DevConf 2017 tackles hot software development topics

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DevConf brings together the developer community from across SA.
DevConf brings together the developer community from across SA.

DevConf, the second annual gathering of local software developers, is set to take place on 9 March.

Last year's inaugural DevConf had over 470 professional software developers and programmers in attendance. On 9 March, the organisers are expecting 700 people to attend as they have expanded the scope and added more speakers across five key tracks impacting local developers.

The speaker line-up includes a Silicon Valley developer, a mob programming expert and a service bus specialist, say DevConf organisers Robert MacLean and Candice Mesk.

"Our keynote speaker, Terri Burns, is an associate product manager at Twitter," says MacLean. "Her talk: 'Bad people, bad computers' is very relevant to developers, as it will look at algorithmic bias, which can indirectly allow machines to learn prejudiced behaviour."

'Professional geek' William Brander will explain everything developers need to know to build the service bus of their dreams - from scratch.

Durban-based hardware hacker and Windows developer Matt Cavanagh will discuss reverse-engineering API's, Web scraping, and the details of how he gained access to seven million accounts. Cavanagh will detail the process he went through to discover and exploit a vulnerability in one of the largest companies in SA, and how to avoid this in your company.

"In addition to in-depth tech talks, we will focus on softer, but equally important, skills," says MacLean. "In this area, a highlight is Mark Pearl, possibly one of the top five experts in the world in the field of mob programming. Where we used to talk about scrum, mob programming has become the rising trend."

Pearl, now based in New Zealand, will talk on: 'Getting the best of everyone into all the code using mob programming'.

DevConf grew out of the Developer User Group forum and monthly meetings coordinated by MacLean, Mesk, Pearl, Terence Kruger and others - all veteran developers themselves.

Mesk believes DevConf fills a gap in the market for an event that covers a range of technologies and brings together the developer community from across the country. "Building on last year's range of topics, we have several international speakers - diverse speakers - and we're very excited to see Bitcoin, Blockchain and mobile development coming up in our topics. This is leading-edge stuff," she says.

DevConf 2017 will be staged at Vodacom World in Midrand on 9 March.

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