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More than 1,200 developers attended to listen to 70 speakers on topics that included AI, machine learning, software architecture, DevOps, mobile, cybersecurity, and more.

Our Developer Advocacy team was at Codemotion Berlin 2019, 12 – 13 November, at the Kulturbrauerei; Codemotion connects tech professionals, communities, and companies. It was the conference’s sixth year and had more than 1,200 participants. Both an engaging and extremely diverse crowd, the attendees came from all around the world. The broad range of 17 topics included AI, machine learning, software architecture, DevOps, mobile, cybersecurity, diversity in tech, voice and digital assistants, and others. Regardless of language and experience, there was something for everyone.


A former brewery, the Kulturbrauerei is located in the heart of Berlin. It’s a campus of industrial buildings and courtyards, many repurposed for a variety of creative and cultural activities. The conference talks took place in cinema theatres with large screens and comfortable seats. Heavily focused on developers’ professional growth, Codemotion is also active in trainings, courses, and hackathons.

There were 70 speakers, and the opening keynote was given by Michael Behrendt, distinguished engineer and chief architect, Serverless and Event-Driven Apps. Michael shared how cloud-native is and will continue to be the modern architecture for application development. Stressing the importance of Kubernetes, he also talked about the importance of Istio. Michael is the IBM representative on the Knative steering committee. Knative is an open source project implementing a serverless compute platform on top of Kubernetes.

How to develop your first cloud-native applications with Java technology

Two of our developer advocates — Niklas Heidloff and Harald Uebele — gave an introductory talk on cloud-native applications, a pressing topic facing many enterprise developers today. This was a great opportunity to understand the tools and technologies that can work together toward this goal. The session was held in a cozy lounge, filled with people wanting to learn more about cloud-native development. Niklas and Harald shared information about the open source Cloud Native Starter project that they, together with Thomas Südbröcker, had recently been working on. It’s an end-to-end cloud native starter application that goes through all the components required and how to ensure they are working harmoniously. For example, Kubernetes and Istio provide a variety of key functionality that works generically out of the box for microservices. However, some functionalities, such as application-specific metrics and fine-grained authorizations, must be implemented in the microservices business logic.


Blue Cloud Mirror

Our team of developer advocates also created Blue Cloud Mirror, a game designed to show the diversity and flexibility of IBM Cloud and the high open Source compatibility. The aim is to match the displayed emotions and poses in as little time as possible, and there is fierce competition to reach the top of the leaderboard. We open-sourced the game, and you can fork the code and even deploy it yourself. Check out #BlueCloudMirror on Twitter.

At Codemotion and in our advocacy work, we are sharing the news about our work in open source and the cloud. Visitors to our booth could get their hands on some IBM Developer stickers, webcam covers, t-shirts, and tote bags. We even featured codes to try out IBM Cloud. Lots of developers were happy to discover that registration for the Lite version does not require a credit card.


Live Java coding

Thomas Südbröcker and Harald Uebele gave a live coding session, which demonstrated how to build your first Java™ microservice with Java EE and Eclipse MicroProfile, as well as how to deploy it to Kubernetes in the cloud. Closely connected to the talk Niklas and Harald gave, there was also a sneak preview of how the microservice can form part of a cloud-native microservices application. An absolute highlight, my favorite quote was that the audience became “live debuggers” as they pitched in, helping presenters with the live coding. As with all our projects, these samples are open-sourced, so you can try it out for yourself. There were many people in the audience, and we were thrilled to have lots of questions! There were also some familiar faces in attendance; some had also attended some of our Meetups in Berlin, where we host monthly hands-on workshops about open source and cloud-native topics. It was also the first time our colleague Thomas did a live demo. He enjoyed the experience and atmosphere and is looking forward to his next live coding session.

We were thrilled to have Java developer advocate Mary Grygleski with us at Codemotion Berlin 2019. Mary delivered a talk with Oleh Dokuka from Netifi on Teaching your Pac-Man to play with ML and Reactive Streams. The talk was in response to machine learning adoption and the properties developers need to bear in mind for continuously improving ML: performance, stability, server capacity, and selecting a suitable algorithm. The dynamic duo applied the knowledge to Pac-Man, giving Reactive examples.


Animesh Singh, STSM and Lead Architect, AI and Deep Learning on IBM Cloud, also spoke at Codemotion. Animesh spoke on one of the most controversial topics in AI: bias. Since many of the flaws in AI solutions are created unwittingly, this can make biases hard to detect. Last year, IBM Research introduced AI Fairness 360, an open source toolkit that checks for bias in your datasets and ML models. The toolkit provides an interactive experience to explore all the capabilities. The aim of this tool is to help make the world more equitable and allow for more trust in AI.

In addition, we were excited to welcome Heinz-Joachim Schmitz, CTO, IBM Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, to join us. There was a meeting exclusively for CTOs, CIOs, and IT managers. Joining Heinz-Joachim on the panel were Miriam Busch, CTO, Karlmax Berlin; Scott Chacon, CEO, Chatterbug; and Alesia Braga, CTO, Quandoo. The panel was moderated by Marco Casario, CPO, Codemotion. Discussions revolved around leadership, mentoring, talent engagement, and our competitive market.

Watson Assistant code lab

We had three iterations of an IBM code lab, each lasting an hour. Miguel Crisanto and I were the IBM code lab trainers, and we presented the Watson™ Assistant service functions and features. Miguel stressed the responsibilities that accompany us as tech professionals bringing AI to our data and applications. This awareness is key to creating solutions with as little bias as possible. We took a quick took at the purpose and core responsibilities of Watson Assistant before turning to our participants. In the lab, each attendee had the opportunity to build his own interactive assistant/chatbot. At the end of each lab, participants had learned the differences between the tools and had taken a look under the hood at how to start building their own. It was my first experience assisting in a workshop, and I really enjoyed helping the participants get started with Watson Assistant.


Be sure to check out our favorite Codemotion moments. We would like to thank the entire Codemotion Berlin 2019 team for a wonderful conference and for all their hard work and organization, making the entire Codemotion experience enjoyable for everyone.


Miriam Oglesby