International software industry specialist JB Rainsberger has been confirmed as the keynote speaker at DevConf, which will be held in Cape Town on 31 March and in Johannesburg on 2 April next year.

Rainsberger is the founder of Diaspar Software Services. Based in Canada, he consults in the software industry across the world and has built software and advised companies since 1998.

When asked whether he fixes computers, he answers, “No, I fix programmers.”

DevConf host Candice Mesk says Rainsberger is a humble giant in the software industry.

“Not only is he a master software craftsman, but he has the expert ability to explain and teach complex software development concepts simply. His depth of knowledge about test-driven development and experience working with legacy code is unrivalled.

“It is a privilege for us, as DevConf organisers and representatives of the South African software development community, to host him at the 2020 event.”

Titled ‘The Selfish Team Player’, Rainsberger’s presentation will focus on mental health in the world of technology, offering relatively simple techniques to combat stress, burnout and even depression.

“By acting selfishly in the short term,” he says, “you will be better able to give your energy freely to others, making you a better ‘team player’, in the genuine sense of the term.”

Rainsberger says he looks forward to engaging with a software community that is almost unknown to him. “I hope that my keynote can help people work with less stress and give more of their energy back to the people they work with.

“I also hope to attract a significant number of people to a post-conference workshop in Johannesburg, titled ‘Surviving Legacy Code’.

“This is our first time in South Africa and indeed anywhere on the African continent! My wife, Sarah, and I look forward to a little bit of the feeling of living like a local – at least as much as we can manage in the short time we’ll stay.”

DevConf will once again feature international and local experts in the software development field, addressing cutting-edge topics that are relevant to the industry across the world.

It targets professional software developers, from solo developers to anyone who works in mid to large- sized organisations, contributing to projects of all sizes.

Topics that will be discussed at DevConf 2020 include languages and technology, diversity and inclusion, architecture and domain design and mental health in technology.