Sunday, 21 May 2017

J On The Beach: An unmissable conference for distributed computing tech!

J On The Beach was a blast! It's only their second year doing the conference, but it was really well managed and it had an amazing lineup of speakers. To top that up, it was in Malaga so the good weather made it possible to stay outside in the garden at La Termica chatting to attendees and speakers.

The evening before the start of the conference, we had a welcome reception at the Ayuntamiento de Malaga learning about IT and Big Data promotion that the major and his team are helping with.

The conference started with a mind-blowing keynote on quantum computing by Eric Ladizinsky. It was a super talk with very interesting information about what the future might hold in terms of computing. The challenges of quantum computing are immense but the possibilities it opens up staggering as well.

That first morning I had the chance to see Kyle Kingsbury's Jepsen talk which was very entertaining. He gave an intro on Jepsen and looked back at the results of different distributed environments. This allowed the audience to get a good overview on what each system is capable of and what guarantees they provide. Also in the first day I attended, Christopher Meiklejohn's talk on Antidote, a geo-replicated NoSQL database with strong guarantees based on Riak. It uses CRDTs and Hight Available Transactions to achieve this.

On the second day I had my presentation on Functional Reactive Programming with Elm, Node.js and Infinispan. It was well received and got good feedback. Slides can be found here, and the demo repository is here. Unfortunately, due to scheduling and preparations for my talk, I couldn't go to Duarte Dunes' ScyllaDB and Tyler Akidau's Apache Beam talks, but I hope to catch those up when the videos are shared.

However, I was able to attend Caitie Mccaffrey's talk on Distributed Sagas, a protocol for coordinating microservices. Even though such protocol would be hard to implement in all situations, e.g. online ticket shop for a very popular artist, it had some interesting characteristics. The talk itself was delivered masterfully.

Finally, I was at Martin Thompson's High Performance Managed Languages talk which was superb! With years of experience and the development of Aeron on his back, he was able to give a interesting overview of the performance characteristics of managed vs unmanaged languages. Flexibility in managed languages, such as in C#, seems to be the best way to achieve the best performance.

All in all it was a fantastic conference, and I was delighted to have been part of it. Valo, the company behind J On The Beach were fantastic hosts and met some amazing people that are or had been part of this company, including: Luis, Justo, Michael, Danielle...etc.

I hope to come up another time :)


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