Saturday May 30th was the first NextBuild developer's conference in Eindhoven at the High Tech Campus. The conference is free for attendees and offers a variety of subjects presented by colleague developer's. This meant all talks were very practical and covered subjects encountered in real projects. This adds real value for me to attend a talk. Although it was on a weekend day there were about 150 attendees present. The location was very nice and allowed for a nice, informal atmosphere with a lot of opportunities to catch up.
The day started with a key note talk by Alex Sinner of Amazon. He looked into microservices and explained the features of AWS and especially the container support and the new AWS Lambda service. With the AWS Lambda service we can deploy functions that are executed on the Amazon infrastructure and we only pay when such a function needs to be executed. After the keynote the conference tracks were separated into five rooms, so sometimes it was difficult to choose a track. I went to the talk by my JDriven colleague Rob Brinkman about a Westy tracking platform he built with Vert.x, Groovy, AngularJS, Redis, Docker and Gradle. For those that don't know, but a Westy is a Volkswagen van used for camping trips. Rob has build a platform where a (cheap) tracker unit communicates to a Vert.x module the location of the Westy. This is all combined with other trip details and information in a web application. Every works with push events and the information is updated in real time in the web application. The talks was very interesting and really shows also the power and elegance of Vert.x. Also the architecture provided is a like a blueprint for Internet of Things (IoT) applications.
After the lunch we attended a second key note talk by Pieter Hintjes about building a community. He had some nice anecdotes and a bit of science on how communities and social groups come together and can stay together and be successful. One of the important things was to put people over code. So if somebody puts in the effort to create a pull request for an open source project, we must value that. The quality of the code is less important than the personal relation that is build within the community. He also mentioned some sort of agreements are needed to make sure there is peace instead of war. Also he encourages to embrace failure and learn from it. It already starts early at elementary school where kids are supposed to get good grades and don't make mistakes. But we should make mistakes, because that is the only way to learn and improve. I really liked the talk and get a different view on open source projects and communities.
The conference was very well organized, the location was great, the food was good, the talks very informative and the audience was super. So it was a great Saturday and hopefully next year we can attend the second NextBuild conference!