Keynote: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for the SWE

Location: Fleming / Whittle, 3rd fl.

Duration: 9:00am - 10:10am

Day of week: Monday


The effect that Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence are having on our lives cannot be ignored. As developers, we see these effects more starkly than most; AI and ML influence not only how we write software but also what that software is. 

In this opening keynote for QCon London, Rob Harrop (CEO of Skipjaq and Co-Founder of SpringSource) discusses how organisations, teams and individual developers can best equip themselves for this changing world. 

The DevOps revolution showed us the error of enforcing a stark divide between Development and Operations. Without a concerted effort we're at risk of creating a similar divide between Development and ML teams. To avoid a world in which disenfranchised Data Scientists chuck their models over the proverbial wall to Software Engineers forced to integrate and support code they had no hand in creating, we must move beyond black-box thinking and embrace AI/ML as a core skill for Software Engineering. 

Rob describes both his own journey from traditional Software Engineer to AI/ML Engineer, and his experience building a development team with ML at the heart. 

If you're wondering how AI/ML fit into your organisation, worried about the impact on your team or simply thinking about your own future where AI is king, this is the session for you. 

Speaker: Rob Harrop

CEO @Skipjaq & Co-Founder of SpringSource

As CEO at Skipjaq, Rob Harrop leads a team working on the cutting edge of machine-driven performance optimisation. When he’s not thinking about how best to tune the myriad workloads encountered by Skipjaq customers, he’s thinking hard about how to pass the optimization burden on to machines that learn. Rob is well known as a co-founder of SpringSource, the software company behind the wildly-successful Spring Framework. At SpringSource he was a core contributor to the Spring Framework and led the team that built dm Server (now Eclipse Virgo). Prior to SpringSource, Rob was (at the age of 19) co-founder and CTO at Cake Solutions, a boutique consultancy in Manchester, UK. A respected author, speaker and teacher, Rob writes and talks frequently about large-scale systems, cloud architecture and functional programming. His published works include the highly-popular Spring Framework reference “Pro Spring”.

Find Rob Harrop at