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ISBG Spring Seminar Success!

Tags: Thoughts


ISBG (The Norwegian IBM Software User Group) has just finished it’s 19th Spring Seminar (“Vår seminar”) in Oslo, Norway. For two, intense days, the 50+ attendees has witnessed 15 top-notch sessions. The conference were staged in the offices of PwC in Oslo, very close to the main railway station, and just two blocks away from the hotel. In other words, pretty easy to get to the conference.

Many of the earlier ISBG Spring seminars have had different tracks with parallell sessions, but this year there were only trailing sessions in one auditorium.  This meant that everybody were attending the same sessions, and you didn’t have the problem with choosing sessions. We all know how that can be a challenge, when you have multiple sessions you want to attend at the same time!

This played out very nice in my opinion. The mix of topics and the quality of the speakers were well balanced.

As a developer I probably enjoyed Oliver Busse’s “Elementary, Watson! or: how to unleash the power of IBM's artificial intelligence” most. He showed how easy it was to connect to IBM Watsons services, and use the Natural Language Understanding-service. With a simple to follow logic and brilliant use of a small Node.js application as the middleman between Domino and Watson. There were several benefits from using Node this way, such as alleviating issues with SSL and CORS. The demo worked like a charm. No doubt that it was pretty easy to use IBM Watson, and that it really can add value to your applications. Whilst it is pretty easy to get going, be aware that Watson-usage will cost you at some point. In my opinion we are touching the largest driver for the the whole “move to the clould”-buzz – namely vendor controlled usage and payment models. Instead of buying a license and use it as you want on your own premises, a cloud-vendor now can monitor every transaction and potentially charge you for the usage. In these post-Snowden times I am not that a big fan of shipping lots of data out in the clould either.

Another session worth mentioning was the “Progressive Web Apps - Are your ready for the next generation of web?” by Thomas Sigdestad in Enonic. He showed how web apps can become more and more like the native apps on our devices. Android lead the pack implementation-wise, while iOS shows some lagging in supporting the latest and greatest features to make really great PWAs. PWAs probably challenge Apple’s rigid and strict payment models, and thus break somewhat away from the cash-cow the AppStore is at present. Hopefully they break after a while and supports PWAs better in the future Smile

Finally the session “La meg vise deg API-ene mine” (or “Show me your APIs”) by Ketil Hjerpaasen in Item AS were nice. By creating a native OSGi-plugin he have created a nice REST-services framework with built-in Swagger support. In these microservices-times there is an ever-increasing need for REST services and this work can be a positive contribution to the mix.

As you see from the short reviews above, my view is clearly from the developer-angle. The other sessions were however also very interesting and entertaining.

On the social side, the organizers threw a nice team-competition as the closing “session”, with wraps, drinks and puzzles. The team competition ended with the task to create the tallest balloon tower with a limited set of balloons and tape;


Above you see the creating of the our team Smile It was one of the tallest at 2,62 meters Smile

The first evening ended with a nice dinner and a fantastic magic show by Rune Carlsen, many times magic-champion. Below a screen shot from the ISBG Facebook-page;


Levitating table!

All in all, great fun and nice conference content combined with good atmosphere and good vibes! Thanks ISBG for this spring seminar.

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