Does the browser have a future?
This was the question meant to help the attendees wake up and get into the conference mood. Tim Bray, father of XML and uncle of search engines, helped us realize where we are today when it comes to the web, from a client’s perspective. We have HTML which is an okay way of expressing the structure of your data, we have CSS to style and prettify that data (however, one can argue that CSS is broken), aaand we have the mighty DOM that we can operate with. Given the fact that most websites today use JQuery for DOM operations is a strong indicator that the DOM API is broken. These technologies might be a bit broken, but we developed several abstractions (jquery, less, coffescript) that we put on top them, so that we make the pain easier to bare.
To cut the rambling away, and just answer the question, yes, the browser does have a future, why?
- the internet is free in the browser – there is no corporate behind it (as a counter example, you can take the world of mobile apps, where you have vendor censorship and royalties);
- everybody runs the same version of your code – developers have one codebase, and not one for each OS.
- even though there is an increase in mobile apps, lots of them are not native, but use a webview to display their contents
Martin Fowler and Dave Thomas, one of the 17 signers of the Agile Manifesto, are giving us a review on why the agile manifesto was created. Oversimplifying the whole thing, I believe you can summarise it as: embrace change and trust your developers by letting them do their job. They will self-optimize, they will evolve as a team, and by their nature, they will remove any friction (aka company process/policy) that stands between them and making their users happy.
But nobody is stupid enough to do this, you can’t just trust your developers, you need a serious management stack to control them. However, this does not mean that you can’t be “agile”. SAFE to the rescue!
SAFE – Shitty Agile For Enterprises
Some smart people figured out that you can sell agile, so they converted agile from being a simple set of guidelines, into a whole process, and alongside they brought in some keywords like sprint, kanban, etc just to make everything more confusing and make you feel helpless, this way you need their services to properly understand agile. This is how certifications like Agile and Scrum Master came to life. Dave Thomas, signer of the Agile Manifesto, rightfully believes that a Scrum Master certification is worth absolutely nothing. Paying around 1000 dollars and spending two days does not make you agile, and a company is not agile if all its employees are agile master certificated. However, this is the general belief these days, and lots of companies invest serious amounts of money in “agile-izing” themselves, but don’t change their internal processes and workflows to become agile.
So far, the day was a great success, the conference is well organised, the food was delicious, and there are plenty activities you can undertake between the presentations.