19/06/2024 • ACA Group Team

Voxxed Days Brussels 2024: Two Days of Inspiration, Innovation, and Networking for the Developer Community

On May 21 and 22, ACA Group hosted the second edition of Voxxed Days Brussels at the illustrious The Egg conference center. The event brought together developers and IT professionals for two days filled with insightful sessions, engaging keynotes, and networking opportunities. This year's new addition was an extra afternoon dedicated to workshops. Below is a detailed report on this successful conference that gives a significant boost to the developer community in Belgium.

Interactive Workshops on May 21

This year, an extra day was added to the Voxxed Days Brussels program, focusing on in-depth workshops. These sessions provided participants with the chance to refine their skills and explore new technologies. The three workshops covered a diverse range of topics, each targeting a specific aspect of software development.

Workshop 1: Spring Security: The Good Parts

Daniel Garnier-Moiroux, Software Engineer at VMware and Adjunct Professor at Mines Paris, led a hands-on lab where participants learned how to secure their applications using Spring Security

This workshop focused on grasping the core components of Spring Security and effectively utilizing the extension points to meet specific needs. Unlike a typical "getting started" guide, this session challenged participants to implement customized use cases from scratch, resulting in a profound understanding of Spring Security's architecture and patterns.

Workshop 2: Micronaut 4 Hands-On Lab

Álvaro Sánchez-Mariscal Arnaiz, Principal Member of Technical Staff at Oracle, guided participants through the latest version of the Micronaut framework.

This workshop covered utilizing Micronaut Launch for project creation, implementing a data access layer with Micronaut Data JDBC, and integrating Micronaut Test Resources for Testcontainers. In addition, participants learned to implement a REST API, test using the declarative HTTP client, and generate a native executable with GraalVM.

Workshop 3: Your AI Java App, in the Cloud and Beyond

Under the guidance of Mohammed Aboullaite, participants delved into the complexities of Java deployment to cloud platforms and AI integration

This workshop focused on traditional JAR deployment, containerization, serverless architectures, and enhancing application capabilities with AI. The emphasis was on safely and innovatively leveraging these technologies to deliver advanced solutions.

The workshops were completely sold out and a resounding success! According to Stijn Van den Enden, CTO at ACA Group, they fostered significant interaction between participants and expert instructors.

Keynote talks on May 22

The second day of Voxxed Days Brussels kicked off with two inspiring keynote speeches, setting the stage for a day brimming with knowledge sharing and innovation.

Keynote 1: You Aren’t Gonna Need It**

Maryse Meinen of Practical Agile delivered a powerful presentation on the role of developers in addressing climate change. She underscored the need for systemic change and highlighted that IT professionals are uniquely positioned to contribute to sustainability. Her mantra "do more with less" formed the core message, supported by practical tips for developing IT products more sustainably. Maryse emphasized seven key aspects every developer should grasp about sustainability and the impact of their work on the planet:

  • Energy efficiency
  • Code efficiency
  • Hardware efficiency
  • Carbon awareness = responsibly managing electricity
  • Sustainability encompasses not only CO2 reduction but also social and economic sustainability
  • Measure and monitor the SCI (Software Carbon Intensity)
  • YAGNI (You ain’t gonna need it): "The most efficient code is no code."

Maryse concluded her keynote with the timeless words of Kermit the Frog: “Being green isn’t easy!”

    Keynote 2: Coding Tomorrow: The Impact of AI on the Software
    Development Lifecycle

    Lize Raes, AI Transition Specialist at Open Tide, delved into the revolutionary impact of AI and Large Language Models (LLMs) on the software development cycle

    She discussed how AI can automate various steps and processes, from requirements analysis to testing and dependency management. Lize inspired attendees with the latest AI developments and tools, offering insights into how these technologies are shaping the future of software development. Her session provided valuable insights into how developers can leverage AI to streamline their daily work and enhance outcomes.

    Jam-packed agenda leads to choice overload

    After the keynotes, the afternoon unfolded with a plethora of 30 speakers spread across various rooms. It was quite the task to pick from the diverse array of sessions covering themes like architecture, security, mobile and web development, data, AI, DevOps, agile methodologies, programming languages, testing, green-IT, and more.

    Fortunately, all sessions from Voxxed Days Brussels 2024 will soon be available in their entirety on Devoxx's YouTube channel. This way, you can catch up on all the talks and keynotes.

    Organizational successes and challenges

    The organization of Voxxed Days Brussels by ACA Group was top-notch, boasting clear planning and logistical support that ensured everything ran smoothly. Choosing The Egg in Brussels as the venue turned out to be a winning decision, much like last year. "The venue hits the mark: spacious, modern, and easily accessible via public transportation", says Stijn Van den Enden. This led to over 230 participants finding their way to the conference.

    To enhance the participant experience, some changes were made compared to last year. "We rearranged the rooms slightly to reduce auditory interference", explains Stijn. Additionally, extra attention was given to the availability of refreshments, with water fountains and coffee stations placed throughout. These positive adjustments were well-received and contributed to a pleasant flow of the conference.

    "The interaction between speakers and participants is unique"

    "With the organization of Voxxed Days Brussels, we aim to strengthen the community in Belgium”, says Stijn Van den Enden. “By sharing knowledge, we all benefit." The conference provides a valuable platform for speakers to showcase their skills and for new talents to shine. "It serves as a springboard for emerging talents to take the stage and become a reference for Devoxx and other major conferences."

    The interaction between speakers and participants is what makes this conference so special. Many speakers stayed for the closing reception, offering a unique opportunity for dialogue and knowledge exchange. "The accessibility and level of dialogue really stood out to me", remarked Stijn.

    ACA aims to continue strengthening the community

    While it's still too early to provide details about the next edition of Voxxed Days, ACA Group remains committed to contributing to the growth and strengthening of the local developer community. "Organizing such an event requires a lot of effort, but the positive feedback from the audience and speakers is a great reward", concludes Stijn Van den Enden.

    In short, Voxxed Days Brussels 2024 was an event that brought the developer community together to learn, share, and be inspired by the latest developments in technology. It's clear that this event has its place on the calendar of every developer or IT professional striving for continuous improvement and innovation.