Devoxx United Kingdom 2021, I am We are

Marc Lameriks

At the beginning of this November, I attended the Devoxx United Kingdom 2021 event, remotely.

In this article I gathered some practical information about the event, and the sessions that were held. Perhaps this gives you more insight in what you can expect from such an event and it may help you in deciding if, as it was for me, such an event is an opportunity for you to gather/share information. For me, this was the third Devoxx event I attended.

For more information, please see: https://www.devoxx.co.uk/

Devoxx UK

Devoxx UK is a 3-day conference (from Monday 1 November to Wednesday 3 November 2021), where developers come together to explore the latest technology advancements and fascinating ideas, with some of the most inspiring speakers in our sector.

Diverse, local and global talent introduce the newest and most vital content from the development world, with a range of sessions covering Java, Cloud, Data, AI, Robotics, Programming Languages, Security, Architecture, Developer Practices and Culture.

By attending Devoxx UK you can expand your knowledge base, sharpen your skills and get hands-on experience with the latest technologies.

Devoxx UK 2021 was held in hybrid format, welcoming both an in-person (at the Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, London. N1 0QH) and online audience to the event. Those joining the venue got the chance to attend the full range of sessions and activities on offer, meet other attendees in-person & online, and access the full range of features the incredible event platform had to offer.

Online attendees got access via the event platform where they could enjoy sessions live and on-demand, meet and interact with other attendees and speakers online and access features including live chat, Q&As, Polls, virtual sponsor booths, networking tables and much more.

There were about 823 attendees and 111 speakers.

Each year the Devoxx Family welcomes over 13,000 developers to events in Belgium, France, UK, Poland, Morocco & now, Ukraine.

Tickets

With regard to tickets, the following options were available:

  • ONLINE ACCESS TICKET (Valid on Days 1 & 2)
  • CONFERENCE TICKET (Valid Days 1 & 2)
  • COMBI TICKET (Valid Days 1, 2 & 3)

[https://www.devoxx.co.uk/]

Different kind of sessions

During the 3 days Devoxx UK 2021 event different kind of sessions were held with a specific time period:

  • Keynote
    Inspiring and thought provoking, three 20 minute keynotes open the conference, with a 45 minute keynote that rounds us out.
  • Deep Dive
    3 hour sessions where attendees can rapidly immerse themselves in a subject matter with an in-depth examination of a topic or technology.
  • Hands-on Lab
    3 hour hands-on sessions where you delve into a specific technology or methodology under expert guidance.
  • Conference Sessions
    50 minute sessions on a range of different technologies, practices and methodologies.
  • Byte Size
    15 minute lunchtime sessions designed for speakers to give a quickfire view of a particular subject.
  • Coding Cafe
    1 hour Mini-Labs where developers are encouraged to work together on software improvements; plugins, new features, bug fixes, improved documentation etc.
  • Ignite
    Ignite sessions are a series of speedy presentations. Presenters get 20 slides, which automatically advance every 15 seconds. The result is a fast and fun presentation which lasts just 5 minutes.
  • Tools-in-Action
    30 minute sessions focused on demonstrating technical development tools or solutions.
  • BOF
    Informal evening sessions that give a chance for like-minded attendees to gather and discuss tools, topics and technologies in a relaxed setting.

[https://www.devoxx.co.uk/]

Content tracks

The sessions can be divided into the following content tracks:

Java
All aspects of Java as a platform: emerging or established, language, JVM, JDK, frameworks, app servers, tools, standards, performance etc
People & Culture
Personal development, leadership, working practices, mental health, diversity, inclusion and developer culture
Build & Deploy
Modern operational concerns, including build pipelines, orchestration, observability, monitoring, resilience, and compliance, as the software world embraces DevOps and cloud delivery.
Architecture
How-to’s, tools and techniques for developers to drive great architecture
Development Practices
All about Getting Stuff Done right. Methodologies, better practices, testing & tools
UI & UX
UI, UX, front-end languages, frameworks and architectures
Data & AI
Big Data, Fast Data, NoSQL, Machine learning, Deep Learning, Neural Networks, TensorFlow, etc
Programming Languages
JVM, functional, mobile, front end & emerging languages. Tools, libraries and practices
Security
Encryption, defensive practices, tools and technologies to be secure
Mind the Geek
Developer candy: stuff we want to know about but don’t (generally) do at work – robotics, biological computing, cybernetics, new toys & tomorrows world

[https://www.devoxx.co.uk]

“Devoxx” mobile app

Before the event started an app was made available. The official schedule app is named “Devoxx” and is officially supported on iOS and Android by the Gluon & Devoxx team.
Install this app and you’re set for all the future Devoxx and VoxxedDays events. Select your preferred event and start scheduling your sessions.

For downloads and more information, please see Google Play or Apple App Store.

Features of the app are:

  • Supports all Devoxx events, one app to rule them all!
  • Create a personal schedule by favoriting talks
  • Sync your favorite presentations
  • Rate talks
  • Scan attendee badges
  • Schedule works offline

For me, the schedule with all the sessions was very helpful. Being able to see in advance which sessions were the most favorite, helped me in some cases to decide to which sessions I wanted to go.

Detailed information about the content of a session is also available. For example (see above): Hallo Again, Opening Keynote by Mark Hazell.

Of course, the schedule and information about all the sessions is also available on-line. Please see:
https://www.devoxx.co.uk/

Rokkit

For the event Rokkit was used.

Rokkit is an all-in-one platform where you can host hybrid and online events and connect your audiance around the globe.
[https://rokkit.io/]

In Rokkit you can for example chat and see tweets.

Information about the sessions

All sessions are recorded and are already available or will become available on Rokkit (except for the coding cafes & workshops) for those with access rights and eventually they will be published on the YouTube channel over time (probably Q1-2 2022).

Here is an example from the Opening Keynote, kicking things off with a bang.

Important news/sessions at Devoxx

I leave it up to you to have a look at the sessions that were held and that may be interesting to you to have a look at.

However, I will share with you a few sessions I visited.

JReleaser

“Releasing at the speed of light” by Andres Almiray

JReleaser is a release automation tool for Java projects. Its goal is to simplify creating releases and publishing artifacts to multiple package managers while providing customizable options.
[https://jreleaser.org/]

Deepfakes in Realtime

Session: “Deepfakes in Realtime – How Neural Networks Are Changing Our World” by Thomas Endres, Martin Förtsch, Jonas Mayer

Imagine looking into a mirror, but not to see your own face. Instead, you are looking in the eyes of Barack Obama or Angela Merkel. Your facial expressions are seamlessly transferred to that other person’s face in real time.

The TNG Innovation Hacking Team has managed to create a prototype that transfers faces from one person to another in real time based on Deepfakes. Neural networks detect faces within a video input, then translate them and integrate them back to the video output. Through this technique it is possible to project deceptively real imitations onto other people. For this purpose, we used Keras trained autoencoder networks and various face recognition algorithms.

In this talk, the TNG Innovation Hacking Teaming will give an entertaining and vivid introduction into the world of real-time Deepfakes. In doing so, they particularly focus on the deep learning techniques used in within the application. Several live demonstrations will complete this event.
[https://www.devoxx.co.uk/talk/?id=12199]

In the picture above the television presenter Harald Lesch (ZDF) is transformed into Vladimir Putin.

Event-dizziness

Session: “Demystifying “event” related software concepts and methodologies” by Milen Dyankov

No matter exactly what type of software you are building, at least a few terms starting with the word “event” must have tried to invade your professional space. “Event-driven” has already evolved to the level of a magical buzzword in IT marketing and sales activities. But the tech terms list is much longer. It includes “event streaming”, “event storming”, “event sourcing”, “event store”, “event modeling”, “event notification”, “event-carried state transfer”, … Getting dizzy already? Don’t worry. Many developers feel this way. This talk is an “event-dizziness” cure. It’ll walk you through the entire “event land” and explain what is what. It’ll discuss the origins, intention, and applicability of each term. So the next time you face the “event-driven” label, you can ask the right questions and make educated choices.
[https://www.devoxx.co.uk/talk/?id=19605]

Code to make you smile

Session: “The Art of Code” by Dylan Beattie

Software and technology has changed every aspect of the world we live in. At one extreme are the ‘mission critical’ applications – the code that runs our banks, our hospitals, our airports and phone networks. Then there’s the code we all use every day to browse the web, watch movies, create spreadsheets… not quite so critical, but still code that solves problems and delivers services.

But what about the code that only exists because somebody wanted to write it? Code created just to make people smile, laugh, maybe even dance? Maybe even code that does nothing at all, created just to see if it was possible? Join Dylan Beattie – programmer, musician, and creator of the Rockstar programming language – for an entertaining look at the art of code. We’ll look at the origins of programming as an art form, from Conway’s Game of Life to the fractal geometry and deep dream algorithms. We’ll talk about esoteric languages and quines – how DO you create a program that prints its own source code? We’ll look at quine relays and obfuscated coding competitions, and we’ll explore the phenomenon of live coding as performance – from the pioneers of electronic music to modern algorock and live coding platforms like Sonic Pi.
[https://www.devoxx.co.uk/talk/?id=12196]

Devoxx events in 2021/2022

If you are interested in attending a future Devoxx event, please see https://devoxx.com/#/ for more information. Here are some examples:

Devoxx Ukraine 2021
19 – 20 November 2021
[https://devoxx.com.ua/]
Devoxx France 2022
20 – 22 April 2022
[https://www.devoxx.fr/]
Devoxx Belgium 2022
7 – 11 November 2022
[https://devoxx.be/]

Concluding

Attending Devoxx UK, was great for me in gaining new insights and knowledge on a variety of subjects, such as Java, Functional Programming, Kubernetes, Apache Kafka, Microservices and Event Streaming.

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