The Blog


On January 24 2019, we welcomed almost 100 developers in Zurich for a day filled with labs, breakout sessions, and walk-in demos. The content of our IBM Developer UnConference reflected the major discussions facing our community: managing multi-cloud environments – both public and private, Kubernetes, IoT, and analytics.

What’s an IBM UnConference?

An UnConference aims to be the antithesis of a conference, typically avoiding ticket prices and sponsored sessions, and focusing on the informal transfer of knowledge and information within the community.

The day began with a warm welcome from Youri Boehler, who introduced our guests and newcomers to the Developer UnConference, our exchange and learning platform for developers, non-developers, data scientists, managers, and all those interested in topics such as analytics, AI, big data, Blockchain, cloud computing, data science, DevOps, hacking, machine learning, open source, quantum computing, research and other emerging technologies. In addition, we had plenty of IBM Labs, and were happy to host partners such as Hortonworks, Hilscher and Red Hat.

Conference image

UnConference labs

From Slack bots with Watson Assistant to private cloud on Kubernetes, there was something for everyone. Not surprisingly, the best visited Labs were around IoT and edge analytics. Why? Firstly, edge analytics is a really hot topic within IoT. And secondly, our speaker Romeo Kienzler, has such a unique and engaging way of giving labs and talks that we definitely needed more chairs! Since there were so many interesting topics to discuss, and so much information to share, Romeo extended his lab and started explaining the basics of encryption. And speaking of encryption, we also have to mention the talk from our IBM Research colleague, Vadim Lyubashevsky, who addressed the question how to apply encryption in the era of quantum computer. How do we achieve quantum-safe cryptography, allowing for secure communication? Vadim emphasized that you do not need quantum to defend against quantum. The key takeaway: Don’t worry, be happy!

Lab image

We offered additional sessions on a wide range of topics, including the lifecycle of data science, digital business automation for multi-cloud, and agile integration architecture for containerisation. Talks explored PaaS from a business perspective, since apps are prolific and application releases are becoming increasingly frequent. We discussed how to adapt to this pace and embrace acceleration. Tips included an open culture, automating as much as you can, and getting the right platform. The lab from Hortonworks presented end-to-end production pipelines on Kafka, with a scalable, microservices architecture.

lab image 2

Over the course of the UnConference, we built up a holistic view of multi-cloud environments. Our guest lab from Red Hat explored DevOps with OpenShift, focusing on building services with Spring Boot and Java EE services. We also had a panel discussion on multi-cloud management, vital for business agility and reducing technology redundancy. IBMers Georg Ember and Thomas Müller shared more insight into multi-cloud management. At the end of the day, we turned our attention to a topic which concerns us all: our environment. IBMer Geraldine Lüdi was joined by two climate experts Kai Landwehr, from myclimate and Lia Flury, from CLIMEWORKS to speak about impacts of CO2, the kind of projects their organizations are investing in, and what a difference we can make as individuals.

lab image 3

Have you ever been to a Developer UnConference?

If you missed this UnConference, don’t worry. We are thrilled to host our next IBM Developer UnConference in Switzerland on June 20, 2019. Please mark your calendar, and we hope to see you there!