QCon 2014 – day 1

Another year, another QCon. Only this year it’s different as Caplin is also an exhibitor with our BRJS stand on the 5th floor, sandwiched between Google and Atlassian. We are lucky to have such nice neighbours, and saw a steady stream of people through the day (between sessions).

We also went and saw a number of sessions.

Keynote: Life, The Universe, and Everything – Damian Conway

You may remember Damian as the provider of last year’s closing keynote… On programming with Latin. Apparently the conference organisers asked him to look to the future a bit more this year. So he gave us… programming in Klingon, via John Conway’s ‘Game of Life’. Part three being an appreciation of Maxwell’s Demon. Ultimately Damian marvelled at the power of Cellular Automata as Turing complete. A fun talk that got you thinking. A more academic view of Cellular Automata can be had by looking for the work of Chris Langton.

A/B Testing – Danielle Jabin

Just a little equation
Just a little equation

A fascinating look into the world of how to optimise testing the efficacy of new versions of web pages. Not just the functionality, but the customer impact versus a ‘control’ page. Spotify has 24 million users, and knowing which new page is more efficient at attracing their attention is potentially big business. A/B testing allows that to be tested, and the talked highlighted a lot of statistics to prove the point. It also highlighted some of the major pitfalls, and related the significance back to the statistics. The questions involved some debate over what made an independent variable, but overall a good talk on website optimisation.

Project Avatar – David Delabassee

Java, Javascript and node.js
Java, Javascript and node.js

Project Avatar is taking Nashorn from Java 8, and using it to allow you to access java objects directly from your JavaScript. Given that we at Caplin are very interested in JavaScript then we were fascinated to see what the latest was on this ‘work in progress’. There were plenty of slides highlighting that the old way of writing webapps let the work be done on the server. And that the new way is to create single page web apps where most of the work can now be done on the client. There was also a CLI demo of running Nashorn and writing JavaScript code to run a Java Thread object, and then interrogating that threads state. Finally we were given the timeline on future developments which shows Nashorn available for Glassfish now, and Weblogic in the next year. However, Tomcat or any other webapp support would need to be added ‘by the community’.

Identity is the new Currency – Paul Simmonds

Paul Simmonds has a lot of experience, and that showed through in a very comprehensive and assured talk, delivered with no little humour (plenty of cartoons). Check the slides for the funnies, but there were also serious points to be made around the Jericho Forum commandments, and the Security Guidance for critical areas of focus in cloud computing v3.0 from the Cloud Security Alliance. Overall Paul showed that the more data is externalised, then the more that security from the network becomes irrelevant and the security of data needs to increase. Don’t protect your perimeters, protect your data wherever it may go.

A great first day, and plenty of talk at the BRJS stand.

All talk around BladerunnerJS
All talk around BladerunnerJS

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