The countdown to South Africa’s annual software engineering event, DevConf, has begun.
To be held for the fifth time this year – in Cape Town on 31 March and in Johannesburg on 2 April – DevConf will feature international and local experts in the software development field with cutting-edge topics that are relevant to the industry worldwide.
DevConf organisers Robert MacLean and Candice Herodotou say the conference and exhibition target professional software developers, from solo developers to anyone who works in mid to large-sized organisations, contributing to projects of all sizes.
They say a variety of topics will be discussed including languages and technology, diversity and inclusion, architecture and domain design and mental health in technology. The programme will also offer practical advice from experts on how specific problems have been solved and on methodology to work together.
Keynote speaker and software industry specialist JB Rainsberger’s presentation, titled ‘The Selfish Team Player’, will focus on mental health in the world of technology, offering techniques to combat stress, burnout and even depression. When asked whether he fixes computers, he answers, “No, I fix programmers.”
The issue around burnout will also be addressed by acclaimed USA-based technologist and speaker Anjuan Simmons who will provide a framework for reducing it and managing stress levels. He says in his presentation, titled ‘Managing the Burnout Burndown,’ he hopes to share new thinking about the people side of software development. “Managing humans is hard, and I hope to help attendees understand how to take an empathetic approach to stress and burnout.”
UK-based game developer Matt Cavanagh says his goal is to motivate developers to step out of their comfort zone and start playing with physical hardware to make things happen in the real world – and to just have fun.
During his talk – ‘Brand awareness: teaching our robot overlords to tattoo their humans’ – he says he’ll show how anyone with little more than decent Googling skills and “the will to spur on the robot uprising” can build machines that do things at home. “Specifically, I’ll be guiding people through making a working Henna tattoo robot that can take a drawing and extrude henna paste along the lines onto someone’s arm.”
Other speakers include well-known software architect Chris Tite, with his talk titled ‘Turning legacy systems into event streaming marvels: SQL meets Kafka and Event Store’, Pamela Hill, Android engineer at the cryptocurrency startup Luno, who will discuss the attitudes and practices of successful remote workers and their teams, Clifford de Wit, co-founder of Dexterity Digital, who will explain how to build a ‘smart home’ that really works and Vanessa Raath, CEO of The Talent Hunter, on how to stand out in the South African IT industry.