In 2018 I am visiting a few conferences. A great highlight is the Devoxx BE in Antwerp, which I had the privilege of visiting 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
As it should be, it is not just the same every year, but content and speakers change a bit from year to year.
Some topics that got a lot of attention were functional programming, artificial intelligence, Big Data, Machine Learning, clouds, JVMs, Kotlin…
There was less about other JVM languages (apart from Kotlin), so Scala, Clojure, Groovy or Ceylon were covered little or not at all and Android used to be more present in other years. I would say that Ceylon has become irrelevant, probably because Kotlin was too similar and came out the same time and won. Groovy has its niche, Clojure has its niche, Scala and Kotlin have become mature and are now the two mainstream alternatives to Java, but themselves much smaller than Java. This was represented in the conference, taking into account that Scala has its own large conferences, like Scala Days, Scala Exchange, Scala World and a lot more.
Some side issues that might worry some of us did come up occasionally. Was it bad, that IBM bought Red Hat? At least they paid around 34’000’000’000 USD, which is more than 2’500’000 USD per employee. There are probably no other assets in terms of buildings, patents, hardware or whatever, that would justify this price, so IBM probably will have an interest to keep a large number of these employees and not scare them away by too much „IBM-culture“. We will see, but no reason to get immediately worried. Oracle wants money for running their JVM in production after more than 6 months. This can be avoided by always switching to the newest version or by relying on the JDKs offered by alternative sources like Amazon, RedHat…
Microsoft was a sponsor and had a booth. Their topic was not MS-Windows and MS-Office and MS-SQL-Server, but Azure, which can be used with Linux and Java and PostgreSQL, for example. The company did change a bit since the days of Steve Ballmer and we will see if this is an excursion or a continuous direction.
And James Gosling was there at the opening, as a surprise.
Generally there was a wide range of topics and the talks were sorted into the following thematic groups:
- Methodology & Culture
- Java Language
- Programming languages
- Architecture & Security
- Big Data & Machine Learning
- Mind the Geek
- Server Side Java
- Modern Web & UX
- Cloud, Containers & Infrastructure
- Mobile & IoT
See the schedule for the distribution…
I attended on Wednesday:
- Welcome by Stephan Janssen
- Keynote 0: Surprise guest James Gosling
- Keynote I: Java in 2018: Change is the Only Constant by Mark Reinhold
- Keynote II: Spearheading the future of programming by Venkat Subramaniam
- Embrace the Anarchy : Apache Kafka’s Role in Modern Data Architectures by Robin Moffatt
- Ignite Talk: Visiting Belgium: A cyclist’s perspective by myself
- All other ignite talks
- Be More Productive With IntelliJ IDEA by Trisha Gee
- Processing Fast Data with Apache Spark: The Tale of Two Streaming APIs by Gerard Maas
- Your GraphQL field guide by Bojan Tomić
- OOP v̶s̶ and FP by Mario Fusco
I attended on Thursday:
- Building better monoliths – Implementing modulithic applications with Spring by Oliver Gierke
- Common mistakes made in Functional Java by Brian Vermeer
- Is boilerplate code really so bad? by Trisha Gee
- Quickie: Leaflet – it’s time to leave GoogleMaps by Guillaume Soldera
- Polyglot Persistence – Which Data Model to pick for your Workload? by Gerald Venzl
- Things I wish I knew when I started building Android Libraries – Vol 2 by Nishant Srivastava
- Untangling the mysteries of qubits by Roy van Rijn
- Agile is a Dirty Word by James Birnie
- Down the SVG Rabbit Hole: Advanced SVG Effects & Optimized Workflow by Robyn Larsen
- Keynote III: FP vs OOP: Choose Two by Brian Goetz
I attended on Friday:
- Ask the Java Architects by Mark Reinhold, Brian Goetz and team
- Functional Programming Patterns with Java8 by Victor Rentea. This was the best talk. Youtube
- The Z Garbage Collector by Erik Österlund
It was a great conference. A lot of new ideas.
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