Alfresco DevCon 2018 wrap-up

Blog Post created by davidcognite on Jan 22, 2018

DevCon 2018 has now finished, and as we get back to our desks and families after a week in Lisbon, I wanted to reflect on what I believe was a great return to Alfresco hosted developer events. As we continue to move forwards with the Digital Business Platform, the importance of our community increases - it’s only a platform if people actually build things on top of it - and so I was pleased to see that the event generated a lot of enthusiasm both internally and externally.


In some ways, it feels as though the event hasn’t changed at all since the early ones, but in others it has. One of the things I liked most about this year’s conference was the level of collaboration with the community around the organisation of the event itself. Having been involved in early discussion around the planning of the event, it was great to see Kristen Gastaldo, Francesco Corti and Richard Esplin working so closely with the Order of the Bee(http://orderofthebee.org/). That collaboration continued when it came to the tough job of selecting the content and arranging the program - which was harder this year than previous years due to the shear volume of high quality submissions. Hopefully you’ll agree that we did a reasonable job selecting the appropriate sessions; I’ve certainly got a long list of sessions I couldn’t attend that I’m looking forward to watching the recording for.


From a Governance Services perspective, I was pleased by the level of interest there, both from the community and from the engineering team outwards. Having been the lone GS engineering representative at BeeCon last year, this year almost all the team wanted to attend, with 5 of us getting a pass and presenting sessions (me, Roy, Ana, Ross & Rodica). The level of interest from people I spoke to has increased as well, with partners, customers and Community users all keen to discuss their implementations, extensions and use cases. I believe that’s because the switch from RM to Governance Services is hitting its mark & more people are understanding how broad the requirement for governance is. There were two excellent presentations from active community members that were great to hear, with Eva Vasques and Francisco’s look at the Portuguese Public Records implementation and Sergio Ferreira's presentation of his ongoing masters research into MoReq2010 support both highlighting the strength of our open source strategy. 


With my Share hat on, it was good to see the discussion continuing around Alfresco’s plans for Share’s future; the level of enthusiasm there is for Share was highlighted when the audience burst into a spontaneous round of applause when Richard announced that the Share GitHub project was now open for submissions. I spoke to lots of people who were reassured that Share isn’t going anywhere soon and is still being invested in and personally I’m pleased to see the on-going willingness to get involved with the longer term discussion about what happens post-Share.



On a personal level - I always enjoy the atmosphere at these events & there was a great balance between catching up with familiar faces and meeting new people. I think the hack-a-thon was a success (congratulations to Axel Faust for managing it superbly) & I enjoyed getting a chance to dig into potential future AWS connections between GS and Amazon Macie, as well seeing progress on the two other project ideas I seeded & the level of collaboration between all 50 people in the room was fantastic. Having shied away from public speaking in the past, I now look forward to the opportunity to stand up on stage and share my ideas & the warmth of the reception from the DevCon crowd has massively helped with that - I gave three presentations this year, a lightning talk on lessons for Software development that I’ve taken from my Search and Rescue volunteering, a full session on the intersection of Process and Governance, and an ad-hoc presentation of my hack-a-thon project - if you’ve got any feedback on any of them, I’d be keen to hear it.


All in all, I think it was an excellent event and hope everyone else came away from it with the same boost in enthusiasm that I did.