DevFest Paris was great!

By: Antoine Prang / 02 Mar 2016

Recently we attended DevFest the biggest annual Google tech conference powered by the GDG community in Paris. The conference touched on topics ranging from Android, the Web and Cloud.

Audience members at Devfest 2016

This one-day conference was very nice and had a rather younger audience than other conferences that we attended. There were a lot of students (in particular from “ Ecole 42”) ! All the talks, that we attended, were in French except a talk from Google’s Scott Jenson which was planned to be in french but was actually in english. Most of the speakers were French (and work in France). There were 4 tracks in parallel.

The venue was so cool. It was the first time I attended a conference in a crypt of a church (Saint honoré d’Eylau in the 16ieme arrondissement) ! The main room was superb ! The little drawback (but not due to the venue but more to the huge success of this conference) was that the room 3 and 4 (the little ones) were very small, which left some attendees standing.

The theme of the conference  was roughly new (Google) web-related technology.

Technical talk session

We focused on 3 main items that I was interested in:

  • http/2 : http/2 is not coming anymore, but is already here ! all major browsers / web servers already support it. It will bring an interesting speedup in a lot of cases ! The interesting point is that some best practices for http/1.1 are now bad practices !  So we need to take care of that from now on.
  • Web component / Google Polymer. This technology is still in development (but according to some speakers it is already used in some available products) I (But I think I am not alone) cannot still understand precisely the scope and the impact of this technology. But we can already see cool usage in Criteo (replace iframe in our banner invocation framework for example). The state of the Web component (the official spec) and the Google polymer project (the Google implementation of it) deserve to be closely monitored.
  • “Physical Web”. This is just the marketing / branding word for the beacons. Legion of Beacons will arrive soon ! A lot of people believe a lot in this technology (It should be what we expected from QR code). Google seems to commit a lot on it (This may explain why the head of this division came to the little known DevFest). A lot of so nice and practical usages were demoed. It was so interesting to see that almost all questions / debats / points were not about technology (which is in fact quite simple and now almost ready) but about privacy. Even developers are afraid of it ! And has explained by the Google evangelist, the future of the beacons will depend a lot on the public reaction concerning the privacy issue.

In all, DevFest was a great event and we hope to be back next year