Ahead of our upcoming Kotlin and GraalVM event, we were lucky enough to catch up with both of our guest speakers Zan Markan and Chris Seaton to find out what we can expect to learn.

 


Zan is a Developer turned Evangelist at Pusher; he has over 8 years’ experience in software development. By day Zan educates developers across the world about the wonders of programming, realtime technologies, and good API design (and nights fighting crime). Before DevRel he used to dabble in mobile and SDK development, especially on Android. Currently he fancies Kotlin, Node, TypeScript, and the UX of APIs in general. His other hobbies include speaking at conferences and yelling at computers.

Chris Seaton is a Research Manager at the Virtual Machine Group in Oracle Labs; he leads the work to implement Ruby using the next generation of Java Virtual Machine technology (and other projects); he is also a Visitor at the University of Manchester. Chris completed his PhD at the University of Manchester and before that he completed an MEng at the University of Bristol on languages with mutable syntax and semantics.

Between his undergraduate degree and starting his PhD, Chris commissioned into the British Army, serving in training and operations in the UK and around the world. In his spare time, he’s now a captain in the Cheshire Yeomanry squadron of the Queen’s Own Yeomanry,

We started by discussing Zan’s presentation: ‘The State of Kotlin’…

1. Who do you think should come along?
This talk is aimed at all current Kotlin developers, or people interested or intrigued by the Kotlin programming language – whether they work in Android or not. Even Swift developers might be interested!

2. What do you think are the three most interesting questions that this event will answer?
How fast is Kotlin really growing?
How big is Android?
What are some of the reasons why Kotlin might not be ideal in some cases.

3. Why do you think this presentation is important for people?
I see it as an entertaining way to learn about Kotlin’s usage and adoption. My hope is that it helps convince some people to give Kotlin a go or help others (already convinced) to get it adopted in the wider programming communities.

4. Any advice for junior developers entering the industry?
Be curious, ask plenty of questions, and push to try different kinds of software work to find what you like the most. The tech industry is huge, and there are tons of different ways to prosper. Also – start building and shipping things as early as possible.

Our second talk is Chris’ ‘Top Ten Things To Do With GraalVM’, here’s what Chris had to say….

1. Who do you think should come along?

Anyone who has heard of Graal but doesn’t know what it is. Anyone who has heard of Graal and thinks they know what it is, because I’m sure it will have functionality that they had no idea about. Anyone who has no idea that Oracle is working on a new VM for Java, JavaScript, Ruby, Python, C, C++, and more. Anyone who wants to run Java without a VM, or to run Java in native applications. Anyone who wants better tools for working with polyglot programs.

2. What do you think are the three most interesting questions that this event will answer?

What actually is Graal and what is it going to do for me?

What is Oracle working on a new Java compiler?

Why would you be interested in GraalVM if you don’t use Java?

3. Why do you think this presentation is important for people?

Graal is a major project from Oracle Labs that has the potential to significantly change the way that people use the JVM. Graal is also a once-in-a-generation performance jump for some Java applications, as demonstrated by use in production at Twitter.

4. Any advice for junior developers entering the industry?

I work on compilers and virtual machines at Oracle, which probably seems like quite an inaccessible field to be in. In reality if you are interested in how VMs work there are resources and opportunities available.

If this has whetted your appetite come along on 26th July and hear the rest… you can RSVP here https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-state-of-kotlin-and-ten-things-to-do-with-graalvm-tickets-47799950940

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