XConf - No fluff. No filler. Just real tech.
XConf - No fluff. No filler. Just real tech.

Welcome to the XConf video hub. Your go-to repository for all the highlights from Manchester, Munich and Barcelona including talks, decks and videos.

Check out our latest content from XConf EU 2019.

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XConf EU 2019

Keynote: Stories Every Developer Should Know - Neal Ford, Director, ThoughtWorks

Most developers pursue the Latest and Greatest with intense fervor, yet the history of engineering, including software projects, contains rich lessons that we risk repeating ad nauseam. This session recounts a variety of stories of projects that failed…and why. Ranging from the Vasa in 1628 to Knight Capital in 2012, each story tells of a mistaken interpretation of some architectural fundamental principle and the consequences–some good, some less so. I also look at the common threads for these stories, which resonates with problems many companies have but don’t realize.

This is kinda cool, but can I serve it from my Raspberry Pi? - Gesa Stupperich

Infrastructure-related skills are essential for developers in cross-functional teams who build microservices for the cloud. Becoming proficient in infrastructure development is not just about understanding the hardware and software components on top of which applications run in the cloud. It's also about being able to use the tools that provide virtual access to this infrastructure and enable us to provision, configure, monitor it, and deploy applications to it. In this talk Gesa shares how building a Kubernetes cluster of Raspberry Pis and serving applications from it can help in acquiring fundamental infrastructure skills.

A Different Type of Supermarket Delivery - Phil Jenkins

In a world of seamless deployments to auto-scaling cloud environments, a ThoughtWorks team found itself in a very different place - trying to deploy a RESTful pricing API to every one of a UK supermarket’s 40,000 tills in a reliable, repeatable fashion.

All your things will change: Build evolvable cloud infrastructure to make it easy - Kief Morris

Let's explore ways to implement cloud-based systems using automation tools like Terraform, CloudFormation, Ansible, Chef, Puppet, Docker, Kubernetes (anything, really) with change as a first-class concern. Apply agile engineering practices like Test Driven Development, Continuous Integration, and Continuous Delivery to your infrastructure. Adopt design patterns to make your infrastructure architecture loosely coupled and resilient.

Delivering Value in Short Term Data Engagements - David Michel

This talk will focus on lessons learned over the last year during participation data science client engagements. A number of common themes emerged during these projects. Client maturity in terms of expectations, infrastructure and data history were all key contributors to success. 

Building the first enterprise blockchain platform - Lucy Kurian & Shodhan Sheth

On VAKT we built a decentralised architecture with blockchain for commodity post-trading. During this session we would like to talk through; key considerations & challenges around decentralised architectures, patterns around maintaining & evolving immutable code [smart contracts] and building a real world system on top of the utopia of blockchain.

Kotlin in the real world - Astrid Novicky

The modern JVM language Kotlin is known to overcome some of Java’s limitations by providing for example null-safety, type inference, data classes and real functions. Last year we built a new online platform for a mentoring organisation 'One Million Mentors' using Kotlin with SpringBoot as API ecosystem. This talk will elaborate the ups and downs of working with Kotlin in a team with high fluctuation of just a few core members and many brilliant volunteers contributing to the project.

Kotlin and Arrow: the functional way - Noe Luaces

Kotlin is a great language for developing server-side applications; it's an object-oriented language and also a functional one, supporting features such as function types, lambdas or higher order functions. But...is this enough to switch completely from a imperative paradigm to a functional paradigm? In this talk we'll see how features from Arrow library completes Kotlin in order to follow a pure functional way.

Reactive for the rest of us - Stefan Kuerten from OTTO & Lisa Junger

Reactive is being supported in more and more widely adopted frameworks and languages. We are expecting to see more coding along reactive paradigms, especially in systems of high throughput. But what does it mean to go reactive with a team of people coming from a mostly imperative world? In what ways does it feel different, how do you get in the flow and how do you onboard new team members?

Chaos Engineering, when should you release the monkeys? - Steve Upton

Chaos Engineering is listed as 'Trial' in the ThoughtWorks Tech Radar, but what is it really and how is it different from traditional testing? When and why should you get started with Chaos Engineering and is Chaos Monkey the right place to start when you do?

The Curse of the Data Lake Monster - Lucy Chambers & Kiran Prakash

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are currently all the rage. Every organisation is trying to jump on this bandwagon and cash in on their data reserves. At ThoughtWorks, we’d agree that this tech has huge potential — but as with all things, realising value depends on understanding how best to use it.

Continuous security in pipelines - Foo Meden

As the industry embraces a culture of automation and continuous delivery, the rate of change is faster than ever. Security testing traditionally happens just before deploying to production: can this scale when deployments happen more frequently? This talk will discuss how the same automation tooling that enables continuous change can be leveraged to enable continuous security too.

Towards a Secure Path to Production - Felix Hammerl

While some are still recovering from treating security as a second-class citizen, the rise of agile and lean methodologies have opened a door for information security into software development with an opportunity to arrange security along the team's value stream. Teams that write secure software often do so because of the efforts of individuals. This talk dives into the mindset, tools, and ceremonies necessary to systematically create a culture around information security.

When Data Meets Device: Looking forward to a data-driven physical world - Emily Gorcenski

The algorithms being used in machine learning are not actually new; they're decades old, and many of them were first used in problems in systems engineering. As early as the 1990s, researchers realized that the field of AI was studying the same concepts with different terminology, but for a variety of factors it was the AI space that found the most success. Nevertheless, we're coming back full circle as we see the integration of data, software, and physical equipment starting to blend together. What comes next in the world of data? And how can we learn from the technology of the past?

UI tests are dead, long live UI tests! - Aida Manna Loyarte

Is it really worth automating UI tests? In most of the cases, the cost of maintenance is much higher than the benefit they bring. However, it can still provide a lot of value, if kept to a minimum. In this talk I’ll explain what other kind of tests or techniques can be implemented to avoid doing that much UI testing. We will revisit the testing pyramid and explore how it can be adapted to context we now find in projects.

CD in Machine Learning systems - Juan López López

This talk will focus on Techniques, metrics and different tests (code, models, infra and features/data) that help the developers of machine learning systems to achieve CD. 

XConf EU 2018

Keynote: Building Evolutionary Architectures - Rebecca Parsons, CTO at ThoughtWorks

For many years, software architecture was described as "the parts that are hard to change later". But then microservices showed that if architects build evolvability into the architecture, change becomes easier. This talk, based on the recently published book Building Evolutionary Architectures co-authored by Rebecca and Neal Ford, investigates how to build evolvable systems. The software development ecosystem exists in a state of dynamic equilibrium, where any new tool, framework or technique leads to disruption and the establishment of a new equilibrium.

Running windmills with machine learning

We use machine learning with advanced neural networks to accurately forecast production. There is big data processing, a data hub (which we built ourselves) and a data lake. And once we have the forecast, we start and stop the machines to optimise production.

Hard problems = good times!

The profound impact of a lightweight API gateway written in a lisp (clojure)

We’ve all witnessed numerous projects stagnate in delivery because they have to maintain enormous quantities of POJOs, transforming those POJOs and having huge amounts of boilerplate code to manage these as an immutable state. I’ll be sharing techniques that have resulted in teams deleting hundreds of classes, speeding up delivery and increasing quality.

Laptop devops: putting modern infrastructure automation to work for local development

A talk around various development environment automations we and other ThoughtWorkers have seen and built on during many different projects, and learnings around best practices. We've seen serious work put into this which has drastically increased the productivity of developers, and solved a lot of the problems that microservices can otherwise cause.


In this presentation, I will describe what modern frontend work looks like and why compilers seem to be the new generation of frontend frameworks. I will highlight common pitfalls in building and serving web assets, and present a set of concrete practices teams can adopt to provide the best user experience while keeping most of their autonomy. All of the above draws one conclusion: teams require a FrontendOps culture to succeed in the era of Microfrontends.

QAing a data platform project

Data platforms evolve by solving first, the 'one' business problem that an existing system cannot solve (or cannot solve well).

How do we ensure, at the same time, the speed of the application development and the quality of the platform on which it lives? The order in which things are built (platform components/features vs application features) dictate how testing evolves. This talk is to share how ours evolved.

Kafka & Kafka streams: a functional architecture

How to implement a solution using Kafka as a distributed database, KafkaStreams as a glue for different services and how to apply some Domain Driven Design concepts to ensure data integrity and design the boundaries of each service.

CI for embedded software

What are the approaches and challenges we encounter when applying continuous integration techniques to embedded software where the behaviour is dictated by how the hardware, its (3rd party) firmware and peripherals behave?


In this talk, we will explain some general tech considerations that developers need to be aware of while building a micro-frontends application. These considerations come from my year-long experience in building a micro-frontends application in a geographically distributed team. I will share some approaches and practices that worked for us and things that we learnt from them!

Evolution: experience report

We are in a very interesting space where we own and maintain an estate of 30+ services (mix of java, clojure). Apart from the usual challenges with evolutionary architecture, the problem domain and operational structures of the organization constrain us to only evolve on a yearly cadence. This is the story of the things we managed well and not so well, things we planned for and things we missed, the impact of tech hype cycles and the implications of ~300 different hands.

A microservices journey

The journey from monolith to microservices is different for every organization. A variety of challenges come with introducing microservices itself, but also organizational circumstances impacting the transformation that needed to be considered. In this talk I would like to share some lessons learnt from a microservices journey from a startup perspective, and in hindsight what to watch out for if starting the journey again.

XConf EU 2017

Serverless Architecture

Want to find out more about serverless architecture? How it can be applied to any domain? In this video Bamdad shares his experience building a serverless architecture for an Internet of Things platform scalable for millions of connected devices.

All Roads Lead to DevOps

The devops movement started ~5 years ago and only a small number of innovative organisations took interest. Watch Erik's talk to unearth "what devops means" and why sooner or later all successful organisations will move to a DevOps model.

Microservices 201

Think of this video as Microservices 201. You know the basics of microservices - the pros and cons, but can you successfully maintain them in production?

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