Last month software developers Ross Newby, Richard Bessant, and Jody Salt attended the JAX conference in London.
Ross gave us a review of the conference:
What was the conference?
“JAX is a four-day conference which brings together world-leading innovators in the fields of Java, microservices, DevOps and other technologies. The conference focuses on new Java features and approaches, as well as a technology we can use when architecting and deploying software, it’s a great opportunity to attend talks, meet with other developers and attend workshops.”
Why did we attend?
“Java is the main programming language we use here at Active Steward; JAX puts us in a better position for an upcoming upgrade to Java 11 and improves out code quality on all projects. We also get introduced to a range of both well-established and new, cutting-edge frameworks, which we then look to introduce on our applications.”
What did you learn?
“Right now, everybody is talking about microservices; it was unsurprising that they were the focus of many talks and discussions, our entire development team was excited to learn more about the challenges and solutions many companies have faced during their rise in popularity.
The classic approach to software is to build one centralised application, very aptly named a ‘monolith’. With the rise of cloud computing, developers are splitting their software into smaller services, which all communicate with one another and scale independently, hence the name microservices!
Inherently, this presents huge challenges when developing, testing and deploying your applications, as well as maintaining security. We learnt about various deployment tools, architectural principles and testing frameworks we can use to overcome these challenges, which we will put into practice on Active Steward, as we are taking a more decentralised approach to both old and new developments.”
Who was attending?
“The attendees at JAX were primarily experienced Java developers. Many project leaders also attend, and we got to speak with them between sessions. Speakers included cloud technicians from Microsoft and IBM, as well as leaders at other big companies such as the Financial Times.
Companies were displaying their latest technology at various stands during the conference. There was a large focus on workflow tools and security, with Sonatype and Black Duck demonstrating their continuous integration tools, which can analyse your code for vulnerabilities before deployment.”
What were your highlights?
“Perhaps the main highlight was bottomless free tea and coffee, but others included:
- The keynote on ‘Cloud Native Java’ saw five leading cloud advocates take the stage and discuss the subject, which gave answers to many cloud-related questions and debates. The session was engaging and very informative.
- We learnt about GraphQL and Apache Kafka, which can both provide two completely new approaches to communication between applications in the age of microservices. Having them explained to us by industry experts gave a great appreciation for the frameworks and how we could use them in the future.”
“Our days in London were very busy but very rewarding. Before heading home, we were delayed by the hotel fire alarm just minutes before collecting our luggage. It meant a wait out in the English weather, but a good laugh at those unfortunate enough to have been in the hotel pool; forced to evacuate in their trunks!”
Attending conferences like JAX gives us a chance to learn from world-leading innovators and develop our skills, enabling us to make Active Steward™ more advanced, more secure, and more valuable to its users.