Zurich, Vienna, Bucharest, France and finally the world’s most liveable city. Voxxed Days had come to Melbourne for the very first time. The two-day event started with a series of masterclasses or technical workshops, each running in sessions for the entire day. The second day was full of talks in which professionals from different fields in the IT industry, filled our heads with the latest and greatest of the weapons and tools of the tech world and how to utilize them.
As with every conference, Voxxed Days was a blur of technical sessions mixed with partners and sponsor stalls on the main floor. One of the cool things about the event was its venue. It was hosted at the iconic Meat Market.
Who would’ve thought that a plain space can be transformed into an amazing venue with tech-geeks crawling all over the place.
Around 8am or so, the delegates started trickling in and were welcomed with swag bags with a customized t-shirt (trademark of every conference) along with a laptop bag and goodies. Duncan, one of the organizers, kicked off the event with his opening remarks and Jennie Rosenbaum took over shortly after, speaking about how machine learning can be incorporated into the world of arts and how this can impact the future of arts. I wasn’t able to attend this one but my curiosity led me to her website and I was pleased to find a ton of interesting content in there.
Delegates started filling up the main floor once again as morning tea was served along with snacks. The main floor was buzzing with excitement and the noise of delegates and sponsors networking. Fast-forward 20 minutes and the conference rooms were packed again for the next session of talks.
One of the things that I really loved about the talks was how diverse they were. There was literally something for every type of developer and programmer coming from a different level of expertise. Curious to know what containers are? Tick. Want to know more about PWAs? Tick. Wondering where Java is heading? Tick. Heck, there was even a talk on how a knitter can become a human CPU. Shoutout to the tech grandmas.
Here’s an account of what Ruwen, who’s a software developer, had to say about his two favourite talks of the conference. The first one was by Derek Troy-West who spoke about streaming data platforms and clojure. “Whether you are interested in Clojure or not, after this talk you’ll want to play with it. After a quick overview on Kafka and Cassandra and how they combine architecturally, Derek fired up his Clojure REPL and showed how easily it can be used to manipulate and transform the data. All his code is up on Github – https://github.com/troy-west/voxxed-18, so give it a go!”.
The second one was about the functional programming language called Haskell and the man behind the mic was Daniel Chambers. “Spending some time at university with Schema, I was always skeptical towards pure functional languages. But since I heard a lot about Haskell but never tried it, I gave Daniel’s talk a go. And it was worth it. By gently introducing Haskell’s type system he made me think more than once “I wish the Java compiler was that smart”. He also explained IO handling so that one could get an idea of how things are working “in practice”. If you are skeptical about pure functional programming, try to get a hand on the stream of this talk!”
Putting aside the fact that there were plenty of excellent speakers, the foodies were also in for a treat as there were a couple of delightful surprises lined up for all the attendees courtesy of a generous human who goes by the name of Valeria.
All in all, it was a fantastic event. There were lots interesting people there and I got to network with like-minded individuals. The organising committee took a great deal of time out of their work days, nights and weekends. It’s worth acknowledging the amount of hard-work and effort that was poured into this event by them. I’m looking forward to another one next year.