Sunday, January 29, 2012

OOP 2012 Conference in Munich

OOP conference provides a platform for developers, architects, and project leaders to get an excellent overview of the state-of-the-art in modern software engineering. Last week I got a Free Pass Ticket for the second day of OOP2012 Conference from my colleague so it offered a really good opportunity to participate in some lectures on cutting edge techniques. The motto of conference was "Sustainability – Empowering the next generation".  On the way to Munich my train is delayed much because of the snow chaos, but I was just arriving to the introductory presentation by Jutta Eckstein. She presented the main topics as Agile processes, modern Web- and Cloud architectures, new trends and techniques

First keynote by Sebastian Welter about project Watson

Searching in internet is easy, but to get the right and reliable answer for our question is much more harder. Today 80% of information on internet is unstructured and a good portion of it only text information. We can interact with computers via Google, Wikipedia, Voice, GPS, etc. but not with natural languages. Watson is a question-answering supercomputer built by IBM T.J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown. Watson can answer for natural formatted questions by fragmenting interrogative sentences and it search answer candidates in 20 Mio documents, Wiki, IMDB, etc. and make evidence-based estimation and answer-synthesis. In 2011 the supercomputer Watson - powered by 10 refrigerator-sized racks of IBM Power 7 Systems - was the big winner against Ken Jennings on the U.S. syndicated game show Jeopardy!. IBM Watson is a 80 teraflops system with 15 terabytes of RAM, and 2,880 processor cores. The key technology and adoption was presented as well.
IBM Watson is based on the following technology:
  • UIMA (Unstructured Information Management Architecture)
  • DeepQA Project
  • Special search technology
  • Natural Language Parsing

Trade Exhibition

After this very impressive keynote I visited the Trade Exhibition where I got valuable informations and prospects about Agile software development, Requirements Engineering and several interesting topics, current trends and products. I gathered various useful gadgets as scrum standup-ball, poker-cards, agile team calendar and agile beer mats for my agile team collegues. As a book addict I visited all book publisher and I bought two great books: 

Drawbacks of Free Pass Ticket

Unfortunately I had a few negative surprises:
  • Free Pass Ticket doesn't permit access to conference sessions
  • No slide presentation for  attendees with Free Pass Ticket
  • No lunch, only candy bar for Free Pass Ticket participants

Second keynote by Ralph Langner

On the afternoon I could take part in the second keynote by Ralph Langner about computerworm Stuxnet that probably targeted Iranian nuclear facilities. The attacks seem designed to force a change in the centrifuge’s rotor speed to destroy the centrifuge and set back Iran's progress in operating the FEP (Fuel Enrichment Plant). With reverse engineering a decrypted code part was also presented.

I will book an early-bird ticket next year to be able to participate also in lectures, but inspite of the prohibition of conference sessions it was a great experience for me.

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