Have You Met CrisCon?

The month of September always marks the beginning of a new conference season and there is one uprising conference held in a small town of Križevci on 22nd September. This years conference showed us that this is not just a small community event but that it intends to become a serious regional conference with high-class content. The second edition, CrisCon2 (what is named the second edition of the conference) hosted well known regional speakers within sessions divided through five tracks. You can find all the details about the conference at http://criscon.krizevci.hr.

The sessions were divided into several tracks. Education track sessions were focused on ICT in education. I think that this is the first conference that I know which connects experts in ICT technology with experts in education and covers themes focused on how to effectively use technology in elementary, high school and college. Two thumbs up for this! IT PRO on-premises and IT PRO on Cloud track hosted themes that are related to system administrators, IT infrastructure experts, database developers and admins. Then we have the project management track with themes related to agile project teams, a collaboration between developers and project managers and tools that could help project managers in their daily activities. And last but not least, the development track which was all about web applications and Azure.

Sessions were held by well known regional speakers from Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia. This already shows how serious this conference is in attendance to become a regional wide conference. It’s just enough to go through the names to see that the most of the speakers are holders of Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award and that they are regular speakers at big regional events with the themes that cover the latest trends in Technology which were not lacking at this conference either.

Since I am a developer I will go shortly through the DEV track sessions.

Ivan Curić with the theme in WebAssembly in .NET was the ice-breaker at DEV track and showed us still an experimental technology from Microsoft called Blazor that will change the way we developed web applications. After the session, many of us wondered if they should start learning a new Angular framework for the upcoming web projects or wait for Blazor to come.

Now that we know what the future brings, Miroslav Popović explained to us the mystery of containers in .net core an how to use the containers efficiently in our aps.net applications by showing various examples of creating, building and composing docker containers for production-ready scenarios. The crowd got the really good experience on how to use Docker in asp.net core application correctly and I certainly got a few ideas from this session that I will use in practice.

Right before the lunch, Bernardin Katić showed us how much technical debt we developers are creating in everyday work by writing bad code. The theme on smelly C# code and the guidelines how to refactor such code made us aware of the things that we as developers do automatically that later gave us a headache when we need to maintain the code that we wrote a months before.

It’s always difficult to hold a lecture right after the lunch but Domagoj Pavlešić the founder of Sessionize.com gave us a great personal experience from two real-life application example (Bug.hr and Sessionize.com) hosted in Azure. The session covered why he decides to host the applications in Azure, what were the obstacles in the production run and how to overcome them, what to avoid and how to reduce costs of the application hosted in Azure. I bet that everyone in the crowd learned something new in this session which was a truly from professional to professional.

Since we started right after lunch with the Azure sessions, it is appropriate to end the DEV track with two closely related Azure sessions. The closing of the track was all about Serverless on Azure. My topic was on Azure Functions and Azure Logic Apps as two major players in Serverless on Azure where I showed how to integrate this with the existing Azure services like Azure Storage, Service Bus, Event Hub, Event Grid, etc.. and how to easily implement a CI/CD DevOps process by using VSTS or GitHub.

Right after the warm-up on Serverless Ivan Čuljak added a cherry to the serverless pie with this session on how to make the cloud an event-driven and orchestrated. The session was all about the various real-life examples and benefit of using EventGrid and EventHub in Azure along with the Durable Functions that launch us outside of the Azure cloud itself and now we could do cross-cloud event-driven applications which gave us a mind-blowing possibility and creativity. I bet that as you read this that there are some new Azure Functions created by the attendees of this session.

In the manner of a great conference, as a closure of CrisCon2, a panel discussion on ICT and education system in Croatia was conducted. The constructive discussion on the current state and what we could do better to add more synergy between ICT and education system was held between well-known people from education and ICT association.
The day finished with a prize draw and the organizers that created this great event (Tomislav Čut, Tihomir Hodak, Goran Žarinac and Dražen Bokan), randomly selected with the help of the wheel of fortune the lucky attendees who won stunning prizes (tablets, notebooks, etc…).

In the evening, in the end, everyone went home with a big smile on their faces impatiently waiting for the next year’s September to bring the Bigger Better Stronger CrisCon3 conference.

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