In today’s fast-paced, tech-driven world, technologies are constantly changing and evolving at rapid rates. Here at Red Dog Media (RDM), we strive to consistently improve and level up along with the rest of the industry to provide the best work we are capable of. In order to keep up with these updated systems and ideas, the developers at RDM attended the DEVIntersection conference in Las Vegas for the second year in a row. This conference provides our developers with interactive, hands-on experience, along with the opportunity to speak to, learn from, and work with some of the top innovative leaders in the industry.
Mark, a developer at RDM who is responsible for a lot of our database work (maintenance, performance, etc.), thoroughly enjoyed Bob Ward’s session on Inside SQL Server Containers as he was made aware how to run SQL Server using Docker. He is eager to implement these features in the near future at RDM. Mark had previously heard of the new Docker tech but didn’t know much about it until the DEVIntersection sessions educated him further. Following the conference, he set up a test run of this new container technology on his local machine along with a test container on one of RDM’s servers and is positive they will be eventually running these in production.
Danny attended some of the hands-on workshops where he was able to sit down at a computer and apply the things he was learning. One workshop covered the testing tool called Cyprus, which dove into the testing framework to write automated test suites for user interaction. He also attended a two-day workshop on domain group design and software architecture. He was able to take away a clean way to architect software in a more maintainable manner. The timing on that workshop was great, because he is currently heavily involved in a big project to do some major reorganization of RDM’s source code structure and project organization.
Alongside the other RDM employees, Danny expressed interest and excitement over potentially applying Docker and Kubernetes in the future at RDM. With this new technology, one is able to use containers to deploy software and manage instances. It isolates variables and makes it easier and more efficient to deploy and keep things running.
Jonathan found inspiration and insight from a conference session artificial intelligence (AI). In this session, he was intrigued by how in-depth the presenter went into building his system to predict sports outcomes. It was made apparent to him the vast amount of data and processing that goes into this and he thought it really showed how powerful the AI can be. Through witnessing this, he was inspired to leverage the AI in applications for both work and personal use.
Jonathan also learned about new tech regarding stream analytics–a way to process streaming data in real time. He believes this can be a powerful tool and would like to further his research and understanding of this new technology.
Ryan attended a workshop on upgrading and converting applications to .NET Core 3.0. He found this workshop to be extremely useful since RDM previously had been looking into applying this in our work. Through this hands-on experience, Ryan was able to bring applications from our company to the in-person workshop to be assisted in converting them. The leaders on hand were able to guide and help Ryan work through technical issues he was having in his work.
He covered a couple conference sessions on new graph database technologies since he had no knowledge regarding this previously. Due to the DEVIntersection conference educating him on this new technology, he was able to return to RDM and start a project where he applied these features in his work.
Along with both Ryan and Mark, Bruce attended the Blazer workshop. In that workshop, through background coding, they bridged the programming running on the client side of things with the background server side of things. Before going into this workshop, Bruce had little knowledge on this topic but through the hands-on experience and instruction, was able to create a fully developed app using their code. He was left refreshed knowing where Microsoft was going in the future with this technology.
Something that Bruce immediately was able to put into action was the troubleshooting of Azure applications, as RDM has been utilizing Azure for the past few years. Through one of DEVIntersection’s conference sessions, the engineer who built this tool was able to speak to our employees about the new features Azure offers. The session showed profiling where one can use and see the logs in real time as the application runs, catching errors happening on our website immediately. The new tools and features allow our developers to see, through simple formatting, what has changed and occured within the day to day processes.
At RDM, we believe in continuing education. Even though it can be a little painful to allow our developers to take time from their busy work schedules to do things like attend technical conferences, we believe the long-term value is worth the short-term pain. We do our best to allow and encourage our developers to learn and grow, which benefits them personally, helping them to develop new skills and knowledge. That benefit also extends to the company, as they take what they’ve learned and can often apply it directly to their projects at work, sometimes immediately, or sometimes just planting a seed for the future.