QCon (the international software conference for senior developers, architects, and tech leads) recently celebrated its twelfth year in London. Located at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference just steps from Westminster Abbey and Big Ben, this year’s event attracted 1,350 tech leaders in software and offered 136 technical deep dives, open spaces, and AMAs (Ask Me Anything) to attendees.

InfoQ had a number of editors at this year’s QCon London (you can read the coverage online). This email summarizes the key takeaways and highlights from the conference as blogged and tweeted directly by attendees that attended.

While the conference featured 18 curated tracks that covered nearly all of the major trends in software today, there were three that seemed to thread throughout the conference: Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning, Microservices, and Ethics.

Andrew Ng famously called “AI the new electricity”. Dave Snowden discussed building Neural networks with DL4J, Tim Kadlec asked us to consider the role our algorithms play in important life decisions for our users, and Eric Horesny led a full day track that covered the full spectrum of how AI is affecting each of our lives.

Microservices has moved from the stage of figuring out how to decompose the monolith to actually operating them. Sam Newman’s day one track on Microservices covered scaling, debugging, observing, and security with a Microservice architecture. In the Architecture’s You’ve Always Wondered About track, Expedia’s Mariano Albera discussed how the company replatformed their B2B APIs while continuing to support their $5 billion business.

Everywhere we look in software, we are starting to see larger and more pressing ethical concerns. Anne Currie (Chief Strategist Container Solutions) and Gareth Rushgrove (Product Manager @Docker) led one of the first ethics tracks we’ve seen in software. This all-star lineup featured talks like A Young Profession Coping With Ethical Debt from Editorial Board Member of the ACM Queue Theo Schlossnagle and Tim Kadlec’s Focusing on What Matters (where Tim challenged the audience with “It’s up to us to build web that truly is for everyone”).

QCon London 2018 featured over 140 speakers from innovative software shops like Google, Sky Bet, Honeycomb.io, Data Artisans, Mozilla, UBA, Uber and more, the keynote lineup this year was especially noteworthy. @RealMrGloverman: I have attended the last 4 @qconlondon and I can honestly say the closing keynote from @RichardWiseman is the highlight of them all. Outstanding. Thanks for another great year #qconlondon team.

Opening the 2018 conference, Rob Harrop (CEO @SkipJaq and Co-Founder SpringSource) delivered a motivational talk for developers to open the black box of machine learning. Harrop’s talk illustrated that artificial intelligence and machine learning are approachable by all of us (it even spawned an infographic on the topic). Additionally, Laura Bell (Founder of New Zealand’s SafeStack), Randy Shoup (VP Engineering @WeWork), and Richard Wiseman rounded out the 2018 keynote lineup with talks on culture+security, imposter syndrome, and a recipe book for changing your luck surface.

The editorial team covers these sorts of topics on a regular basis. You can subscribe to the Architects’ newsletter to stay informed and educated about emerging trends, peer-validated early adoption of technologies, and architectural best practices. If you are interested in a deep-dive you can also try our minibooks and eMags. In one of our latest eMags we have pulled together the most important things that data scientists, software engineers, and operators need to know about GDPR: Perspectives on GDPR.

InfoQ produces QCons in 5 cities around the globe. Our focus on practitioner-driven content is reflected in the fact that the program committee that selects the talks and speakers is itself comprised of technical practitioners from the software development community. This week QCon will be in Sao Paulo. We're then in New York in June, Shanghai in October and San Francisco in November. We'll be back in London on March 4th 2019.

QCon London Key Takeaways

Read the key takeaways and highlights from QCon London 2018 as blogged and tweeted directly by attendees that attended.


  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for the SWE
  • Attitude Determines Altitude- Engineering Yourself
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Architecting a Culture of Secure Software

Tracks & Talks

Architecting for Failure

  • How Events Are Reshaping Modern Systems

Architectures You've Always Wondered About

  • Inside a Self-driving Uber
  • Lambda Architectures: a Snapshot, a Stream, & a Bunch of Deltas
  • Logistics as a Service: Building the Ocado Smart Platform

Building Great Engineering Cultures & Organizations

  • An Engineering-led Culture at Scale
  • Building a Culture of Continuous Improvement
  • Building Great Engineering Cultures Panel
  • Engineering Culture Revived
  • It's People, Stupid (People Are Stupid?)

DevEx: The Next Evolution of DevOps

  • Kubernetes: Crossing the Chasm
  • Taking Back “Software Engineering”.

Distributed Stateful Systems

  • Cloud-native and Scalable Kafka Architecture
  • Real-Time Decisions Using ML on the Google Cloud Platform
  • Taming Distributed Stateful Pets With Kubernetes

Evolving Java and the JVM: Mobile, Micro and Modular

  • Modular Java Development in Action
  • Serverless and Java in the Real World

JavaScript and Beyond: The Future of the Frontend

  • WebAssembly (And the Death of JavaScript?)

Leading Edge Backend Languages

  • Rust 2018: An Epoch Release!

Microservices/ Serverless: Patterns and Practices

  • Insecure Transit – Microservice Security
  • Microservices Lessons Learned From a Startup
  • Microservices & Scaling of Rational Interactions
  • Securing Serverless – By Breaking In

Modern CS in the Real World

  • Formal Methods at Amazon Web Services
  • Java at Speed

Next Gen Banking: It’s not all Blockchains and ICOs

  • Disrupting the Banking Experience: Building a Mobile-Only Bank
  • FlexiTime Token: Building dApps with Ethereum
  • ID Crisis! Take Back Control with Self-sovereign

Observability: Logging, Alerting and Tracing

  • How to Build Observable Distributed Systems
  • Observability and Emerging Infrastructures
  • Observability Panel
  • Testing Observability
  • The Present and Future of Serverless Observability

Operating Systems: LinuxKit, Unikernels, & Beyond

  • Making the Windows Command-Line Great Again!
  • The Modern Operating System in 2018.

Security: Red XOR Blue Team

  • Attack Trees, Security Modeling for Agile Teams
  • Bigger, Faster and More Secure
  • Encryption Without Magic, Risk Management Without Pain
  • Security Champions: Only YOU Can Prevent File Forgery

Stream Processing in the Modern Age

  • Drivetribe: A Social Network on Streams

Tech Ethics in Action

  • A Young Profession Coping With Ethical Debt
  • Ethical Tech - A Psychologist's Perspective
  • Responsibly Smashing Pandora’s Box

Solutions Track I

  • Explaining Artificial Intelligence to Schoolchildren

Solutions Track II

  • The Extraordinary World of Quantum Computing

Solutions Track III

  • JDK 9: Mission Accomplished. What Next for Java?

Opinions about QCon


QCon London 2018 Publishing Schedule

Check out full videos on InfoQ.com

The video schedule for QCon London 2018 has also been posted. Over the course of the next 4 months, InfoQ will be publishing most of the conference sessions online. The publishing schedule can be found on the QCon London web site, and on Facebook you can see numerous photos from QCon.

Week of April 16

The Modern Operating System in 2018

Justin Cormack

Modular Java Development in Action

Sander Mak

Focusing On What Matters

Tim Kadlec

Microservices & Scaling of Rational Interactions

Mark Burgess

Debugging Microservices Applications w/ Service Mesh, openTracing & Squash

Idit Levine

Securing Serverless – By Breaking In

Guy Podjarny

Week of April 23

Microservices Lessons Learned From a Startup

Susanne Kaiser

Inside a Self-Driving Uber

Matt Ranney

Insecure Transit - Microservice Security

Sam Newman

Microservices Panel

Idit Levine & Guy Podjarny & Sam Newman & Susanne Kaiser & Mark Burgess

Develop Your Development Experience

Jessica Kerr

Taking Back "Software Engineering"

Dave Farley

To get notified when videos are available, please follow QCon London 2018 on InfoQ


Next QCon

QCon New York 2018

Join us at QCon New York
June 25 - 29, 2018

The 7th QCon New York is a 3-day conference + 2 workshop days with over 140 talks in many different tracks and topics, that allows developers to discover what they don’t know ... but should know in software development.  Architectures You've Wondered About, Microservices, Finding the Serverless Sweetspot, Practical Machine Learning, Disaster Stories & Architecting for Failure are just some of the tracks for this year’s conference.

Early bird pricing ends May 5th!
Save $500!


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