4:00 - 5:00 PM - Production is like ultra running: brutal, ungrateful, but worth every step

Colin Fay

Both production software engineering and ultra running are demanding and grueling. Both require extensive preparation, unwavering perseverance, and a determined mindset to overcome obstacles. Many times, it's tempting to take shortcuts or give up. Seasoned software engineers can attest to the difficulties in developing robust, scalable, and efficient software. The intricacies of code, project management, and infrastructure often result in long hours of work. And at the end of the day, a successful software codebase is entirely unnoticed by the end user. Ultra running works the same: hours of training and planning culminate in a successful race when the runner crosses the finish line. And during the race, the hours of training are invisible to the spectator. However, even if the hours of preparation are almost invisible, the journey and the experience gained are what make the effort truly fulfilling. In this talk, Colin will explore what ultra running has taught him about building production software and vice versa, and why approaching production work with the same dedication and passion as an ultra runner is crucial for success. He will highlight the importance of perseverance and the value of embracing challenges along the way.

Colin Fay is a lead developer at ThinkR, a french agency focused on everything R-related. During the day, he helps companies to take full advantage of the power of R, by building tools and deploying infrastructure. His main areas of expertise are data & software engineering, web applications (frontend and backend), and R in production. During the night, Colin is also an active open source developer and advocate. He’s the main developer of the {golem} package, and the lead author of the “Building Production Grade Shiny Apps” book.
Sun 2:10 am - 12:00 am
Colin Fay, Production