How Australian Software Developers Feed The Mind YOW!

No, this is not some warped reference to an antipodean marsupial of some sort being used by coders down under to get the cognitive juices flowing, or supercharging app building prowess by entering some kind of iron man contest before staying up all night..

Yow! is the Australian developer conference which has grown over recent years to become arguably the most respected event for developers, run by developers not just to get under the hood of technology but also to give people the best chance of succeeding in behavioural areas with a deep subject range of workshops to compliment the staple rich buffet of technical topics.

The quality of attendees at Yow! is extremely high and the conference spends a lot of time selecting both local and international speakers to invite from user group feedback and nominations.

The organisers of Yow! go to great lengths to make speakers from Europe and North America very welcome with the best of Aussie hospitality which is a huge selling point, attracting the very best presenters. Leaving the family for a jaunt down under just before christmas may not be palatable for family holiday arrangements but the feedback from people that have made the trip is excellent, the event clearly having left a great impression.

December’s conference featured nearly 40 talks over the two days, most of which were lower level technical talks but for the first keynote Yow! attracted Martin Thompson from RealLogic in London and Todd Montgomery from Kaazing in San Francisco to look at the bigger picture of delivering projects and the reasons for success and failure, marketing the talk as a ‘full scale rant, attacking the technology industry’s sacred cows by exposing the motivations that hide behind them.’

Gabrielle Benefield, who runs Evolve Beyond in London, an Agile and Lean training and coaching consultancy also gave a talk that challenged the status quo, looking at the way productivity is usually assessed and dismantling the notion that it is in any way the most effective. To prove the point, Benefield explained a case study where they used the Mobius framework to save a client $12 million.

Edward Kmett wrapped up the keynotes on day 2 with a talk on Learning to Learn. Kmett is Chair with the Haskell Core Libraries Committee and Software Engineering Lead at S&P Capital IQ in Boston. In this talk Kmett explored techniques from physics, maths, computer science, AI and category theory to empower people in being able to be effective at life long learning.

This is all in addition to a depth of talks straddling DevOps, programming, Agile approaches, web and microservice architectures from Australia’s most innovative employers which ensure the very best talent is always in attendance.

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About Gary Donovan

Machine Learning and Data Science blogger, hacker, consultant living in Melbourne, Australia. Passionate about the people and communities that drive forward the evolution of technology.
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