Going to the Devoxx Belgium 2019 conference - Code Nomads goes international again

20 Nov 2019 - Vasco Veloso

Devoxx Belgium 2019 conference: a great Code Nomads experience

Devoxx Belgium is a 5-days conference where developers and architects come together and explore the latest technology advancements and fascinating ideas, with some of the most inspiring speakers in our sector. Code Nomads attended the full 3 conference days… And then some. These are our highlights.

Getting there

No trip to Belgium from the Netherlands is a proper trip unless we take the train. So of course most of the team travelled together! Some also respected the tradition of catching the one train that will be delayed… But eventually we all got together to enjoy our accommodations for the week: a beautiful old house over one century old, decorated to purpose!

Getting technical

All together, we watched a lot of sessions. Here are some highlights.

The hitchhiker’s guide to diversity

By Audrey Neveu was a very good talk about, well, diversity. More than a list of do’s and dont’s, it was about understanding the issues that people outside of the biggest demographics group in our industry face every day. There are, of course, excellent organisations, teams and individuals in which company everyone feels safe and accepted. Unfortunately in many places and in most sectors in society that is still not the case. Let’s step in each other’s shoes to understand and be aware so each one of us can do their part towards building a safer and more inclusive industry and, yes, society!

Qualities of a Highly Effective Architect

By none other than our very dear Venkat Subramaniam, this was a talk about people. You know, those soft, squishy beings that stand in the way of the perfect solution? They deserve some care and attention. A good architect must know how to be around people and how to work with people. May I add that every developer does architecture? The traits and quality Venkat describes are definitely not for people in an ivory tower, but for us mere mortals.

Abstractions Without Regret with GraalVM

Most of you have heard of GraalVM. Quite unlike the elusive mythical cup, this virtual machine aims at bringing the power of native images with their low startup times and memory footprints to a polyglot world where previously incompatible programming languages can interoperate in the same project. Or just getting your JVM-based microservice to start up faster and use less memory. Did you know that even if you don’t go fully native, you may still reap speed benefits from the research that went into GraalVM just by using its JIT compiler instead of the JVM’s C2 compiler? Take a look at what Thomas Wuerthinger has to share…

Toward Software Quality Perfektion: A Metrics- and Methodology-Driven Approach to Achieving Total Quality Domination

Who amongst us never thought that our jobs would make a great comedy, they should cast the first joke! Comedy, people, let’s laugh at ourselves!

Why We Hate Java Serialization And What We’re Doing About It

Brian Goetz and Stuart Marks were kind enough to remind us of all the reasons why Java Serialization is a badly implemented good idea and why we should avoid using it today. Even though no promises were made, they are indeed thinking on ways to give it a proper implementation! Some day.

The Java Pub Quiz

A list of Devoxx highlights is never complete without a reference to the increasingly famous Java Pub Quiz session! What better way to spend luch time than trying to beat everyone else’s knowledge of Java trivia with a small team of friends? All while having a beer and chewing on some snacks? By your friends from Code Nomads Ramon Wieleman, Vasco Veloso and Suyash Patil, and OpenValue’s only Bert Jan Schrijver.

Java Pub Quiz attendance

In case you’re not familiar with the format… We ask thirty questions, each lasting 40 seconds or so on a screen. With music. And drinks. Each team fills in the answer sheet, which is then graded by the neighbour team as we present the correct answers. Nobody cheats. We make sure. Finally, the team with the most points wins. Simple and fun!

End-to-End test architectures, a dead End road

A tongue-in-cheek argument about end-to-end test environments and why they most likely will bring more trouble than they are worth. What do you think?

Generally speaking, what’s the future of Java?

There are many new features under development in Java and the JVM ecosystem, all of them very much worth listening about:

Getting personal

There is more to a Java conference than technical sessions. Yes. Really. Not kidding.

On Tuesday the entire team gathered in a local pub to sample Belgian and Irish beers, taste Belgian and international dishes and of course watch a Champions League game! A very exciting Chelsea vs AJAX match!

Wednesday was Devoxx afterparty time. We joined our dear friends from JPoint for an evening full of drinks, snacks, networking, good conversation and better jokes. Thank you JPoint team! We’ll join you again!

JPoint beer Einstein logo

Oh, let’s not forget the great dinner we had with the whole team before the afterparty. Sharing a nice Italian meal with such great people always turns out to be a wonderful time.

Code Nomads team at dinner

(Have you met everybody already?)

What next?

Well, Devoxx Belgium 2020 is on our radar. Every edition is better than the previous one so we’re looking forward to 2020.

We will be back to learn, network, socialize and… Have fun of course!