We are lucky to be able to visit beautiful cities and countries as part of Voxxed. In February we have two Voxxed Days events in the same week – Zurich on the 23rd of February, and a one-off conference in the heart of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, CERN, on the 25th of February.

Zurich

The largest city in Switzerland, Zurich has a population just under 379,000. This is about 4% of the population of New York. Smart, beautiful and a combination of alpine and lake-shore, Zurich sits 40 miles from the northern foothills of the Alps.

Voxxed Days Zurich returns to Sihlcity Cinema on February 23rd, 2017. There will be 36 speakers, 4 rooms in parallel and 24 conference sessions to choose from – not including Quickies. The subject matter ranges from favourites like Java Libraries You Can’t Afford to Miss to Extracting knowledge from crypotcurrencies. The day before on the 22nd, there are three one-day workshops to choose from, as an extra option before the main conference. Java Champion Martin Thompson is giving the keynote, kicking off our year with some self-reflection by asking what makes a good software engineer.

We asked organisers Celestino Bellone and Federico Yankelevich what they are looking forward to.

What are you looking forward to the most this year?

To repeat the great success of 2016 and to do better! We really look forward to seeing so many people passionate about their job, skilled yet keen to improve themselves.
Last year we only had the conference day, this year we are also organising workshops the day before: so more great content at an affordable price!

Were there any surprises this year in the submissions?

Yes, luckily we had a lot of submission and our Program Committee has been great in reviewing all of them, and researching speakers and presentations to find the best angles (or arguments) for discussion, and thorough evaluations of those arguments.

Sometimes it was tough, and we had to reject some great speakers. But it has been great to see so many submissions from Swiss developers. This was one of our goals, we know we have great developers in the country and we are offering them an opportunity to get international visibility (and a great video of their talk on Youtube 🙂 ).

What is the most important thing you learnt at the last Voxxed Days Zurich?

It’s hard to say, because there were a lot a lot of great topics. But if we had to pick one, we’d go with this: you can do crazy stuff with Java 8 lambdas (see the video from last year).

What skills or technologies do you think developers should be keeping an eye on this year?

Java 9 is a hot topic: the long awaited “Jigsaw modular system” is nearly there!
– Progressive and modular webapps (see I’m offline, cool! What now?, What about CSS? Progressive Enhancement and CSS,  and Loading Modules Everywhere!).
– Last but not least: functional and reactive programming.

What was your greatest challenge in selecting the talks and organising the conference?

About the talk selection: as an organiser you have an idea 0f speakers you would like to have, but it is important that the talks are selected by the votes of the Program Committee. We try to be really democratic in the selection process.

About the organisation: we are getting used to some of the technical and repetitive tasks, and now everything is ready. The difficulty for us is the commercial part, arranging sponsorship, after all we are developers! But we are lucky that many sponsors are supporting the conference because they trust in us and share similar principles. They manage most of the work to prepare for such an event by themselves. And they are doing great! Also their economical support is fundamental to keeping such a great conference at a low price. We want to give everybody the opportunity to join the event and learn new things. They support that in covering more than 60% of the expenses. Amazing!

voxxed days zurich

CERN

Two days later, and a train ride away, Voxxed is proud to host sister event Voxxed Days CERN in collaboration with CERN engineers Derek Mathieson and Joao Silva.
Sitting on the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva, CERN is an open physics lab. The instruments used at CERN are purpose-built particle accelerators and detectors. The accelerators boost beams of particles to high energies, making them collide with each other or stationary targets to learn more about the fundamental building blocks of the universe and the basic laws of nature. Detectors observe and record the results.

Voxxed Days CERN is a one-off conference, limited to 225 tickets with some rockstar speakers. We asked Voxxed co-founder Mark Hazell what he is looking forward to.

What are you most looking forward to?

I’m generally looking forward to having an event at such a prestigious and inspiring location. Getting a chance to host a Voxxed Days event in such a place, where historic and genuinely life-changing discoveries have been made, is frankly what dreams are made of. It’s hard to contain my excitement at getting to go into the tunnels with the event speakers and get an up-close-and-personal view of things too.

What is the most important thing you think you will take away / learn at CERN?

Where to start? I honestly don’t know. There’s so much great content on offer from amazing speakers. I always look forward to hearing Venkat talk, whilst Josh Long and Simon Maple are 2 of my favourite presenters. I have never seen Martin Odersky speak in person, so I’m looking forward to that too. There’s too much to choose from even though its a relatively small event, so you’ll have to ask me after the event what my key takeaways were…

What skills and/or technologies do you think developers should be keeping an eye on this year?

Reactive Programming, microservices, MicroProfile, Java 9, deep learning, everyday leadership (whether you have leader in your job title or not), understanding the impact of polyglotism to the organisation, being a champion for excellence…

What was your greatest challenge in selecting the talks and organising the conference?

Working out which excellent speaker has to time-clash with which excellent speaker…

Voxxed Days CERN

What to learn in February

About The Author
- Katharine is a Java developer by trade, turned Community & Content Manager for Voxxed. Helping developers learn and share knowledge. Contact me at kbe@voxxed.com with any news, articles or tutorials.

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