10 highlights from TechTrain 2018: AI for the masses, interfaces, and more

    How to evaluate which reports at the event turned out to be better? If you collect audience ratings, the task may look simple: calculate the average for each report, that's all. But is it worth, for example, to take into account the number of viewers? If one report received high marks, gathering few people, and the other had an average rating a little lower, but he gathered crowds, then how can this be compared?

    As a result, any rating of “best reports” is partly subjective - it can be considered in different ways. And we made up for Habr such a subjective selection of reports from our IT-festival TechTrain 2018, in which everything is fine with audience ratings.

    Since the IT festival is a mass event where thousands of people should be interested, we took into account the number of spectators. It is not surprising that the selection did not come from reports like “Flutter's Place in the Life of an Android Developer” (where the audience is limited to a narrow segment), but from speeches on more general topics that are understood by various IT people. And not only for IT specialists: for example, when Ivan Yamshchikov speaks about AI, even people from other fields are interested in listening to it.

    How data is turned into knowledge and why being able to dream is one of the most important skills.

    Speaker: Ivan Yamshchikov
    Presentation of the report

    The topic seems to be not new: only lazy people have not talked about machine learning in recent years. But Ivan Yamshchikov from the random "lazy" from the Internet is very different. Firstly, he works at the Max Planck Institute and collaborates with ABBYY, so he sees machine learning both from an academic point of view and from an industrial one.

    And secondly, with all this background, he knows how to present the topic very lively and accessible: not turning it into an academic lecture or hardcore for specialists, but making it interesting to everyone.

    Intelligence with Ivan Yamshchikov

    Speaker: Dmitry Puchkov

    Following Ivan’s report - also an interview with him. Of course, “The Goblin Interviews an AI Specialist” is a rather non-standard format. And in contrast to the report, which can be rehearsed to the smallest detail, it is also less predictable: in advance no one could know exactly how interesting it would turn out. In general, it was an experiment. But the reaction showed that the experiment was successful: judging by the audience’s reviews, the only tangible drawback of this conversation was small problems with sound.

    Project Management Practices and Cases

    Speaker: Dmitry Zavalishin
    Presentation of the report

    Dmitry has had entrepreneurial experience for more than 15 years, and IT - in general, since 1985. It is not surprising that he knows a lot about project management in IT. This is interesting: he begins with the words “everything seems pretty obvious to me in my report,” but the audience did not criticize him for his superficiality, but, on the contrary, gave high marks. It turns out that the things that are obvious to Dmitry are, for the industry as a whole, far less obvious.

    Why is another programming language needed?

    Speaker: Roman Elizarov
    Presentation of the report

    Roman is now known for his work on Kotlin, and, of course, this affected the report - but you should not assume that this is a “report about Kotlin”. It discusses the general trends in language development over decades - from Pascal to Swift. And to dive into how the approach to typing has changed over time, it may well be interesting for those who have not the slightest relation to Kotlin: as it becomes clear, these trends also affect other modern languages.

    Full transparency in the company

    Speaker: Mikhail Samarin
    Presentation of the report

    The idea of ​​“disclosing to the company employees all internal information, except the one forbidden to open the law” at first glance seems utopian: it sounds beautiful, but who will do it? Well, maybe in a startup of three people there are no secrets from each other, but this approach cannot be scaled to hundreds of employees? Futurice’s Mikhail Samarin tells us that everything is arranged exactly like that - and shares details about what caused such a decision and how it works in practice.

    Myths about Spark, or Can a regular Java developer use Spark

    Speaker: Evgeny Borisov
    Presentation of the report

    Here is an interesting situation: the report is intended only for Javists, immediately cutting off the majority of potential viewers, but even adjusted for the size of the audience, it still turned out to be very high in the rating. This probably tells us in part that there are many Javists. But what it says for sure is how cool Evgeny Borisov is: the Javists always listen with bated breath, and this time was no exception. And everyone else can watch this report for a general outlook - for example, to find out how different the lyrics of Pink Floyd are from Britney Spears.

    debugger for developers

    Speaker: Denis Mishunov
    Presentation of the report The

    topics “developer perfectionism”, “impostor syndrome” and “processing” are, of course, not new. And there are many blog posts about them. But it’s one thing to read another post, and another to watch this performance. The audience clearly added points to Denis for artistry: from the first seconds, when the music starts to sound, it becomes clear that his performance is different from ordinary reports. A separate moment is slides: Denis draws illustrations for himself, it takes a breakthrough of time, but the result is clearly worth it.

    Reliability in Distributed Systems

    Speaker: Oleg Anastasev
    Presentation of the report

    The topic of distributed systems becomes so relevant that we even launch a new Hydra conference. But the format of this report on TechTrain is different: if people interested in the topic will gather at Hydra, and some of the speakers will be from the academic world, then we needed a conversation for a wider audience and from practical positions.

    Who has experience working with a very large-scale system and can intelligibly talk about this in Russian? Oleg Anastasiev, who has been working at Odnoklassniki for a long time - that is, in a project with several data centers and thousands of servers, where you inevitably encounter many difficulties and learn to solve them.

    Artificial Intelligence and Digital Business Transformation

    Speaker: Dmitry Soshnikov
    Presentation of the report

    How can artificial intelligence help business? Dmitry is a technical evangelist at Microsoft, and it is not surprising that his report was built on examples from the activities of this particular company. But viewer ratings show that it didn’t turn into boring advertising, but turned out to be bright content.

    Smart Responsive Interface Design Patterns

    Speaker: Vitaliy Fridman
    Presentation of the report

    Once we tried to publish the transcript of Vitaly’s report on Habré, but in the end we came to the following conclusion: still, his speeches must be watched. The text does not convey its charisma and charm. Ideally, of course, this should be attended in person. But video is already a good option.

    The next TechTrain will be held in St. Petersburg on August 24-25. It is not yet known which reports will be there, but from the selection above you can get a general idea of ​​the format. And at the same time, now is the best time to buy a ticket: from June 1, they are getting more expensive. All details are on the site .

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