Conference Review: DevDays Vilnius 2019

In May I had the honor of having been invited as opening keynote speaker to the DevDays 2019 in Vilnius.

Luckily I also had the chance to see a lot of other great talks that made me curious about new technologies, showed me things I hadn’t thought about before and made me appreciate a few things I always took for granted.

In this post I would like to highlight a few of my favorites:

Johnny Hooyberghs gave a fascinating deep dive into quantum computing. I must admit that I didn’t get most of the math involved but just scratching on the surface and seeing what quantum computing may bring us in the future was an interesting eye-opener.

Accessibility was - so far - never one of the things that ranked very high on my list of priorities or interests. But Leonie Watson managed to spark my interest with her excellent talk about web accessibility, its current support in modern browsers and the way people with disabilities interact with the modern web. My main takeaway: It’s really not that hard to provide a good basic support for accessibility - the effort is quite low but the gain for people depending on assistive technology is enormous.

Benjamin Gruenbaum made a really convincing case of why it’s a good idea to actively participate in an open source project. His talk not only gave some practical advice on how to find a place to start but also debunked quite a few myths we all have in the back of our minds (“All open source contributors are social nerds” or “They will laugh at you about the solution you’re proposing”).

Vidas Vasiliauskas from Danske Bank presented his way of coming up with a good software architecture. I must admit I didn’t expect such a level of “do what is right” and real agile thinking from within the banking industry. But then: There’s always something that you get (positively) surprised by.

Tobias Baldauf presented a super interesting story about how Trivago managed to improve their image experience for their users. I would never have guessed that a seemingly simply thing like “send images and render them in an HTML document” is such a complex topic with that much room for optimization. Really interesting and presented very well.

The final talk of the conference was Pim Elshoff speaking about how to talk to your manager as a developer. I had the chance to talk to Pim a day before and we shared some really interesting views on the industry as a whole and on the way a team should be managed (or more precisely should manage itself). His talk was a real eye opener, again showing that software development is as much about people as it is about machines.

All in all it was a great two day conference with an equally great organization (shoutout to Evelina and Milda for an outstanding job).

DevDays 2019

DevDays 2019

DevDays 2019

DevDays 2019

This article was originally posted at BetterDoc Product Development Blog