Report from Boiling Frogs 2018

Boiling frogs report

I'm leaving the Boiling Frogs 2018 conference with a slight sense of disappointment. Disappointment because one would like to have more - more days, more presentations (although there were plenty), more topics. But also disappointment due to the level of some of the presentations. And I'm not talking about the content, which was okay, but rather about the preparation of those presentations.

What went wrong?

The knowledge of the speakers was undoubtedly valuable, and one would have wanted more of it. The problem was rather that not everyone could organize and present it properly, which resulted in many interesting topics being covered too superficially or in a very inconsistent manner. There were also presentations where I had the impression that the speakers didn't really feel like presenting.

It's also a pity that the organizers didn't make an effort to, for example, hold a competition and a voting system for the presentations. This could have motivated the speakers and increased the level of their presentations.

Boiling frogs report

Winner lecture

K. Kędzierski: Technical Debt - A Professional's Tool

The best-prepared lecture. An interesting topic, slides with key phrases supported by graphic elements and substantive commentary from the speaker. The whole presentation was organized and coherent, additionally complemented by well-timed humor. Creme de la creme.

The worst lecture

J. Lange: The I word

In my opinion, a not very practical lecture that also gave the impression of being thrown together at the last minute. The entire presentation consisted of slides with poorly readable text (not a single graphic), simply read by the speaker. There was no commentary, no supplementation, no specific examples or comparisons (which the topic begged for!). It would have been better to just go to lunch.

The biggest disappointment

K. Marchwicki, A. Rogowska: How to Destroy Your Team

I had high hopes for the only two-person lecture with a woman in the lineup, especially since the convention of ironically "destroying" a team sounded intriguing. Unfortunately, I was sorely disappointed - the presenters did not stick to the interesting convention they had created, sometimes speaking about how to avoid destroying a team and then moments later about how to destroy it. While everyone can put together their own ideas, the interesting form and convention were lost. In addition, the whole presentation seemed improvised - okay, we have a general plan, some idea, and we'll improvise. It didn't work out, which is a shame because judging by the number of questions from the audience, the topic was not insignificant. A big plus for providing sensible answers to the questions.

W. Żołnowski: Blockchain

A very interesting, fresh and timely topic. The speaker has a lot of substantive knowledge and experience, which is great. Unfortunately, the lecture was hindered by its organization. Some key things were not explained, there was a lack of coherence, and there was no clear path from one topic to another. I would compare this lecture to a stand-up comedy routine - some comedians come with a story or some kind of flow, where one thing leads to another, making it more engaging. Others just tell jokes, often unrelated to each other. It can still be funny, but the overall experience is weaker.

Boiling frogs report

BoilingFrogs2018 didn't boil me, but I also didn't feel like I was in a jacuzzi. The organization was decent, the content was okay, but the speakers' preparation could have been better. Despite this, I don't regret attending and I will definitely come back next year.