERT and other smart words from the world of information security". A large audience gathered, people stood even in the aisles between the rows. Sergey himself describes his speech as quite successful. Although maybe there was nowhere to go for the eight-thousand audience of the conference. :)
But we were less lucky with the booth. And now I will tell you why.
One more event which gave us the understanding that the format of the exhibition doesn't suit us. The declared huge number of visitors, alas, has not led developers and managers to us, but more schoolchildren, students and experts in other areas of IT. Therefore, there won't be a long story here. Only experience. :)
Why not our format? I will give you only one reason. It was awfully noisy and difficult to talk to those who came to the booth. We had to speak loudly all the time, and half of our booth-mates were hoarse in the middle of the first day.
Once again, C++\Java developer Maksim Stefanov had to face a new large audience. Our team had already been to Minsk before, and not once. But Maxim came to BelExpo for the first time.
We knew about the conference itself that Voxxed Days unites communities of engineers all over the world and takes place in many countries: Canada, Italy, Singapore, France, Switzerland, Cyprus, and since the last year - also in Belarus. Maksim was sent to explore, so to say. Well! 500+ participants, 50 top speakers and the whole hardcore world of Java... It was impressive!
Since our analyzer can also be used in Java, we managed to occupy our place on this feast of Java life and even gather 60-70 people for the talk: "EVERYTHING ABOUT STATIC CODE ANALYSIS FOR A JAVA PROGRAMMER" (talk in russian).
Even such gurus as Evgeny Mandrikov and Tagir Valiev were present. It's nice ("...and scary," says Maxim) :)
Home sweet home. So many familiar faces! We are very fond of CoreHard, Minsk and spring. Almost as much as we are of static analysis and C++.
We found that many of CoreHard visitors, were also at C++ Russia and even DotNext, so we couldn't surprise them with our handouts.
We're always ready to play a game with you
But we are here mainly to meet members of the C++ community so that we can share their pain and discuss programming in all its aspects; to argue. We are ready to tell the beginners many interesting and new things.
Our Yuri Minaev gave a talk: "Don't contact C++ programmers' support".
Unexpectedly, but not about static analysis. :) It was laughable, they say.
Yuri, as we've noticed, likes to wag his finger :)
We remember how we were impressed and literally stunned by our first RIT festival. So many people, so many activities, booths, trends! We still believe that this festival is one of the largest and coolest in Russia, but now, having gained experience working at booths, we can make some critical remarks.
Unfortunately, with such a huge flow of people passing along the booth for 2 days of the conference, it is not possible to communicate with all participants. We always try to guess by emotions on the faces of people who haven't come close to the booth yet and haven't started asking questions, whether they are interested in our product or our booth, whether they know about us, whether they have read something from our articles. In general, concentration is lost in the vortex of unfamiliar faces, and the worst thing is that the developers of C++, C# or JAVA, for example, are simply disappearing into the amorphous noisy and motley mass of the conference guests. At some point it seemed to us that we would get more effect in terms of getting people to know the methodology and capabilities of static analysis while giving talks where anyone interested in code quality could come and ask their questions. That's what we did this year. Two developers went there from our team.
Yuri Minaev to the Backend Conf section with the talk "Complex use of analyzers to improve code quality"
As always, the organization is on top of its game. Yuri was delighted, especially with the excursion in Moscow. Super, he says, was fun.
And Sergey Khrenov spoke in the Quality Conf section about a slightly more complicated topic - "How to create a quality static analyzer".
Both talks were met with interest. Listeners asked questions and were interested in details and nuances after the presentation. In general, the guys had only positive impressions from the speech. Keep up the good work!
As for SQA Days, we haven't decided yet whether or not this is our conference. Although last year we came with a booth, which was very popular, and we even gave a couple of talks. Probably, despite the fact that the conference is focused on testing, this event covers a wide range of professional issues in the field of quality assurance. That is, the list of talks covers the topics of both methods and tools, software testing automation and quality assurance processes in companies etc. It is the talks on code quality improvement and control that our developers made:
Sergey Khrenov "Specifics of static analyzer development and testing"
Oh, what have I written here...
and Maxim Stefanov "Expanding the idea of static analysis from code verification to other development processes"
According to their feedback, the conference is definitely serious and necessary for the testing community, and our topics are interesting for many participants, so the talks had high attendance, and many interesting and complex questions were asked.
If you think it's easy to be a speaker, remember: No.
In future, we will be ready to talk about improving the quality of the software product, if there is such an opportunity.
It is possible to say that the subject matter of the conference is similar to PHD, which is already familiar to us. But here, our speaker Sergey Khrenov had a real flashback to the times of diskettes, assembly of prehistoric computers and the smell of soldered microchips.
The badge alone is enough to impress with its appearance and mystery, which not everyone was destined to unravel. You can read more about it here.
Sergey made a presentation on "SAST and Application Security: How to Fight Vulnerabilities in Code" (talk in russian).
In general, the reaction of listeners was quite predictable, the topic aroused interest and various questions followed. It was a pity that there was enough time to answer just three questions.
But maybe sli.do will someday be an indispensable companion to all the speakers' speeches. We will be waiting :)
And just a few words about our experience of participating in the online conference. Philip Khandeliants and Svyatoslav Razmyslov held a master class on SonarQube, answered a couple of questions and went home. Simple and fast) No long journeys, no strange places and no people. It saves a lot of time and a little bit of money.
At the end of the article I would like to say that we can't see ourselves yet without live face-to-face communication with users, so meet us offline in the second half of the year!
The list of conferences, which we will definitely attend in the fall of 2019:
And these are just conferences which we'll be attending with a booth. Now my colleagues are working actively, preparing talks, so in the future the list is likely to expand significantly.
If you want to invite us to your conference as a speaker or partner, write to Ilona. She is our conference coordinator. Here are her social media accounts:
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Also feel free to ask your questions in the comments if we forgot to mention something in the article.