ScalaUA 2020

I like visiting ScalaUA conference in Kiev every year in March or April. I did so in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

So for 2020 it was kind of difficult to perform a regular conference. So there are two options, either it could have been cancelled or it could have been postponed. That is what all other conferences did. ScalaUA being an innovative tech conference opted for a third route. The conference was held, but totally online. It is agreed that it is worth to travel to the location and meet in person. But since that was not an option, it was an innovative and reasonable approach to run the conference online.

So the question is, how did this work?

There was a bit of a fight with the tools. We used Zoom, which was probably a good choice, because it has rich features. The schedule was more or leas as it would have been normally, so the 15 minute break between was enough to get some coffee or whatever, because no lines and no distances had to be dealt with. The talk was delivered in such a way that the speaker was seen full screen when no slides were shown, but usually the slides took up the whole screen and there was a small window in the corner, which could be moved around on the screen which could show the speaker. It was possible to ask questions and put oneself on video as well as a spectator. But for better support a Slack channel was provided for each talk plus a general one and a few that I did not use. They are kept around for a week after the event, so questions can still be dealt with.

One talk was done by two people. One of them wrote on a transparent board, that was between the camera and him, which was very impressive. Of course it was converted to allow him to write from left to write and us to read from left to write. His presentation partner showed code on her computer. This talk actually did something that is not possible in the usual situation.

What was important: Starting the Zoom channel for the talk about five minutes before, because it sometimes took some time to start.

What is more challenging: If the talk is not really very interesting, it is a bit harder not to get distracted. Sitting in the audience, you have to listen.

You can see the agenda. I did not speak myself this year.

Scala 3 (former Dotty) took up a lot of space, because many things have to be redone in Scala 3 or at least can be redone in a much more elegant way.

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