Back from DevoxxFR 2023

co-authored by Julien Briault

What is DevoxxFR?

Devoxx France returned for its 11th-year, following the 10-year anniversary of the event (the first of the post-Covid era)! We went last year (you can read our post about it here), and we were looking forward to attending again.

For those who don’t know about this conference, it’s one of the biggest and most anticipated developer conferences in France. It is a 3-day event that takes place every year at the Palais des Congrès in Paris, with nearly 3,000 attendees (which doesn’t include organizers, speakers, sponsors, etc.) and 8 to 12 parallel tracks.

The talks we really enjoyed

Let’s cut to the chase. The main objective of these conferences is to learn new things! Obviously, with more than 200 talks, we had to make tough choices on which events to attend.And since every speaker has something interesting to share, we will only highlight a few talks here.

Hubert Sablonnière presented “Retour Aux Sources : Le cache HTTP” (Back to Basics: The HTTP cache), an interesting talk about HTTP caches. You may not know that the modern web has more cache layers than one might expect. There were a lot of examples which made the talk easy to understand.

We strongly encourage you to watch the replay.

Cyril Beslay discussed software architecture debt in “Gestion de la Dette d’Architecture dans un Contexte d’Hyper Croissance” (Architectural Debt Management in a Hyper-Growth Context). It provided a very good summary of the issues caused by technical debt and, more importantly, software architecture debt.

Cyril used specific examples, and here are the three critical pieces of advice we identified:

  • Give technical teams a proper time to learn about business and functional requirements
  • Record everything (to know why some technical decisions have been made in the past)
  • Don’t ever come to a point where the only solution is to trash everything

You can watch the replay here.

Thomas Durand (aka Acermendax on Twitter), a well-known French YouTuber, explained how ordinary people can begin to believe in things that should seem absurd to the average person (e.g., fake news, conspiracy theories, etc.) by examining cognitive biases.

He tried to define the words “intelligence” and “rationality” (spoiler alert, it is complicated…) and revealed to us that the “Dunning Kruger effect” diagram is nowhere near as impressive as what we can regularly observe on the Internet.

A diagram of Dunning Kruger’s research versus a viral diagram spreading on social networks.

In the last part of his talk, he detailed the mechanisms explaining why fake stories are more popular and viral than the truth.

You can watch the replay here.

Our presentations at DevoxxFR

This year, we weren’t just attending DevoxxFR as spectators. We were honored to be selected by the CFP (call for presentation) committee for two talks.

Denis Germain presented “Démystifions les Composants Internes de Kubernetes” (Demystifying the Kubernetes Internal Components), a talk combining technical explanations about Kubernetes internals and live demos. The replay of the talk is available on YouTube. You can also find the slides for the presentation here and the code here.

Julien Briault presented a tool called OctoDNS in his talk “Infra : Donnez de l’Autonomie à vos Développeurs avec OctoDNS” (Infra: Empower your Developers with OctoDNS). In a live coding session; he demonstrated how easy it is to manage DNS records from multiple DNS providers in a single repository and with a common DSL (Domain Specific Language).

The replay of the talk is available on YouTube. You can also find the slides and the code here.

DevoxxFR is more than just talks

Networking is a big part of the conference. Many sponsors were brought in, and we each took the time to chat with some of them.

We had very interesting discussions with people from Clever Cloud, Adeo (Leroy Merlin), Adelean, Michelin Engineering, and OVHcloud about the common challenges we face, from search engines to managing our infrastructure and hosting public web services. The life of Site Reliability Engineers is not a long quiet river!

As speakers, we were also invited to the speaker dinner that took place at the Jardin d’Acclimatation in Paris. It was a privileged time to talk with the other speakers and — maybe more importantly — the organizers, as it was probably their only free time in 72 hours 😅. In particular, it was nice to see things from the other side of the fence and learn more about their organizational challenges, like managing to print tickets for 3,800 people or selecting talks for the conference (in the end, 200 sessions were scheduled out of 1,100 submissions!).

Finally, we took the opportunity to meet other attendees during the Meet and Greet (a free event that took place on Thursday evening). It was a very laid-back way to meet people and talk in real life with friends we only knew from the Internet.

At the end of the Meet and Greet, the JAM allowed participants to play instruments freely.

See you next year!

This year, the DevoxxFR organizers really outdid themselves. The whole event went without a hitch (from our perspective, at least 😉), and the talks were all excellent, and diverse. You can find all the videos from this conference on the Devoxx YouTube channel.

We look forward to returning next year, especially since DevoxxFR have announced they are evolving and will welcome 1,300 more attendees on two floors).

So, see you there on April 17th-19th, 2024!

Do you wish to learn and share with our community of developers, and make the Deezer experience a better one? Check our open positions!