Last week we took part in the DevFest organized by GDG in Pisa. Wonder what this is all about? Let us sum up our experience and the most interesting talks we had the chance to attend.

A bit of context

DevFests are local tech conferences organized by the Google Developers Groups all around the globe. The GDG teams can plan these venues concentrating on tech topics and organizing workshops, tech talks and networking occasions for developers to learn and innovate thanks to Google technologies.

Wondersys has a long-lasting partnership established with Google. This reflects into many aspects of our work, both as resellers of Google products and as users of the technologies provided by Google, that we employ in our development projects on a daily basis. 

We were involved in the DevFest as Sponsors and it was so interesting: we had the opportunity to listen to some upcoming news about the technologies we use. It was fantastic as well as to see how much the conference attendees were enthusiastic to learn more about the newest development tools.

Here a summary on the more interesting and engaging talks we had the chance to attend.

Technical talks

Simone Bonfrate‘s talk, “Deep Dive in Flutter Next,” gave attendees an in-depth look at the latest features and updates in the popular Flutter framework. Flutter is a tool for building cross-platform mobile apps that has gained a lot of popularity in recent years, and Bonfrate’s talk was an excellent opportunity to learn about some of the newest developments.

Carlo Lucera‘s talk, “Flutter Everywhere! The Importance of Adaptive Layout,” focused on the importance of designing mobile apps with Flutter that can adapt to different screen sizes and resolutions. This is a crucial consideration for developers, as users will access apps on a variety of devices with varying screen sizes and resolutions. Lucera provided attendees with valuable insights into the best practices for creating a good user experience across all devices.

The focus of Aleksandr Desinov‘s talk, “Building Flutter App for Everyone,” was accessibility. in mobile app development with Flutter. Desinov discussed strategies for making Flutter apps accessible to users with disabilities, emphasizing the need for developers to consider the diverse needs of all users when designing apps. Do you know that A11Y stands for Accessibility, and do you know why?

Francesco Sciuti and Nishu Goel explained to us the importance of analyzing the performances of our applications, also exploiting the power of the Chrome Developers tools.

Francesco Sciuti gave a brilliant and engaging talk, “Chrome Developer Tools: Tanti Gadget Utili per la Tua Bat-Cintura,” providing attendees with an overview of the various tools and features available in Google Chrome’s developer tools. Chrome developer tools is not only Console and these tools can be incredibly useful for developers looking to debug and optimize their web applications. Sciuti’s talk was a great opportunity to learn more about how to make the most of these powerful tools focusing on the Performance tool and its use.

Finally, Nishu Goel’s talk, “Breaking Up Long Tasks,” focused on strategies for optimizing the performance of web applications. One key approach is to break up long-running tasks (tasks that exceed 50ms) into smaller, more manageable chunks. This can help to improve the overall performance of an application and ensure that users have a smooth experience when using the app.

The diverse range of talks provided attendees with valuable insights into different aspects of development, from the latest features in Flutter to strategies for optimizing web app performance. We look forward to seeing what exciting developments the next GDG Day will bring!

Stanimira Vlaeva did an amazing talk showing how an application can be built in minutes using Angular Firebase hosting and MongoDB app service. She was really coding the app during the 50 minute talk, titled “Building a Real-Time Bidding Platform with Angular and MongoDB Atlas App Services”. Services like MongoDB App service or Firebase make developers focus on the application requirements while the framework covers most of the boilerplate. Mongo Change Stream offers a really nice API for building reactive applications. We really enjoyed the way Stanimira clarified concepts like “real time” in the context of Web applications and illustrated the different possibilities to push data from the server to the client application. 

A focus on soft skills

Moreover, Pisa GDG organizers did a great job by arranging a specific track of soft skills that included talks about our unconscious bias, about diversity and inclusion as well as relationships at work and Agile methodologies.

Michela Bertaina , in her talk “Gestire i bias inconsci”, spoke about the bias that each of us unconsciously have. Implicit bias is an automatic reaction we have towards other people. Our decisions and actions can be negatively influenced by these stereotypes so it is important to understand what this means. We were challenged on a quick experiment taken from the Harvard Implicit Association Test. Check it if you want to know more.

Eliza Camber is an Android developer advocate and a Google Developer Expert on the Google Assistant and conversational AI. She brought her experience by leading us through “Social Interactions for every app”, a bird’s eye view of best practices to introduce social interactions in any kind of application.

We had the chance to expand our comfort zone by listening to Katya Vinnichenko’s speech “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Google”. The challenge is to bring into our daily routine at least some of the practices of a large company as Google does when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).

Last but not least, we had the chance to listen to the speech “Introduzione all’Agile” given by Francesca Passaglia, AI and Data Team Manager. She gave a very clear overview about Agile methodology, starting from its history and the much renown Manifesto, concluding with the mostly used Scrum framework.


We are looking forward to participating to the next DevFest. See you there in 2024!