2020 Tech Events: What's still happening Around the Globe

With all the worldwide events cancelling due to COVID-19, what’s left in 2020? Well, you would be surprised, there is still a lot happening! The wheel of innovation never stops when technology is involved. On the other hand, it’s also a great opportunity for networking and finding new talents. Here are Startups Meet-ups and Tech Events around the globe in 2020 you should rush to!

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Live Streaming Event Platforms for Organisers and Audience

With the huge demand for live streaming event platforms, some startups have been very busy ! The international crisis is making people from all around the world to ask for companies to stream live events

We found some platforms to either host or attend online events! They are easy to use and very practical. Here’s some information about each of the platforms and how to subscribe to them. 

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Top 5 Tech, Entrepreneurship & Marketing Communities in Barcelona

We found great tech, entrepreneurship, and marketing communities in Barcelona! If you’re looking for after-work activities, you should consider joining communities that share your interests. Being part of a community is part of Barcelona’s culture. You get to learn about different topics, meet new entrepreneurs and projects, and also discover places that you never knew about.

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No more server side rendering?

A couple of weeks ago, Google announced a long-awaited update on googlebot. It now runs chrome engine version 74, the same we’re currently running in our Chromes. What’s more, it announced that from now on it will keep doing regular updates on it to ensure continued support for new web technologies.

It’s still missing support for some features, but different people reported their websites being crawled and rendered perfectly by google bot now. You can use ES6 syntax and many more things without the need to polyfill or apply babel!, at least not so heavily as if the website was from 2015.

It’s not all rainbows and unicorns however, it’s known that google crawls websites with a javascript-enabled browser far less often than without it. It’s to be expected given than crawling a site with JS is fairly more expensive. So, if you have a client side website and you’re fine with google updating contents every other day, that’s fine, but if you need google to pick up updates multiple times per day you’ll still need to provide a SSR version.

Another thing to consider is the support for other search engines besides Google. Different experiments show that some of them are able to pick up javascript up to some extent, but surely not as well as google. If you care about other search engines, you’ll still have to use SSR too.

Still, this is a huge step forward from google. Websites have had a big increase in average size in the last years, and google also has to parse and take into account CSS to check for hidden content, so it’s to be expected that soon enough it will have enough capacity to crawl javascript sites as often as non-javascript ones. It’s just a matter of time.

Ski Trip Spreadsheet Scripting

We have been organizing Itnig ski trips since the beginning. I remember we could fit in a car when we started, then in a pickup van, we later had to rent a couple of cars to be able to go, soon we had to share a bus with other people and now we need an entire bus for us.

Getting people to join

Once you have a date and a location, you can create a form with all the available options and share it via email, Slack, or whatever. We used to create it using Google Forms because it integrated with Google Spreadsheets and was easy to use, but now we use Typeform. It’s beautiful and now also integrates with Spreadsheets.

Calculating each individual price

Our ski trip has a lot of variabilities. One individual might want to rent gear while another one already owns it. Some individuals might want to snowboard and others might want to rent the highest quality skis available. Some need classes and some want insurance. Some people don’t even want to ski, but just spend the weekend in the snow.
This results in a situation where almost everyone has a unique price and although it was easy to calculate and handle when we were 5, it gets harder when you are 50.
You could perform a 200 character long nested IFS function to calculate the price for every row in the Spreadsheet, but it’s easier to just code your own more readable and maintainable Google Script function.
From the ‘Tool’ menu you can access the ‘Script Editor’ and there you have a lot of freedom to write your own functions.
I coded the ‘skiPrice’ function to calculate the final price for every possible combination, depending on the arguments the function received. Once coded, you can call the function as if it was a normal Spreadsheet function, sending cells as parameters.

The ‘skiPrice’ function calculates the final price

Sharing the info with the agency

Once you have all this information available you have to share it with the agency so they can check all prices are correct and to generate the insurance policies for the people who are paying for them. You could copy and paste or export the document but the best option is to share the live spreadsheet so they always see updated information. You could share with them the whole spreadsheet as “read-only” but you might have information or sheets you don’t want to share with them.
The best approach is to create an ‘Agency’ sheet in the same spreadsheet, with all the information you want to share with the agency. Then create a new Spreadsheet and in the first row write:

=IMPORTRANGE("https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/[YOUR_SPREADSHEET_ID]/edit";"Agency!A1:J60")

This will create a new Spreadsheet with only the sheet you want to show the agency, so you can now share it. Whenever you update the original Spreadsheet this mirror sheet will conveniently keep up to date.

Send custom payment emails from Spreadsheets

Once again this is a task that I could afford to do manually when we were fewer people but now doesn’t scale. Using the power of the Google Scripts I generate the corpus of the email, containing the options each user selected.
In the actual Spreadsheet I calculate the total price and generate the email corpus in one function call and a single iteration, but it’s easier to explain it separately.
The function ‘mailText’ generates a custom email corpus showing the user the options he chose and showing the total amount to pay. The function takes all options as parameters.

Once the email corpus is generated, a final script runs directly from the script editor iterates through every row in the Spreadsheet and sends an email to each user containing the custom corpus.
And every user gets the email in their inbox.

Conclusion

The powerful combination of Typeform, Google Spreadsheets, and Google Scripts is great, but after organizing ski trips for years I see a clear next step. A modern ski agency app that would let companies and individuals organize their custom ski trips adjusting every detail to their budgets and keeping all the information, communication, and payment processes in one place. Considering there are more than 6M skiers only in Spain we are looking at an interesting market.
How does Skitnig sound for a new startup name?