Lucky me, living in the metropolitan area of Nuremberg, … this year I attended three different developer-oriented open spaces hosted within one hour driving range from home.

  • devops camp in Nuremberg, six iterations so far, first one back in March 2014

And starting this year there are now two developer-centric events (both more or less claiming to be the first one):

  • developercamp in Würzburg, back in September 2016
  • swecamp in Tennenlohe/Erlangen, right yesterday & today

At the closing event of swecamp one participant mentioned that he was from Würzburg and also attended the developercamp… and that swecamp was really cool yet not on par with developercamp. Unfortunately he wasn’t willing to elaborate on what caused his feeling, but it kindof struck me … I couldn’t really answer the question which of those two camps was better (and remained quiet during the retrospective)…

But it kept bothering me and I had some time to think on may way home, … however I still cannot tell which one was “better”, mainly since it doesn’t feel right to compare the incomparible. After all both events attracted (slightly) different kinds of people. And as barcamps are largely shaped by their participators it’s due to this fact that both events felt different…

developercamp was organized by Mayflower which is a project & consulting agency in PHP & JavaScript field, also doing some Agile consulting, etc. … they mainly attracted (and this is personal gut feeling, not statistics) Webbish people, mostly developers but also a lot of product owners. Most attendees had an e-commerce background, be it a webshop, some shop software itself (Benjamin from Shopware was there) or some middleware provider. Topics were manifold, from What’s the job of a software architect? (which was interesting with half the audience from an Agile background and the other half from a more waterfallish one) over various Product Owner and discovery focussed stuff to dev-centric like Christopher’s TypeScript Game Engine Primer. Yet most sessions felt like fitting into my personal PHP/JavaScript/CleanCode filter bubble.

Opposed to that swecamp was organized by methodpark which also does projects and consulting, yet in more enterprisy contexts: medical devices and automotive. They managed to attract people from a (perceived) broader range of backgrounds … of course there were many of their own employees (Java, Embedded), more Java and C#, C++ and embedded devs from companies nearby … and of course also some Webbies (like me). The session topics were a bit more focussed on the engineering part and theoretical (read: language agnostic and less hands-on-code oriented) and a bit more testing. There were no Product Owner things and interestingly no operations stuff (Puppet, Ansible et al) and IoT was more of a topic (unfortunately I completely missed the IoT hack space)

What was especially cool with swecamp was that they had Susume Sasabe from Japan as a special guest, who did a comparison of DEV culture in Japan and Germany. He also spoke about Kaizen, different approaches to knowledge transfer, different problem solving methods etc. … all in all enriching the whole event every here and there. Besides that I really enjoyed @NullPlusEins’s sessions on (developer) psychology.

I also happily noticed that CQRS and Event Sourcing were a topic on both events, maybe a little bit more focussed on DDD at swecamp. This isn’t too surprising because of all the microservices buzz (which also was a hot topic on both events). Again serverless was not a topic, meh.

Last but not least swecamp was hosted in methodpark’s office which was way cosier and more comfortable, more decorated than the university building in Würzburg (where developercamp took place).

To sum it up, both events have their unique points. I really enjoyed developercamp (as a Web developer) and also swecamp, both had some sessions that really resonated with me (and after all that’s the main reason for me to go to unconferences: learning about things I don’t know that I don’t know them). I’m so happy that I don’t have to pick a single event to go to next year. Both organizers already told that they’ll follow up with a second iteration (and I’m more then willing to go to both of them)

PS: as a funny note, the devops camp site is the only one hosted with plain, unencrypted HTTP. Both more developer focussed events feature SSL :-)

PPS: developercamp also hosts on IPv6 and their hosting also supports Forward Secrecy, so let’s consider it better. SCNR :-)