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Emerging Technologies for the Enterprise Conference 2017: Day One Recap

| by Michael Redlich Follow 7 Followers on Apr 24, 2017. Estimated reading time: 3 minutes |

Day One of the 12th annual Emerging Technologies for the Enterprise (ETE) Conference was held on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at the Society Hill Sheraton in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This two-day event is organized by Chariot Solutions, an IT consulting company located in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania. It included a keynote by Blair MacIntyre (augmented reality pioneer) and featured speakers Monica Beckwith (JVM Performance Consultant), Andrea Goulet (CEO at Corgibytes), Yehuda Katz (co-creator of Ember.js), Jessica Kerr (lead engineer at Atomist), and Jake Wharton (Android engineer at Square).

Keynote Address

Augmented reality pioneer, Blair MacIntyre, principal research scientist at Mozilla and professor, School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology, kicked off the day one activities with a keynote address entitled The Web as Platform for Augmented Reality Experiences. MacIntyre defined augmented reality as “mixing media with a person’s perception of the world registered in 3D, in real time.”

As shown in the photos below, MacIntyre explored the past, present, and possible future of augmented reality from Ivan Sutherland’s The Ultimate Display in 1968 to head mounted displays that could one day look like regular glasses.

MacIntyre asked the question, “can we use the web for augmented reality?” and suggested that developers should “leverage all this hardware and all things ‘webby.’” While simple AR is possible today with technologies such as WebVR and WebRTC, he questioned if this was good enough.

Based on the 1997 white paper, A Survey of Augmented Reality, by Ron Azuma, now principal engineer and research manager at Intel Labs, MacIntyre analyzed a video-mixed virtual reality flowchart being explored by Azuma at that time:

MacIntyre sees these challenges for augmented reality:

  • It must present in real time.
  • It can only display based on what we already know or can sense about the world relative to the display

In order to better understand the world around us, MacIntyre maintained that the areas in need of improvement for future development of augmented reality include:

  • Displays
  • Sensing
  • Services

MacIntyre introduced argonjs.io, a JavaScript framework for adding augmented reality to web applications, and the Argon project at Georgia Tech. His slides are available on his website.

Highlighted Talks

Automating at a Higher Level with Atomist by Jessica Kerr, lead engineer at Atomist. Kerr demonstrated how Atomist automates the build process using technologies such as Slack, GitHub, Travis, Docker, and Kubernetes. In a live demo, she built the Random Kitty Adoption application. Kerr maintained that automating our own development will improve automating development for customers and that making changes to the application isn’t just faster, it’s more correct with Atomist.

Java Puzzlers Next Generation: down the Rabbit Hole by Viktor Gamov, senior solution architect at Hazelcast. Based on the book, Java Puzzlers: Traps, Pitfalls, and Corner Cases, Gamov challenged the audience with new Java “puzzlers” designed for Java 8. Audience members that correctly explained the puzzler were awarded a Hazelcast T-shirt. His slides are available on SlideShare.

Managing the Reactive World with RxJava by Jake Wharton, Android engineer at Square. Throughout his presentation, Wharton maintained, “unless you can model your entire system synchronously, a single asynchronous source breaks imperative programming.” He demonstrated this with a simple example. Wharton introduced RxJava, compared the sources, Observable<T> and Flowable<T>, how to observe those sources, and the operators that may manipulate data or emissions. He concluded with a brief discussion of Java 9 and JEP 266 that introduces a new class, Flow, that encapsulate the interfaces supporting the reactive publish-subscribe framework. Wharton’s slides can be found on his website.

“Somm” Lagom: Building Systems That Age Like Wine by Kiki Carter, enterprise architect at Lightbend. Carter discussed the challenges that enterprise developers face in the new era of rapid system building. These include:

  • Too many choices, analysis paralysis
  • Difficulty to consistently scale architectural integrity
  • Experts required
  • Unplanned complexity or chaos

She introduced Lagom, Lightbend’s microservices framework, and discussed how Lagom addresses today’s enterprise challenges. Carter maintained that “rapid change usually means rapid aging.” In summary, she maintained “in order to keep up with the pace of change and maintain architectural integrity as you move, try using a framework that provides an abstraction above the application level - at the system level.”

Summary

In summary, day one featured a total of 25 talks ranging in topics from Java, Scala, Reactive, Microservices, Android, Scio, JavaScript, Cassandra, DevOps and Clojure.

Editor’s Note

Michael Redlich has been an active participant in ETE since 2008 as an attendee, a speaker, and more recently, as a member of the ETE Steering Committee since 2013.

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