And that was Devoxx 2012, partnering with 10gen and a lot of knowledge gaining

by Jettro CoenradieNovember 17, 2012

Last week a couple of my colleagues and I were in Antwerp visiting the Devoxx conference. In this blog post we try to give you an idea about what we did & learned:

The sessions

I attended a lot of sessions, if you want to know more I urge you to read on. I briefly discuss the following talks:

  • Keynote: Geek leaks
  • New features in Java 8
  • Security and http headers
  • Developer tools in google chrome
  • OAuth2
  • Skaling software with akka
  • Last but not least: AngularJS

Keynote: Geek leaks

The keynote on Wednesday was both by Nandini Ramani followed by Neal Ford. Although the dancing robots were greatly presented by Nandini, the presentation from Neal was refreshing. The presentation was about how knowledge and habits from geeks leak to another topics and environments. He has written a book, not about technology but about giving presentations. He has applied the same geeky behaviour he would do when solving a technical issue to the art of delivering presentations. If you have access to Parleys I strongly recommend you to watch this talk, if not you can always buy the book: Presentation patterns.

New features in Java 8

Nice to see closures or lambdas coming to Java. I also like the first impression of default methods in interfaces. This way you can ditch the abstract classes that implement some basic methods.

Security and Http headers

Nice presentation about what the browsers are doing to overcome problems with XSS, Session hijacking and Clickjacking. It all works with new directives using HTTP headers or configuration in the web.xml. Some new keywords: http-only flag, X-xss-protection, X-content-security-policy. The part that was tricky is that sometime you can downgrade the HTTPS connection to an HTTP connection. I had not heard of clickjacking before, this is a technique with a hidden layer and a button that tries to trick you in clicking something that you actually do not want to. More information about these topics can be found on:

Chrome Dev Tools

I was actually surprised to see what the dev tools of google chrome can do. If you want to do serious business, first download the chrome canary release. The dev tools contains a web socket tab, interesting in these days. When looking at the resources of your page, you can export a had file. This file can be evaluated with special tools from Eric duran. I also liked the option to create heap dumps of your page and being able to compare two heap dumps from within the developer tools.

The last thing I want to mention here is to type: chrome://net-internals/ in your chrome browser. This way you can see a lot of interesting things about what your browser is doing.

You can find more information at his website:

The Google keynote

The google keynote showed the cool new features of android 4.2 and the new hardware. Interesting stuff, I especially liked the new way to create panoramic pictures. The demo of taking a view of the complete room was impressive. I also liked the option to have multiple accounts on one device.

Other good news was coming from the Google App Engine front. A plugin is available for Jenkins to deploy an app to google app engine. It is also easy to have multiple versions online and direct 10% of traffic to your new site. A nice feature to test what your new app is doing to your visitors.

If you have some spare time left, you can also look here to see what the new web is capable of:

OAuth2 and OpenID Connect

Not sure what I need to tell here. According to google OAuth2 and OpenID Connect is the future. Therefore google is creating a lot of support with these technologies by providing libraries. They provide libraries for the client in the form of javascript. They also have server side components to connect with an OAuth2 service.

I also like the idea behind accountchooser. A mechanism for your site to make use of OpenID Connect users. With this technology your visitors can easily get a personal visit to your site without the need to keep creating new accounts everywhere.

Skaling software with Akka

It was not the best presentation I attended, still it made me curious enough to evaluate the framework in the nearby future. I like the idea of actors, I also use it when working with vert.x.


The last presentation I attended, but also the best one. I really like the two guys giving the presentation. They made the session very interactive. AngularJS is an MVC framework on the JavaScript side. It has some very nice options and seemed to be a grown up framework judging on the feature set. One of the features which stood out is the excellent integration with different test frameworks, but I also liked the Chrome development tools plugin which helps you to see what is going on (and debugging!).

I was so enthusiastic about this technology that I immediately started integrating it in a sample I am working on. This sample shows the integration between Axon, vert.x and now AngularJS and Bootstrap; the axon-todo-list sample.

MongoDB/10gen Booth

We also had a good time at the 10gen booth. As one of their partners we have been manning the booth, and talking to lots of enthusiastic users who are already using and folks who want to start using MongoDB. We have seen and recorded almost 1000 visitors! Everybody who has visited us and left their contact details has a chance on winning great prices; a MongoDB training seat, a NoSQL Roadshow ticket, and a Nexus 7. Winners will be announced soon!


We would like to thank the organisation and all of the visitors for making this one of the greatest events in the Java communities! We have learned a lot, met many interesting people and had drinks with many (old) colleagues.

If you have questions about one of the above topics let me know! CU next year!