NI Week 2018 Recap

NI Week 2018 is now over. I had a really great time. I saw a lot of great presentations and was able to meet and reconnect with lots of great people. We really do have a great community!

I posted a quote on Linkedin recently that got a lot of comments:

“We don’t learn from our experience. We learn from reflecting on our experience.”

This is my attempt to try to reflect on my experience at NI Week in the hopes that I can learn something. It was kind of like drinking from a firehose, so a little filtering and condensing is probably in order.

Presentations

I saw way too many presentations to try to recap them all. I am also sure there were plenty of great ones that I missed. Part of the challenge this year was that with the Software Engineering Processes Architecture and Design  (SEPAD) track, there were 3+ rooms of great presentations, all going on at the same time.

Luckily the SEPAD sessions have been videotaped and should be released soon. Thanks to Nancy Henson, Becky Linton, and Jon McBee for organizing the SEPAD track and for the volunteers who helped to record the sessions.  Once they are, I will post a video of my presentation here.

I do want to highlight a couple presentations that stuck out to me:

Mediate Viewable Actors: Observer, Meet Model-View-ViewModel – Ethan Stern

Ethan gave a great presentation on an innovative new way to do UIs in LabVIEW using the Actor Framework.  He was able to separate the view from the model.  He had an actor (I think he referred to it as a mediator) that the models could send data to and then the views would get notified somehow.  I can’t really do it justice here.  In fact, Ethan had trouble doing it justice in his one-hour presentation.  It easily could have been two.  I was able to follow the general idea of what he was doing, however, I really need to take some time and dig into the details.

Evolving from Quick Coding to Good Architecture and Clean Code – Christian Butcher and Ollie Wachno

Christian and Ollie gave a very good presentation around how architectures evolve.  They both told stories about projects they worked on.  They were constantly asking: “Is this the best way?” and adjusting course as needed.  It was interesting to see all the iterations.  Ollie just became a LabVIEW Champion and Christian was very enthusiastic.  You can see them both again at GDevCon.

Understanding the Decoupling of Messaging in the Actor Framework – Casey Lamers

Casey’s presentation really was more of a high-level CLA discussion.  Casey was trying to further decouple actors even more than the “zero” coupling provided by the AF’s abstract messaging.  There was a lot of really interesting discussion.  It’s worth watching the video.  There is plenty of good commentary from Allen, Stephen, and Dmitry.

Lessons Learned FromHardware Design Applied to Software and Test-Driven Development – Fabiola De La Cueva and Luis Orozco

This was probably one of the most entertaining presentations I watched.  I also found it very valuable.  Fabiola and Luis did a great job with this presentation.  Fab made the case that the work Luis does as a hardware designer is actually test driven development.  She also added a lot of good tips such as building test points into your code.  Very entertaining and informative.  This was part of the SW Test, which is the same track my presentation was in.

Software Test Roundtable

There was a roundtable on Software Test that is worth downloading when the videos come out.  Look for Peter Bokor’s presentation.  The second half is the roundtable.  It is quite good.  

Themes

There were recurring themes running throughout the conference.

Frameworks

I attended several presentations on the Actor Framework (AF), Delacor Queued Message Handler (DQMH), and the Distributed Automation and Control Framework (DCAF).  There were several other presentations about various other frameworks.  It is obvious that these frameworks are gaining popularity within the community.

Unit Testing

There was a Software Test track with a heavy focus on Unit Testing.  I honestly believe that within a few years, Unit Testing will become as ubiquitous as Source Code Control.

Continuous Integration

There was also an entire track on Continuous Integration.  LabVIEW 2018 now has a new command line to support automated builds.  I think that like Unit Testing it will also become ubiquitous, but I think adoption will take a  little longer.

On being a champion

The following people became LabVIEW champions this year.  I am very honored to be included with the great group of people.

Derek Trepanier
Joerg Hampel
Matthias Baudot
Nacer Mokhtari
Oliver Wachno
Pascal Heinen
Quentin Alldredge
Robert Schor
Samuel Taggart
Will Schoettler

 

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