Guest Author: Tony Blank
Tony is an experienced software developer with an interest in web design, web marketing, customer integration, and software IT including networking, data center management, and sysadmin. He has attended many of the GlueCon events in the past years because of its highly curated content and focus on cutting-edge technology transforming the web, including API Standards. GlueCon was sponsored by the OpenAPI Initiative.
“Gluecon 2023 was an incredibly enjoyable conference. I extend my thanks to the OpenAPI Initiative for providing me with a complimentary ticket. If anyone is considering attending a future Gluecon and has any questions, please feel free to reach out.”
I can’t believe it’s been ten years since I first started attending GlueCon. This event has always been on my “must-attend conference list” because of its highly curated content, focusing on cutting-edge technology that is poised to transform the web. Throughout the years, I’ve had the opportunity to represent a few different companies at Gluecon leading community teams. However, this year is different. I was unfortunately laid off in March, and now I find myself in search of my next exciting challenge.
A conference like Gluecon is the perfect place for me to network and connect with innovative companies.
Back in 2013, when I first attended Gluecon, the conference was abuzz with discussions about web services and API standards. As a developer evangelist for Context.io, an email data API, I found Gluecon to be the ideal gathering to meet fellow developers and individuals keen on exploring new APIs.
This year, the main topic of conversation was WebAssembly.
For those unfamiliar with WebAssembly, it is a binary instruction format specifically designed for the web. Its purpose is to enable high-performance code execution within web browsers. These low-level languages execute on the web with near-native performance, revolutionizing the way applications are built.
It reminds me a little of when Docker was first released and it was apparent to everyone how useful containers are. In fact, Solomon Hykes, the co-founder of Docker, famously tweeted that if WASM had existed in 2008, Docker would never have been necessary (https://twitter.com/solomonstre/status/1111004913222324225).
The second time Solomon presented Docker publicly was 10 years ago at Gluecon, along with Jeff Lindsey. Jeff referred to Solomon’s quote during his talk at Gluecon titled “Futuristic Architectures: Session Backends and WebAssembly Components.” In his talk, Jeff brilliantly illustrated how standard WASM components will lead to innovative app architectures. It was a delight to catch up with Jeff, as the last time we crossed paths was in Paris at the dotScale conference back in 2014. He was showing dotScale Dokku, which began… as Jeff’s Docker demo for his Gluecon talk the previous year.
Another remarkable session was the fireside chat between Alex Williams, from The New Stack, and Matt Butcher, founder and CEO of Fermyon. Alex has been covering the most intriguing emerging technologies since his days at Programmable Web (RIP), and his conversation with Matt was no exception. Hearing about how the benefits of WASM, like cross-language compatibility and fast execution times, are being implemented by Fermyon in their new cloud offering was very exciting.
Not every talk at Gluecon was about WebAssembly. Any developer would have enjoyed Jason Harmon’s talk focused on internal API best practices. Treating APIs like products vs. a feature of a product leads to good developer experience, faster production cycles, and fewer headaches. Jason is currently the CTO of Stoplight.io, who went through the Techstars Cloud accelerator in 2015. Editor’s note: Jason was also a key figure in the early days of the OpenAPI Initiative!
It was fun bumping into Samy Fodil, who I met when his startup Sage Hero was in Techstars Cloud in 2016. Samy was at Gluecon this year talking about his current startup Taubyte and, yep, WebAssembly!
Gluecon always closes with some amazing keynotes. Unfortunately, I had to miss this year to get set up for Mile High Startups & Music, the monthly tech event I promote featuring Denver’s best local musicians. (Big shout out to Elastic for supporting both Gluecon and Mile High Startups & Music!)
I hope to see you there next year!