XConf Europe 2019

XConf logo

XConf Europe 2019 took place in Barcelona on July 5th and it collected about 100-150 software-related professionals and I had the chance to attend it too. I'll share my impressions on the conference and its content in this brief post.

About

XConf organized in Europe every year by ThoughtWorks, the company which Martin Fowler (author of Refactoring book) and Sam Newman (author of Building Microservices book) work at.

For reference, Martin Fowler's first Refactoring book for a long time was like a programmer's Bible for me. It helped a lot in my Software Engineer career. Even if it contained code examples written in Java, I could apply the techniques to my PHP and JavaScript code.

You know what, I'm a little bit tired of conferences around one particular technology or framework because they don't give me much value at my current level of development. So when a friend of mine recommended XConf, I was quite enthusiastic about attending it because, even though ThoughtWorks uses Java quite intensively, announced presentations were rather dedicated to software architecture, development approaches and software infrastructure development in general.

Venue

XConf occupied two rooms of the spacious Valkiria Hub Space for its two flows of presentations accordingly. I enjoyed a nice relaxing character of the venue, which encouraged to learn and network.

Catering

To be honest, I only eat whole and raw food nowadays, so I was not interested in cookies, sandwiches, etc. But I should say that there were enough of them during coffee and lunch breaks, so it hardly left attendees hungry. Not to mention coffee, tea and juices.

Swag bag

A photo might say more than words…

XConf EU 2019: Swag bag

Presentations

You may take a look at the full agenda and I'm going to tell about the presentations I myself attended.

Keynote by Neal Ford, Director Software Architect, ThoughtWorks

Neal Ford at XConf EU 2019

In his historico-philosophical talk, Neal shared a few stories of engineering success and failure. The lessons learned from those stories apply to software development as well.

The main lesson is “Reuse carefully” which means that you can reuse code but do it with caution.

This is kinda cool, but can I serve it from my Raspberry Pi? - Gesa Stupperich

Gesa Stupperich at XConf EU 2019

Gesa shared her path from developing a lightweight Raspberry Pi system for monitoring room temperature and humidity to building a distributed application for learning languages hosted on a few Raspberry Pi devices and managed by Kubernetes.

Her example showed us how to learn new technologies through hands-on experience and demonstrated how fulfilling a hobby like this one could be.

I wish Gesa the best of luck with her next Raspberry projects.

All your things will change: Build evolvable cloud infrastructure to make it easy - Kief Morris

Kief Morris at XConf EU 2019

Kief's presentation was full of practical advice on DevOps and patterns used for infrastructure building.

Check out Kief's book Infrastructure as Code if you're into DevOps and infrastructure to learn more.

Building the first enterprise blockchain platform - Lucy Kurian & Shodhan Sheth

Lucy Kurian at XConf EU 2019

Shodhan Sheth at XConf EU 2019

Frankly speaking, I'm not a big fan of Blockchain because the technology is not environment-friendly and, from my point of view, it's not compatible with high load by architectural principles under its hood. However, it's always interesting to look at the state of a controversial technology after some probation period and learn from guys with practical experience of using it.

Lucy and Shodhan told about Blockchain in general and about their use of the technology.

Reactive for the rest of us - Stefan Kuerten from OTTO & Lisa Junger

Lisa Junger and Stefan Kuerten at XConf EU 2019

Stefan and Lisa shared their experience on building reactive applications in Java.

Even though I'm not currently into Java myself, some other languages/frameworks have similar design problems which make them hard to utilize in reactive applications. That's why the challenges and solutions guys presented were quite interesting.

Towards a Secure Path to Production - Felix Hammerl

Felix Hammerl at XConf EU 2019

I believe this mostly theoretical talk was very useful for specialists in security area. Felix taught how to treat security as a first class citizen in an organization or a project and apply security practices to the development process.


To conclude, unlike some other conferences I visited in my past I don't feel like my time was wasted. I have gained new knowledge and met a few great people at the event. Therefore, I look forward to attending XConf next year.