All posts by Roberto Bez

Roberto started developing his first websites many years ago, of course with some old version of html in a plain-text editor. For Roberto development is not only work or a job, but a great motivation and a new challenge every day. Everything new and geeky, from new web-technologies to all kind of databases – he tries to introduce it in the daily development.

HolidayCheck craftsmen at SoCraTes Tenerife

Last week our developers Tobias Pflug, Alexander Schmidt, Robert Jacob, Robert Mißbach and Roberto Bez went to the SoCraTes Conference on Tenerife. Of course that is kind of an unusual place for a conference, but exactly that makes the difference. Beeng somewhere isolated, like in a lonely hotel near the beach, gave us a very relaxed and comfortable feeling while talking with other great people about software craftmenship and a lot of other interesting topics.

The Venue: Tenerife

After a very windy landing on Tenerife, we went to our venue, the lovely Hotel Aguamarina Golf, located not to far away from the airport. It gave us enough space for all the sessions we needed, as for example next to the pool or on the terrace.

The Hotel Aguamarina Golf

What is the craftsmanship conference about?

SoCraTes Canaries in fact is a Craftmanship retreat for open-minded craftspeople who strive to improve their craft and the software industry as a whole, organised by the local Software Cratfsmanship comunity in the Canary Island.


It is a totally community-focused Open Space, without a predefined agenda and without any speakers known before the event starts. Proposals were presented during the event itself in the morning:

Session planing in the morning

After the proposals were presented, we had five different locations (like classic rooms with projectors, but also near the pool or on the terrace, while enjoying a great view of the atlantic sea).


Discussion about costs of CI and CD


Talks & Discussions

Just to name some topics we discussed:

Jan-Simon Wurst proposed a discussion about Git Flow vs. trunk based development, trying to find out how other developer teams work and which might be the better solution. But as always – there is no perfect way, but a lot of right ones!

Robert Jacob showed us HolidayChecks continuous deployment pipeline with Mesos and Docker, facing a lot of interesting questions about that hyping topic.

Tobias Pflug let us had a deeper insight into his vim-skills, presenting some of his favorite plugins. Very cool stuff!

Roberto Bez initiated a discussion about distributed teams by sharing his experience about that and with a lot of interest in how other companies are currently facing with not co-located teams. For some it might work, for others it does not – but one outcome was clear: It is not always easy!

With two days full of interesting discussions, in the evening there was the time to enjoy a beer together as well.

To sum up, we went back home with a lot of new motivation, which we can hopefully use to become better craftsmen in our daily work!

A special thanks to Carlos Blé and all the other organizers for the great conference. We are already looking forward to visit you again in 2016!

The Theory of Responsive Websites

Responsive Webdesign

Here at HolidayCheck responsive web design is a big challenge, although we’re all big fans.

I recently joined the company as a Frontend Developer and I have been a big fan of responsive web design for years. The latest article I wrote about the subject is called the Theory of Responsive Webdesign. (Currently only in German, sorry)

Here you have a small teaser…

There is a big difference between responsive websites and good responsive websites, and of course it takes much more than to only consider some CSS improvements. Principles like mobile first are pretty hyped these days, but the challenge is not only a technical one.

Consider loosing 80% of the available space of a desktop screen and try to put everything important inside the mobile version. Designers have to rethink their concepts to provide a good user experience on small devices. Then, step by step, details can be added (progressive enhancement). One of the main benefits of this principle is that adding details is much easier than removing them from an already blown site.

You don’t have to develop everything by yourself, because there are a lot of frameworks out there. Going from the small ones, which only provide a small set of CSS classes for a responsive grid, to the all-inclusive frameworks, which provide a full set of components like buttons, tables and forms.

One of the biggest and most discussed topics in RWD is performance. As there is only one website, the smallest device has to load the entire HTML code. Also images can become an annoying mess, because loading high resolution images on a slow device can be the overkill for loading time. There are some approaches as partial loading to resolve these problems, but as nearly everywhere, there is a lot of space for improvements.

You can read this and many other responsive things in the full article on heise. In the next few weeks I am going to write the practical part of RWD, stay tuned!