Once a year I try to visit a conference about ‘IT’. Last year I went to ‘SQL Server Days’ in Kontich, but this year I wanted to visit something more International. After doing some research, my eyes fell on ICSE 2015

ICSE (pronounced IKSEE) or International Conference for Software Engineering was this year in Florence, Italy.


Software Engineering @ Ferrari F1

There were 2 keynotes this conference. One from Claudio Silenzi of the Ferrari F1 team. A very interesting keynote about short development cycles (2 weeks between races) and how software entered the word of Formula 1. Going from the start of Electronic Injection and Ignition in 1985 over Electronic gearboxes and clutches in 1989 to Traction Control, Drive by wire and Active Suspensions in 1993, to more restrictive FIA rulings about Driver aids. These days most of the electronics are in the Engine, specially with ICE/ERS control Software.
This keynote was extremely interesting for someone who enjoys F1, has a passion for cars and its mechanics and is active as a Software developer. Although my professional focus is on databases these keynote was extremely interesting.

Mining the Metadata – Susan Landau

The second keynote was from Susan Landau. Former Google, Sun and other employee who pointed out how mining the metadata can still reveal a lot from a person. Metadata is data about the data. For example, phone records. The metadata of phone records could be caller phone number, receiver phone number and duration of the call. Mining these data reveals who you have contact with and is being used by Intelligence agencies. She explained the difference between bulk collection and Targeted collection of these data and also talked about the changing US Legislation on this topic.
Being a data person I really enjoyed this Keynote

The Conference itself

Since this was my first big Conference the thing that struck me the most was the lack of salestalk. However big companies such as Microsoft, Google, Oracle were present, there was never a point in which they started pushing their products forward. No, this conference was all about papers. People who wrote papers, founded by statistical figures and presenting their findings.

For me this was a very enjoyable way of keeping in touch with the industry. I followed some interesting sessions about Agile Development, How the environment can influence the quality of the code and influence the developers themselves. Also collaborate development with platforms as Github were interesting topics. Along with so many other papers.


However Software Engineering is not my core activity, this conference has certainly inspired me to do some more of my own development. It completely met my expectations about keeping in touch with the industry and it was inspiring in many ways. When ICSE comes back to Europe, I’ll try to be there again.