We had JOIN, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun. It has already been a month since the 9th edition of the JOIN conference was concluded. And even though it had been ten years since the first edition, the skipped year due to the pandemic will cause us to have an additional anniversary edition next year. The aluminum edition will be a sight to see, and it would be a shame to miss it.

As for this edition, the stakes were high with a new team taking over the reins of those who had come before them. As a member of this new team, I had the pleasure to rise to the occasion and make sure the legacy stayed untarnished. The new team did not disappoint, and even though there were minor hiccups during the day, in the end, the conclusion was clear. A job well done, and a crowd that had gotten a day’s worth of interesting talks topped off with a barbecue blessed with early autumn sun.

Workspace Pieter Van den Wyngaert Opening the Conference in Style

Workspace Getting the inside scoop from our friends at AWS

Workspace Getting to Know your Fellow Conference Goers

Workspace Getting in Touch with the Serverless World (courtesy of November Five)

Workspace Ending the Conference by Queueing up for the Barbecue Diner

Not only did we have a new team, but the founding member of the conference, the jWorks unit or Ordina was joined by their colleagues from the BOLD unit to make it an even more impressive package deal. The talks reflected this, not only in a healthy mix of speakers but also in a healthy mix of topics ranging from the concerns about patching 3rd party software to the accessibility concerns of digital products for disabled people. We had people from AWS talking about the various ways to modernize applications, and we had people from Flowable showing process automation at its finest. On the subject of Flutter, experts brought various insights into the world of mobile app design, and even the mysteries of the design system were laid bare for all to understand.

Even though the topics were varied, the main theme was clear: Software development for the current times, leveraged by the possibilities that are present in the Cloud and the options we have for multi-channel approaches toward the customer. Thinking back to the Nexus of Force that Gartner used to taut: Social, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud, the talks covered three of these four topics. Not a bad score for a conference that only lasts a single day.

Workspace Taken from the Gartner Blogs Website

But shying away from the content for a moment, the process of getting such a conference to happen isn’t as trivial as it might seem. Where the preparations range from arranging a venue and finding a date that doesn’t clash too hard with all other conferences in the IT ecosystem, contacting and convincing interesting speakers to grace us with their presence, and setting up a marketing effort to get the word out there, the fun at this point has only begun. Facilities need to be arranged, such as making sure the proper recording material can be used to capture these talks for posterity. Catering and goodie bags need to be organized to give the attendees the best possible experience. You need to make sure that the people you invited to talk have the necessary arrangements to spend the night if needed and get transported for those who require transporting. A multitude of things can still get askew during the actual day, and firefighting mode is sometimes required at a moment’s notice.

All of this logistical work does not take away from the fact that we are proud of the ninth IT symphony we have put before our audience with the help of all of those willing to strip up their sleeves and help us out, not in the least the speakers and the technical staff of Elewijt Center that went well beyond the call of duty. And even though Beethoven’s magnum opus carried the same edition number, it is our wish that in contract with the maestro, we shall finish our tenth edition next year, and hope to see you all back again.

One closing Remark: The talks will be available on the JOIN YouTube channel as soon as they have left the capable hands of the post-production team.

Peter is a Solution Architect with firm roots in the Java technosphere, but with a wide interest in all things architecture. His areas of specialization include Service Oriented Architectures, Business Process Management and Security.