Saturday, May 20, 2017

Voxxed Days - Athens 2017 - short review #vdathens



Yesterday I had the pleasure to attend the very first Voxxed Days Athens. As I have written 6 months ago while attending Voxxed Days Thesalloniki, this was the day I've waiting for too many years, a  proper conference, with top class speakers on the main IT hub of Greece, Athens. Once again, congrats to Patroklos Papapetrou and the team around Voxxed Athens, at least for me they made a dream come true!

There is a always a catch for me, when I do attend conferences in Greece. Since I am away now, I don't get to see or get in touch with old colleagues and friends from the very first days of the Java Hellenic Use Group.  So when I am back and I get to see lots of them at once, I kind of spend most of time socializing rather than attending all the talks. This is exactly what happened, but I am very very happy, I got to see so many familiar faces, talk about past jobs, laugh about it , talk about our current state either abroad or in Greece and last but not least debate around the prospects of our country which continues it's spiral into economic recession.

Definitely things like VoxxedAthens, validate the the small IT sector in Greece, is still alive so there is hope. Of course many other things need to change until we can conclude that we have a shift on a better course. 

I am very pleased to see, that our small user group, (JHUG) is more active than ever, Markos, Thomas and Kostis are doing a great job and JHUG managed to organize 6 meetups within a year, this is crazy compared to the past. It seems that Greek companies  are nowadays more open to the idea of a ' meetup', they do indeed  want to attract talent (or whatever talent is left behind, since lots of people are now out of the country). I hope this support to dev communities to continue and get stronger rather than being an one off side effect of companies just trying to recruit for a certain period of time. A strong software development market, needs active and vibrant communities, software companies in the local market need to embrace on a regular base all them. Software developers are like flowers, the more incentives, opportunities or support you provide them, the more they grow and  they become better, they add skills and in the end they contribute to the business cause of the company they work for .

If you are really looking for a detailed review of most of the talks, (meaning more specifics, please head here and here . Markos and Spyros  provide a very comprehensive review of the event.

The venue was nice, but I do hope next year for a more tech talk friendly place. The rooms were large but the projector and screens a bit small to actually see the slides or the code presented from the back. Also lot's of noice occasionally from overlapping talks & people coming in and out. Latetly I have been addicted to the Devoxx way ,which means I expect that all the conferences will be on cinemas, where I can sit confortably, enjoy a huge screen where I can see the code and slides.

I am not going to go through the talks I attended, since I managed to save time for 4 of them. My 2 favorite though were :
  • You can do better with Kotlin
    • I am currently half way on reading 'Kotlin in Action' and I was really happen that I had the chance to meet and talk with one of co-authors, Svetlana Isakova. I am very positive towards Kotlin and i will continue to investigate way on eventually adopting or mixing it with Java, in any of my personal projects or maybe at work.
  • Taming the Dragon: Conquering non blocking code with RxJava
    RxJava is coming, through Java9, through Spring Reactive or other Reactor based frameworks. I really enjoyed this talk by Frank Lyarru. We need to make sure that we get our heads around the new concepts since I bet they will become mainstream soon enough.
Overall I am very happy, we need to support Voxxed Athens, and make sure it becomes a place we meet once every year!

Back to London :) after getting some sun and enjoying some nice cold freddo espresso!

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