What We Learned at Rio Sul Valley Dev Summit 2017

This weekend was an exciting one for us here at Scalable Path. On Saturday, November 25th, 2017 a few of our developers took part in the Rio Sul Valley Dev Summit in Brazil.

The Rio Sul Valley initiative is a project by a network of professionals, startups, and third sector organizations who want to integrate Silicon Valley innovation with Brazil’s predominantly industrial Rio de Janeiro. Though this is their third conference, it’s the first under the Rio Sul Valley brand.

From agile to full-stack, this conference covered a wide range of topics especially useful to developers just starting out. Here’s the complete rundown of the event including our favorite talks and final thoughts.

UX Design For Developers

Rian Dutra, owner of Rian Design Agency, educated the audience on the fundamentals of UX. Dutra encouraged developers to view their project from a user’s perspective to avoid errors, such as too much jargon that only caters to power users. The link between UX and usability was also presented, with references to Jakob Nielsen’s usability heuristics.

Read more about Nielsen’s usability heuristics.

Art Attack For Robots: Teaching Art to Your Computer

Isabella Silveira, developer at Work & Co and Machine Learning enthusiast, walked us through the process of creating machine-generated artwork. Using thousands of landscape pictures downloaded from WikiArt, shrunk to save disk space and processing power, and machine learning algorithms to both identify and generate pictures, it was possible to output over a hundred landscape-like images. She showed that a similar process can also generate music or poetry.

Learn more about the algorithm used for this demonstration at the DCGAN in Tensorflow GitHub repo.

Unsaid Secrets of PWA – Beyond the Web App Manifest

Eduardo Matos, web developer and tech lead at GetNinjas, explained what goes into making a Progressive Web App. These web apps are as dependable and as fast as native apps.

Matos used Nginx to teach several techniques and metrics regarding caching, compressing, pre-loading content, and asynchronous processing of requests.

Take an in-depth look at Progressive Web Apps.

Readable and Scalable CSS

Edgard Kozlowski is a developer at TUUT Creative and explained the BEM (block, element, modifier) methodology used to structure and name CSS classes in order to improve maintainability. This is an especially useful tool when working in large code bases where organized code is exceptionally important.

Learn more at the Get BEM Introduction.

Agile Testing – Quality from Discovery to Deploy

Eduardo Cini, QA at Concrete Solutions, explored Agile Testing basics.  He compared the importance and the purpose of tests in both Waterfall and Agile development teams. Cini defended the presence of testers throughout all product phases, from discovery to deployment, in order to help build the product that is needed, instead of bug-free code that has little value.

Everything You Wanted to Know About Remote Work

Bruno Nardini, Tech Lead at Gupy.io, explained to the audience the joys and pains of working remotely. Though remote work is not nearly as widespread in Brazil as it is in other countries, employee and employer interest is steadily growing.

Remote work is an attractive option for everyone involved particularly because of its flexible nature. Despite its long list of benefits, similar to a traditional workplace remote work has a unique set of requirements that must be met for it to be successful.  These include a dedicated place for work at home and away, reliable internet connection, and excellent self-management skills.

Nardini also discussed ways to improve communication and combat loneliness. 

Functional Programming is Not a Fad

Vinicius Reis is a full stack developer at Decision6. In this presentation, he taught the origins, objectives, and applications of functional programming.

Functional programming is a programming paradigm initially hindered by the high cost of memory. Today it helps overcome the limits of processor clock speed and better employs the ubiquitous multiple cores. Additionally, Reis stressed the difference between purely functional languages and hybrid ones.

Automating a Low-Cost Home Using Google Assistant and NodeJS

Afonso Oliveira is another Tech lead at Gupy.io was next in line. He brought his Google Home device and showed us how he hacked his way in with regular home appliances including lamps, gate locks, and TVs. Oliveira then introduced the role of MQTT, a lightweight IoT protocol, in a very interactive and lively talk.

Read more about the MQTT protocol.

Full-Stack: Zero-to-Hero

Thiago Sciotta, a developer at Veriz Tecnologia, wrapped up the day by reflecting on his experience as a full stack developer. He explains the position’s pros and cons and career progression. Sciotta also discusses technology stacks as old as Visual Basic and as current as MEAN.

This was certainly an eye-opening talk for new developers in the crowd who wanted a peek inside the life and career of a successful full-stack developer.


  • Understanding User Experience Design is an important first step toward creating a successful product.
  • Developers who don’t commit to taking the user’s experience into consideration, make errors that take away from the product’s value.
  • Algorithms are capable of producing art in the form of images, music, poetry, and more.
  • Machine-generated art means compiling artwork from history into a new piece.
  • HTTP2 and Google Lighthouse will audit and improve the performance of PWAs.
  • BEM was shown to help reduce code repetition.
  • By naming your CSS classes based on an element’s properties, your code becomes more readable and reusable.
  • The ‘tester’ needs to have a more active role throughout the product development process.
  • A tester should have both technical and analytical skills to ensure the best product is created.

You can check out more of my thoughts on the event at @scalablepath.