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Key Takeaways from the Cutting-Edge GOTO Copenhagen 2023 Conference

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Another year, another mindblowing conference! GOTO Copenhagen 2023 saw some of the brightest minds in the industry come together to share their knowledge and insights with hundreds of software professionals. This event was a treasure trove of information, showcasing the latest trends, tools, and best practices in software development. As the conference concluded, several key takeaways emerged that are poised to shape the future of software development. Let's delve into the most significant lessons learned at this groundbreaking three-day event.

DevOps and CI/CD Are Non-Negotiable

DevOps and CI/CD practices were consistently emphasized throughout the conference. Organizations are realizing that these methodologies are essential for achieving faster release cycles, improving code quality, and increasing collaboration between development and operations teams. It was evident that embracing DevOps and CI/CD is no longer a choice; it's a necessity for staying competitive in the software development landscape.

Cybersecurity Takes Center Stage

In an era where data breaches and cyberattacks are all too common, cybersecurity became a central focus at the conference. The importance of integrating security into the development process from the outset was stressed. Developers were encouraged to adopt security best practices, perform regular security audits, and stay vigilant against evolving threats to protect sensitive data and maintain user trust.

Andy Greenberg’s party keynote and opening talk gave an insight into his investigation where he used his technical wizardry, financial forensics, and old-fashioned persistence to uncover an astonishing saga of criminal empires built and destroyed. We highly recommend his books Sandworm and Tracers in the Dark which are available to pick up at our Copenahgen office.  

Security researcher and hacker Scott Helme disclosed one of the largest Cryptojacking attacks ever seen, which impacted more than 5,000 websites that we know of. This attack affected Government Websites all around the World, from the USA to Australia but surprisingly Governments handled their remediation poorly. 

Serverless Computing and Microservices

Serverless computing and microservices architecture continue to gain traction in the software development community. These approaches enable scalable, efficient, and flexible solutions for building applications. Conference speakers elaborated on how adopting these architectures can reduce operational overhead and enhance performance while supporting agile development practices.

When one talks of Microservices, it’s almost impossible to talk about Sam Newman and James Lewis for their work. 

Focus on User-Centered Design

User experience (UX) and user-centered design were recurring topics during the conference. Developers were reminded that creating software with a strong emphasis on user needs and preferences is crucial for success. The conference underscored the importance of usability testing, user feedback, and iterative design to ensure that software truly meets user expectations.

Embracing LLMs, AI and Machine Learning

One of the standout themes of the conference was the increasing integration of AI and ML into software development. Generative AI, exemplified by OpenAI and Google has emerged as a transformative technology, offering dramatic benefits, but also fostering chaos across the enterprise. 

Attendees learned how AI and ML are revolutionizing everything from automated testing to enhancing user experiences through personalization and recommendation systems. Leveraging these technologies can help developers streamline their workflows, reduce manual tasks, and build more intelligent applications. 

Phil Winder gave an in-depth tutorial on building Large Language Models tailored for enterprise applications. From the architecture, training methodologies, data pipeline construction, and optimization techniques required for creating a state-of-the-art enterprise assistant, Phil went over the foundational knowledge required to build, fine-tune, and deploy LLMs in an enterprise setting.

Another groundbreaking talk was by Andrew Turner on what lies ahead in the AI sector. Drawing on real-life examples that have been shaped and delivered across enterprises recently, Andrew mapped out traps to avoid and what to embrace on the path to your own AI-powered by data journey.

Open Source Software Thrives

Open source software was celebrated as a pillar of the software development community. The conference highlighted the power of collaboration and the countless benefits of using open source libraries, frameworks, and tools. Developers were encouraged to actively contribute to open source projects and make the most of the wealth of resources available.

Onboarding and Retaining Top Talent in Your Team 

Engineering managers still struggle with one key issue: how do we create and scale high performing software and organisations?

Research from the Santa Fe institute on Complex Adaptive Systems over the last 20 years seems to point to a grand unified theory of organisational design. But companies are yet to crack the code. James Lewis in his opening talk revealed the relationships between team structure, software architecture and the emergent phenomenon of complexity science.

Another talk which had the cinema hall full to the brim was given by Helen Greul from Spotify. She revealed how the company makes new hires productive, and make it smooth for them to explore and transition to new positions in the company. This included tools and processes that have measurably improved metrics around onboarding and mobility — such as time to 10th PR, and cross-domain expertise from code commits.

Attendees got the opportunity to learn about Spotify’s Engineering Bootcamps, a unified developer portal, deploying to production on your first day with Golden Path tutorials, and Spotify’s internal marketplace for career opportunities, Skill Exchange.

Lifelong Learning is Essential

Lastly, the conference emphasized the importance of ongoing learning and professional development. The technology landscape is constantly evolving, and staying up-to-date with the latest trends and tools is vital for developers. Attendees were encouraged to invest in continuous learning through online courses, workshops, and conferences.

It’s indeed no secret that GOTO Copenhagen 2023 served as a pivotal event for the industry. It highlighted the growing role of AI and ML, the significance of DevOps and CI/CD, the imperative of cybersecurity, the value of serverless computing and microservices, the importance of user-centered design, the prominence of open source software, the potential of low-code and no-code development, and the need for lifelong learning.

These key takeaways provide a roadmap for software developers looking to adapt and thrive in a rapidly changing field. Embracing these trends and best practices will undoubtedly contribute to more efficient, secure, and user-friendly software applications in the years to come.