• November 27, 2019

Sphere.it 2019 From the Front End Developer’s Perspective

I had an opportunity to attend Sphere.it conference in Krakow in September. Sphere.it conference is becoming a major Software Tech event in Poland, with world-class speakers and around 600 participants. The focus of the conference is on Scala, Cloud, Data, JS and React.js. This year, there was also a QuantumSphere—a series of presentations that gave a current perspective on the field of quantum computing.

In this blog post, I would like to briefly discuss some of the presentations I found to be the most interesting there. I work as a front-end-centered software developer at Valamis, so I will focus on JSSphere and ReactSphere, which were professionally the most relevant topics for me.

But I tried to see as many talks as possible. I attended a few Scala, Data, and Cloud presentations as well, and based on my impressions, people using those technologies in their work would most likely be interested in many of the presentations. Quantum computing as a topic may be something that feels distant; still, the QuantumSphere presentations may be well worth watching for those interested in technology and the future.

I recommend you start by paying a visit to Sphere.it's Youtube channel to get the big picture of the event.

JSSPhere

Javascript - Quo Vadis? by Juho Vepsäläinen

Founder of SurviveJS, JSter, React Finland and GraphQLFinland, Juho Vepsäläinen, gave the first talk I would like to mention here. In his presentation, called "Javascript - Quo Vadis?" he briefly introduced the history of Javascript, but the exciting part was his insights into the future of the language. He predicted that the exploding increase of the usage and the popularity of Javascript would reshape the language in many ways in the future. Unfortunately, the video about his presentation is not published yet as I write this, so let's hope it will become available soon. In the meantime, you can watch his talk from 2016 Frontend.fi, which is quite similar to the one I saw at the Sphere.it conference:

The Search for App-iness: Building the Future with Progressive Web Apps by Jamie Maria Schouren

The second presentation worth a special mention was "The Search for App-iness: Building the Future with Progressive Web Apps" by Co-founder at DEITY Jamie Maria Schouren. Beside the speaker being very professional, the topic is quite an interesting one. Unfortunately, Sphere.it organizers have not published this presentation video yet, but a full version of her talk, recorded from the Node Conference 2019, is available here:

Anyone considering any mobile app should think through whether a native application is required or if a progressive web app would be a better solution. Progressive web apps can even be used in parallel with native apps, so I think also this is definitely worth watching.

Visualizing large datasets with JavaScript using deck.gl by Marko Letic

Those of us working with analytics and who need to visualize data may find my next pick to be quite fascinating: "Visualizing large datasets with JavaScript using deck.gl" In this presentation, Marko Letic, Lead Front-end Engineer at AVA, focused on location-based data visualization using JavaScript. The central topic of this presentation was deck.gl, an open-source WebGL-powered library developed by Uber. The talk contained a brief introduction to the library and some practical use-cases, live-code examples, and integrating deck.gl library with popular frameworks such as Angular and React. You can watch the presentation here:

ReactSphere

RSocket – Future Reactive Protocol by Oleh Dokuka

From ReactSphere, I would like to mention a presentation named "RSocket – Future Reactive Protocol." Presented by Oleh Dokuka, it was about a new binary protocol for use on byte stream transports that enables certain symmetric interaction models via async message passing over a single connection (read more about RSocket here). RSocket is a transport and programming language agnostic and can be used on top of any transport protocol like TCP/Aeron, or even on top of HTTP/2 or WebSocket.

The presentation covered the central RSocket concepts and answered why, when and how to start using RSocket, and how high-traffic giants like Facebook, Netflix and others have adopted it. RSocket also seems to be suitable for many use cases in Valamis product development and our service business, so I would recommend watching the presentation for any of us working in software-development-related roles. The video can be found here:

MySphere

AI, Big Data and the New Social Order by Jacek Leśkow

While it wasn’t directly related to my work, I found Jacek Leśkow's presentation, "AI, Big Data and the New Social Order" in DataSphere to be quite thought-provoking. This presentation is likely to give all those working in the IT industry something to think about. You can watch it on YouTube here:

There would have been even more presentations worthy of being pointed out at Sphere.it conference, but as the videos of them are not yet published, I will conclude my story now. There were plenty of compelling presentations at Sphere.it. Even as there were occasional technical problems during the main chamber presentations, the event was quite well organized, an enjoyable experience, and more importantly, professionally beneficial.

The Krakow Opera House provided a spectacular setting for the event, and it was interesting to explore the Old Town of Krakow during the free time. I met new people, had some great moments with my colleagues, learned new things, and saw a few of the city’s many attractions. I want to thank Valamis for this opportunity, and my traveling companions for the great time we had there.

Marina Semenovskaia and Pavel Kornilov from Valamis on the Sphere.it 2019 Conference
Marina Semenovskaia and Pavel Kornilov from Valamis on the Sphere.it 2019 Conference.

Pictures: Sphere.it / Karolina Hojka

About The Author

Olli Tiilikainen
Senior Software Developer & Human-Computer Interaction Specialist, Valamis
Olli is an experienced human-computer interaction professional with wide-ranging digital skills from visual and technical design to implementation and testing of different types of software applications. Over 16 years of work experience in the field of IT has given him a comprehensive knowledge of software development with a variety of technologies.