Every year late July I attend the Euskal encounter. A meeting of over 8,000 computer enthusiasts who gather to share their passion. For me this is an opportunity to catch up with old friends and discuss our vision of the state of the industry and the future to come. I have seen it evolve over 25 years from the early days when it was a meeting of amiga demoscene fans to today where we have gigabit access to the internet, drone races and training of 10 year old future engineers who are helped to work together to build electric karts and race them.
Every year I obtain a few wisdom pearls that I take back with me and fuel my inspiration. These are the highlights I take with me this time as exciting material for investigation:
- Bime is a competitor to Tableau, Qlik, microsoft powerBI, and gooddata in the Business Intelligence space. Setting up a demo is easy and free, and it looks like a powerful front end for end user data analysis.
- Tmux is a program which allows you to, just opening one ssh connection to a linux server, split this terminal in as many windows as you like, allowing to split your workspace very flexibly and move fast thanks to keyboard shortcuts. It has similarities with screen.
- Terraform allows you to automatically provision your architecture in the cloud. My good friend @ibannieto gave a demo on this for beginners and showed us how easy it is to provision from scratch several machines in the Amazon, Microsoft or Google clouds and how to deploy software on these machines automagically with just a few lines of code.
- Awesome is a super lightweight linux window manager that allows to organise your desktop with very powerful keyboard shortcuts and taking up very litte resources. This is ideal when you are running linux on a 10 year old laptop with no resources to spare, as is my case in this occasion.
- Google Data Flows is a google ETL service which can manage your data integration needs for real time and batch integration capable of managing massive amounts of data.
- Data lakes are a way of storing massive amounts of data without the need for too much structure, allowing for future querying of this data. Hadoop is a data lake which allows for these massive amounts of data distributed amongst thousands of machines to be queried using simple programming models.
- Fusion4energy is an exciting european project aiming to bring sustainable energy to the world by using nuclear fusion. Different to nuclear fision, fusion would cause no nuclear residue and would be a revolutionary source of clean energy. Fusion has already been achieved producing Megawatts of energy, the only problem being that it produced less energy than it consumed.
- Reveal is a very cool software to create impacting presentations using html. It allows to integrate gifs, video, dynamic content, in a way that microsoft powerpoint can’t.
- Drone racing was one of the new surprises of this year’s euskal encounter. The drivers wear headsets with which they see what their flying drone sees and they race at vertiginous speeds through an obstacle race aiming to be the fastest without crashing.
- kidskitcar.org was for me the most inspiring of all. Maybe it’s due to my parenthood, but I was moved seeing the different teams of 10 year olds building their electric karts together. I find it crucial to inspire the future generations to take up the challenges of engineering. This way allows them to start easy and small in a fun and collaborative way.