Last Thursday and Friday I went to GOTO Amsterdam. This event was co-organized by Orange11 just like last year. One of the best parts about going to conferences is that they are not only interesting but inspiring too. I personally like the talks with good speakers, of course the best talks are the ones with good speakers and great content. So how do you develop great content?
For me, the best content is based upon a little insight to make you think about the context even further for yourself. Content that inspires you to have a look at a new language, a new framework or new concepts. That is what this blog post is all about. I am not going to share my thoughts on the conference itself (I’ll leave this to Bram!), I’m going to share the things that inspired me from a content perspective.
Playing with Lego
The first talk I attended was the keynote by John-Henry Harris, a Designer from Lego. If something in this world inspires people, it has to be Lego. How many of you have played with it in your youth, how many of you are still playing with it now? I personally still love playing with my Lego mindstorms, it brings out the big kid in me. It’s just a shame I don’t have or make enough time for it. The session was great, I really liked the videos in the talk and how they actually use kids to test the stuff they are creating.
Using Chef and Puppet
On a lot of the projects that I have done I have had to help set up servers. I know about the existence of Puppet and Chef, and luckily we have a committer, Frank, who knows even more about it. Still I know that I often doing it wrong in many projects. I do too many things manually. This is why this session interested me most. I liked the idea of reusing recipes from other instances to install servers with jenkins and complete test servers. The most important thing I realized is not go take half measures but to go all the way. Other interesting tools that were mentioned were vagrant and veewee. Both tools are used to initialize virtual machines and interact with them in an automated manner.
This session was presented by Trisha Gee. She had a very good talk about The Disruptor. Using the disruptor you can create a performant system with parallel processing. It’s important to understand that you really need multiple cores to really make this work. If you have 4 parallel processes you need 4 and preferably more than 4 cores. Each core can take care of one of the threads. Each process must be performed in it’s own thread.
Vert.x is most likely the technology I am going to try out next. This is positioned as the Node.js for the jvm. It makes use of web sockets for long running connections. It is good to make non blocking interactions between clients and the server. Vert.x already includes a module for persisting to MongoDB.
The couple of the other talks that really inspired me included talks from George Fairbanks and Simon Brown. They both talked about the Master-builder. What is a Master-builder and what’s its role in enterprise software development. I particularly like the relationship with master builders from the past and the software architects of today.
The idea of a conceptual modal that helps in creating better software, spotting risks and mitigating them is pretty inspiring. In the coming months I am going to think about a talk I can prepare to give at our tech evenings and maybe even the JFall. So stay tuned.
During the conferences I had some nice chats about a diversity of subjects with other attendants. I like talking with Greg Young and had some good ideas with the guys from MongoDB
All in all
Once again GOTO Amsterdam was a superb conference with lots of food for thought. The coming weeks and months I am going to have a look at the disruptor, vert.x and the master builder idea’s so watch this space as I will keep you posted on my progress.