Coding Portugal — A Look Back at Volume 3

11/18/19 – João Henrique

Bigger, better but friendly as always! This is how I would describe the third edition of the Coding Portugal Tour. We were really excited about this one because there were some untested new things that we wanted to introduce.

This edition would add the beautiful city of Coimbra to the tour, we would have Porto as the first “community organized” Coding Portugal meetup, we would add a Blockchain Discussion Panel to the Faro event and we would have three talks in one event for the first time, in Lisbon.

Yes, there was a lot to experiment but we were confident that we had everything covered and in the end, it turned out to be an overall success.

What is Coding Portugal?

Oh yeah, right!!! Let’s start from the beginning. Coding Portugal is a home for developers of all skill levels. Everybody’s welcome, everyone’s invited, everyone will take something home from the meetups.

This is not your usual “experts talk, the audience listens” kind of experience but a community-driven meetup that embraces a knowledge exchange culture as well as a “nice to have you” attitude.

Instead of specializing on a dedicated topic, Coding Portugal was established to become a hub meetup for the coder community: every software development related topic can be addressed, every question may be asked and everyone should, first and foremost, have a good time.

You said “tour”?

Yes, every edition of coding Portugal runs as a tour. This is just a fancy way to say we go from north to south of the country in one week of events (this is the closest we can get to feeling like Rock Stars so bear with us). We usually travel by train with our own backpacks, a trolley full of Coding Portugal T-shirts and Stickers to give away, and a technical rollup that we struggle to carry on public transportation. Yes, we do everything for you.

For Volume 3, we added Coimbra to the tour which means Coding Portugal now has four stops: Porto, Coimbra, Lisbon, and Faro. You might think that for the organizers this is a crazy week, and you’re damn right. Again we ended up completely exhausted but with a big smile on our faces because we made lots of friends and got to connect developers that didn’t know each other before.


One of the most eclectic destinations in Europe and a symbol of charm for the Portuguese, Porto has once again been chosen as the starting point of the Coding Portugal Tour, but this time it was special because it was the first time we had a self held event. Self held meaning, Phillip Kessels, a Software Developer at spacepilots, successfully took over as a local organizer for the Porto event.

In Phillip’s words: “The Coding Portugal meetup in Porto has been very cozy once again. We shared interesting discussions about what state is and what not and heard the most interesting talks. Food and drinks were plenty and the group met for drinks afterwards as well.

Thank you for hosting the event for the third time in a row and for being such a welcoming place.

José Ferrão was the first on stage with “Delivering over 300GB of 3D data to the web in real-time”. At UNO Digital he develops world-scale visualization tools for geospatial data, point clouds, and CAD models. This information is combined with asset management and IoT monitoring data from their platform allow them to deliver real-time visualizations of production plants.

Then Anton Sutarmin from Russia, who came all the way from St. Petersburg, taught us about the “Practical Usage of Algebraic Data Types”. Functional programming ideas are often thought of as overcomplicated outside of the FP world. Anton convinced us that they aren’t! He walked us through the concept of algebraic data types and the way they make your code more expressive and clean.


With remnants of 2,000 years of history, where Roman Empire constructions coexist with internationally renowned modern buildings, Coimbra is a very old city that flourishes with life thanks to the students of several universities around town.

This was the first time Coding Portugal stopped in Coimbra and we have to thank Daniel Leal and Samuel Nunes for inviting us to their home town. We found that there is a lot going on in the city: There’s a very active tech scene thanks to the local universities, they have the Institue Pedro Nunes (IPN), an incubator where lots of startups are starting out of, and an enormous amount of young people eager to build the next unicorn.

The event started with Tiago Costa, a Senior Software Engineer at Elastic, with his “Experimental approach to solving file count on Kibana distributable” talk.

Then Stefan Adolf, a full-stack developer from Turbine Kreuzberg (Berlin), invaded the stage to tell us “a microservice story — a decoupled information hub built with Kafka and Elasticsearch”. Slides here!

A big thanks to Nest Collective for making their downtown coworking space available for our event. As you can see from the photos we were amazed by the food in Coimbra as well.


The capital of Portugal is always a mandatory stop on the Coding Portugal Tour. Here we always find a full house with faces old and new, with some people being with us since the first edition, and a lot of them bringing more friends every year, making it a very warm and welcoming experience.

In Lisbon, the event was held in BWORKING coworking spaces where we filled the front lobby and completely took over the place. Everyone there was very helpful and made it possible to fit a lot of people comfortably.

The first one to enter the stage in Lisbon was Mário Prada, a Frontend Developer at Generous. Mário was also a speaker in the last edition of Coding Portugal where he did such a good job that we decided to invite him again. This time he came to teach us how to avoid Spaghetti-CSS and start “Styling in React with Styled Components”.

The second speaker was the Brazilian Bruno Macabeus with “The day I reverse engineered a Gameboy Advance game”. Bruno taught us how to create our own ROM hacking for your favorite game, understand a crazy ARM assembly and reverse engineering, in order to create a useful level editor that works in the browser using JS + React.

And last but not least, we had Henrique Graca on stage, an Azure FastTrack Engineer at Microsoft. He told us how Azure has the tools we need and makes Kubernetes approachable and productive for developers. Henrique covered how we can use Azure Dev Spaces to develop and debug microservice applications that can run on the Azure Kubernetes Service.


Wait, in the Algarve? Yeah, you would be surprised by the ever-rising tech scene in Portugal’s southernmost region. The community is not that big if you compare it to Lisbon or Porto but when you have tech events everyone shows up. GeekSession is the “glue” that brings the community together and they have been doing an amazing job when it comes to the quality of their meetups. Since everyone knows they will have a good time on these tech events, the ranks still grow and they all bring friends.

And that’s exactly what happened in this last stop of the tour at our Turbine Kreuzberg Faro headquarters for an event completely dedicated to Blockchain. It was great traveling throughout the country and meeting so many cool developers, but when you go on stage back home and see all your friends, that’s when you realize you’re “playing” your turf for the final event of Coding Portugal Volume 3. And this is the most amazing experience!

And what an event this was! We wanted to go out with a bang and we did it. There was a lot of diversity and certainly something for everyone. For this last event, we experimented with recording the talks for the first time. We struggled a bit with the setup at first, but with the help of the team, we got it done. For the next edition, we might be able to record the complete tour, who knows.

Jorge Batista was the first on stage. Jorge is the Founder & CEO at Route Technologies and came to talk about “Cryptocurrency Payments 101: how to get paid in crypto”. In his presentation, Jorge taught us how someone can start accepting cryptocurrency as payment on their website, cheap, fast and easy, with complete examples in Python and PHP.

Check it out here:

Then the American Mark Burstiner, the Founder and CEO at Playproof, introduced us to “Games & Governance: self-sovereignty In Space”. Mark only needed 10 slides to persuade us that every crypto network is a game and how games are the breeding/proving ground for governance among humans. This is how we will discover the governance models that we will take to space with us as humans spread across the cosmos (provided we make it that far).

Check it out here:

After the talks, it was time for yet another experiment. Since we were having so many blockchain experts on stage, we decided to include a Discussion Panel for the first time on a Coding Portugal event. Stefan, who also drives our main medical blockchain project in Berlin, joined the two speakers, Jorge Batista and Mark Burstiner. Florian Möller, the CEO at Turbine Kreuzberg PT, was the moderator for the discussion with the title “The unlimited use cases of decentralized apps”. This experiment ended up being a success and we even had time for some questions from the audience.

After the discussion panel, the organizers were finally “off-duty” and got to enjoy a totally deserved cold beer with that feeling of an accomplished mission. But this was not the end of the event: Since it was Halloween, the team had prepared the most amazing HalloGeek After Party with a DJ and lots of scary but delicious treats for all attendees.

Greatest tour ever

Yes, the events are code-centric, but this is only an excuse for us to attend, have a good time, make new friends, share our ideas and learn new stuff in the company of nice people with interesting stories to tell.

Of course, there are still ways to improve and that's the best part because it means we can make it even better next time. As you might have figured out by now, the organizers are also developers and spend most of the time in front of computers writing code. We are by no means event organization experts and depend on trial and error to make things happen the best way possible. Let us know what you think of the events, what we are doing right, what we are doing wrong and how can we reach the next level! Your opinions and suggestions are extremely valuable.

Reach out to us if you want us to come to your city, if you want to give a talk, if you want to hold one of our meetups in your space, if you want to give us feedback, or even if you just want to say hi.

Without a doubt, this was the best Coding Portugal tour so far. Mostly because everyone involved did their part to make it so special. The speakers did a tremendous job of teaching us about fresh topics. All the organizing team that dedicated their time and hearts to make this happen. Everyone that attended, be it to learn, to teach, to make new friends, or even just for the beer. Huge thanks to you all! The objective was fulfilled — which was to celebrate our passion for programming and having a good time!

As for me, I hope to see you next year once again with a tour that will most probably surpass this one.

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