QCon is a practitioner-driven conference designed for technical team leads, architects, and project managers who influence software innovation in their teams.

Track Host Interview - Zoe Slattery

The 7th annual QCon London takes place March 4-8, 2013. QCon is an enterprise software development conference for team leads, architects, and project managers covering Architecture & Design, Java, Emerging Languages, NoSQL, Big Data, JavaScript & HTML5, Mobile Development, Software Craftsmanship, SOA, Agile methodologies and other timely topics. The 3 day conference will feature at least 15 concurrent tracks.

We have asked Zoe Slattery, Freelance Software Developer, the track host of the Architectural Hangover Cure track at QCon London and also one of our speakers, to share with us some of her thoughts on the conference and his track.

    1. Who are you and what do you do?

I worked for IBM for a long time. I helped sell things, tested storage devices, managed people and was an evangelist for Open Source projects. One of the great things about working for a big company is being able to do many different things without ever having to change jobs. I am also a committed Open Source fan, an Apache Member and contributor to PHP - that may not seem to sit very well with the IBM, but actually IBM is very good at encouraging its employees to contribute to Open Source projects. I left IBM 2 years ago and have worked with some great small companies - people like jClarity who are really going to make a difference in the Java space. There are so many interesting contrasts between big and small companies...but that's a much longer subject.

    2. Please can you give a quick overview of your track.

The track is about avoiding tying up your ability to develop software by getting stuck with poor technology choices. Or even just how to move on from outdated technologies. Moving on can be hard for many reasons - not only to do with technology but also convincing management to spend time on things that do not have an obvious (quantifiable) benefit to customers. It might just be that the thing that you want to move on from was a bad choice, it was not well separated from other sections of code and unpicking it will be hell. Or it might have been the right choice then but technology moves so fast that it's already out of date. Whatever the reason, sometimes you have to ditch things and move on.

    3. What will people learn from the sessions?

This is a chance to think about a common problem in software development before it bites you. As developers we all tend to be so heads-down driven to meet the next deadline that we don't give this kind of subject enough thought and sometimes end up paying for it later. The best thing about conferences is getting away from those deadlines and really thinking about where you and your software team are headed.

    4. Why did you want to help out with QCon? What's so great about this conference?

I have spent years wanting to go to QCon and sending other people to it because they needed to go more than I did. At last I have an opportunity to go and to help shape a truly amazing conference. That is as good as it gets.

QCon London will feature over 100 speakers presenting more than 80 presentations across 15 tracks. Last year’s event was completely sold out with over 1,200 attendees. Register before March 1st and save up to £120.

QCon London is co-produced by InfoQ and Trifork - creator of the GOTO conference.