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DevNexus Recap from Atlanta

Our ThoughtWorks Atlanta office proudly opened it's doors in 2007, but in 2014 we're further committing to the city in a big way. We're growing our footprint in Atlanta, both in terms of our engagements with local clients and in hiring local technologists to support this ambitious mission.

DevNexus is an established conference for professional software developers organized by the leaders of AJUG (Atlanta Java User Group). Over the past seven years, the conference has grown in scale, influence, and range of topics. This year’s conference sold out at 1,200 attendees and offered 100 sessions over the course of two days. While there was still a heavy representation of Java-centric in the programming, there were also tracks for UX, Data, Agile, DevOps, and Alternative Languages.

ThoughtWorks was the sole Platinum-level Sponsor of DevNexus 2014. ThoughtWorks and friends of ThoughtWorks were literally everywhere, as we were able to host ticket give-aways to our partner organizations Women Who Code, Technologists of Color, and the Software Craftsmanship Meetup.

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17 ThoughtWorkers attended this year - five of which were speakers:

ThoughtWorkers

  • Neal Ford gave a talk on how companies or individuals can create their own "technology radar"  to help guide, evaluate and standardize technology decisions.

  • Danilo Sato and Mariana Bravo co-presented a hands-on workshop designed to teach three essential skills to become good at refactoring.

  • John Napier spoke about refactoring towards functional java: contrasting canonical imperative programming approaches with functional ones, and demonstrating refactoring techniques that can aid in transmuting imperative code into functionally-inspired code.

  • Jack Singleton presented the good parts of Scala; focusing on it's benefits to people on deadline and reviewing  the language features that improve the readability and maintainability of a codebase - without raising the barrier of entry.

Beyond our talks, we developed an interactive lounge on the expo floor, with a booth featuring local ThoughtWorkers on the backdrop. Our space was home to a pairing station where conference goers could work on coding challenges with our developers on-site. We loved meeting so many passionate technologists in the community, reconnecting with some familiar faces and meeting new developers that share our enthusiasm for all things code.

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The Oculus Rift Rest and Relaxation Station is an interactive virtual reality installation that we setup at the conference booth. The installation was built during Hardware Hack Lab at Thoughtworks NY and uses an Oculus Rift HMD display, Unity3d and an Xbox controller running on a desktop PC. Attendees were invited to wash away their worries by floating through a virtual reality simulation of a serene jungle environment.

Next up for ThoughtWorks Atlanta is the opening of our new office space in MidTown this April.