In May 2016, I attended Techsylvania and IT Camp, two important conferences for Cluj and Transylvania alike. The conferences covered different topics, but their impact on the local market was significant if we take into account the number of participants and the prestige of the speakers.
This is the third edition of the event which evolved significantly each year. There were well beyond 1,000 attendees in the two days of the event. The host, Philipp Kandal, VP of engineering \@ Telenav and Skobbler co-founder, established good rapport with the audience (as usual), was well-informed and extremely skillful in conveying the message.
Day 1 began with Tim Draper, an important name for the world investment market. The speaker gave a presentation on Draper University, which offers an educational program for young entrepreneurs. To enroll, you must provide proof that you are ambitious and that you can change the world. Even though there aren’t any Romanians at the university yet, Tim invited all those interested to apply.
Peter Halacsy, co-founder and CTO of Prezi presented How to Build a Global Company from the Edge of Europe. Peter comes from Hungary and his presentation was delightful and sprinkled with humor. Unlike entrepreneurs who have a hard time and succeed at the last minute, Peter Halacsy was, as he put it, very popular during college and everything seemed to come naturally to him. At the age of 25, he felt the need to change something in his life, so he got divorced and quit his assistant lecturer position at the university. Together with some friends, he founded Prezi, an online tool specialized in creating presentations. The tool is now used by more than 65 million people.
Day 2 began with Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu. Born in South Africa, Mark is one of the few people who flew to the International Space Agency as member of Soyuz. His presentation, Faster, Easier and More Secure: The Next Generation of Embedded Development, was technical and focused on the Juju Charms concept, the last innovation by Canonical. This is a cloud deployment mechanism based on charms. Charms are a collection of deployment scripts to which developers or entire companies can contribute. This leads to scripts which facilitate exceptional deployment in terms of performance and scalability. One part of the presentation was a demo in which approximately 20 server instances (located in Mark’s garage) were initialized and started, in a couple of minutes, due to the LXD technology. Positioning his speech in the range of innovation, Mark also presented the Snappy technology which is based on containers. Towards the end, an answer was given to a question regarding the evolution of the Ubuntu operating system which will also benefit from this container-based architecture in the near future.
We cannot overlook the fact that Techsylvania also hosted the start-up competition whose winner received a two-week trip to Silicon Valley for discussions with potential investors. There were two start-ups that caught our attention:
Approd – a web tool that enables you to cut through Romanian bureaucracy. All the documents you need to create a company, for example, can be automatically generated. The solution can be easily implemented in many countries.
We would like to congratulate the event organizer, Vlad Ciurca, for such a successful event and for the quality of the speakers.
The event takes place every year and gathers large crowds around the latest technology and gadgets of Microsoft and other producers. The guests include Microsoft MVPs, who are already familiar to the public. As participants, we were glad to see Tim Huckaby and Paula Januszkiewicz again. The two organizers, Mihai Tătăran and Tudy Damian, created a friendly and professional environment. Since I was able to attend only the second day of the event, I will highlight the main sessions I attended.
Paulei Januszkiewicz’s presentation, Credentials Security: Important Things You Need to Know about Storing Credentials, showed how administrator accounts can be accessed using the vulnerabilities of the Windows operating system. David Giard’s presentation, Adding Image and Voice Intelligence to your apps with Microsoft Cognitive Services, offered an introduction to these recognition services (https://www.microsoft.com/cognitive-services), focusing on the objects inside images, the entire process being enabled by an easy-to-use API. Tim Huckabi’s presentation, Emerging Experiences / More Personal Computing (MPC), focused on the applications which manage the voting process and the analysis of the election results in the USA. Due to the scalability capability of Azure Cloud, a large number of visitors could be handled by an application which was not designed with this purpose in mind. The last part of the presentation featured a demo, using Microsoft Hololens, which was impressive due to the merge of the real world and the virtual world at high resolution.
Our well-known contributor, Claudia Jelea gave a speech on The rise of privacy & personal data in the IT business. She tackled topics such as: the importance of understanding the right to intimacy and the importance of understanding the technology you use and the place where the data is physically stored. A free discussion, which engaged most of the participants, followed. We wrapped up with a presentation on Docker containers, Everyone Loves Docker Containers Before They Understand Docker Containers, given by Alex Mang who pointed out their mechanisms and most interesting details. An extended Q&A session followed.
These were the main conferences in May 2016. At the end of November 2016, we would like to invite you to the fourth edition of Cluj IT Days, www.itdays.ro, organized by Today Software Magazine.
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