Last month our colleagues participated at the 2023 edition of VoxxedDays in Bucharest. Paul volunteered to share some ideas about his experience, learnings and an overview of the tech conference.
What were your overall impressions of the conference?
Paul: Really happy to meet other people who develop software and hear experienced people’s takes on day-to-day challenges, such as making decisions, making judgment calls and just designing and developing features.
What were some of the most interesting or thought-provoking discussions?
Paul: One interesting thought while attending a live log4j exploit session, was the importance of updating the external dependencies when new versions are available. Made me realize I have a big responsibility when adding one new external dependency because obviously it’s external code written by others that runs in your application.
How did the conference help you expand your knowledge in software development?
Paul: Listening to people who do what you do, but with 30+s-years of experience (I mean they are almost from the beginning of software development), is always a good way to emphasize why we do what we do and why we do it this way. Also, software development has a multitude of branches, so hearing about other topics at the conference (like security, infrastructure, also standards and legal stuff) is helpful and interesting.
Did you have the opportunity to network with other professionals in the industry?
Paul: On the first day we had a really nice workshop regarding software design, our teacher Venkat did a great job. We happened to be 5 attendees at a table, so we paired up in teams and started debating on the presented topics. We also talked about what we work on, what technologies we use and our day-to-day life. So, it was fun getting to know new people and just making new contacts.
Were there any new technologies in software development that you learned about at the conference?
Paul: There are a lot of new things happening in this industry. We had a session about reflection in GraalVM, which is a high-performance JDK with cool features like ahead-of-time compilation used for fast startup, so that was something new to me.
How do you plan to incorporate what you learned into your daily work?
Paul: Simply by sharing it with others, applying it at code reviews, meetings, design decisions and by being better at what I do day by day.
Can you share any insights that you think will be valuable to the company’s software development projects?
Paul: Well, I think the one with the external dependencies, I mentioned before, is very valuable, also it’s good to realize that 90%, if not more, of the code running in production is external.
From a design point of view an idea was: not to predict the future and try to write very flexible code, since some parts deemed important in the beginning might not end up being used.
Do you think attending this conference was beneficial for the company as a whole?
Paul: For the company as a whole maybe it is too idealistic, but who knows. Regarding our project I think yes, because attending these conferences means networking and discussing different topics and experience how others do things. It’s always a plus to know if others did something in a different way and why, and maybe even learn from their mistakes and insights.
Would you recommend this conference to other software developers?
Paul: Of course! Good speakers, good food and it’s always nice to meet other professionals and discuss topics of our interest.