Bristech, the one-day tech event showcasing speakers from across the technical spectrum, is returning this year on 6 December at the Watershed. With talks ranging from the more technical tools, languages, techniques and frameworks to questions of ethics, soft skills and diversity there should be something for everyone. Tickets are available now from the Bristech 2018 website but we thought we’d go ahead here and give you a flavour of speakers and talks in preparation for the day.

“I am thrilled to announce the Bristol Conference line-up for 2018.  Our twenty speakers include both homegrown talent and tech speakers from further afield.  For me, Bristech Conference epitomises the breadth and depth of the tech scene in the South West and I wholeheartedly welcome the opportunity to share and learn with such passionate, talented people.” – Nic Hemley, Co-founder Bristech

Andrew Martin – Sevice Mesh Network Security

ControlPlane co-founder, Andrew Martin, has a strong test-first engineering ethos and has battle-hardened experience delivering containerised solutions to enterprise clients.

In his talk, he’ll detail how Istio could revolutionise microservices by providing a service mesh and a unified identity for each request with zero application changes.

David Denton – Server as a Function. In Kotlin.

David is the creator of both http4k (Kotlin) and fintrospect (Scala) web frameworks, as well as a highly experienced Tech Lead polyglot specialising in TDD, software craft, debt resolving, mentoring and straight talking.

This talk is a case-study about how the migration of the website of a major scientific publishing company from Java to Kotlin led to the creation of the http4k library, and how a famous Twitter whitepaper influenced everything from the design of the new application stack to the testing approaches it enabled to reinforce Continuous Delivery of the site.

James Strachan – Jenkins X: Accelerate your Continuous Delivery with Kubernetes

James created the Groovy programming language and the Apache Camel integration framework. Now he works on JenkinsX to help developers automate their CI/CD for cloud-native applications and help them go faster.

This talk will introduce you to a new open source project, Jenkins X, which is an open source CI/CD platform for Kubernetes based on Jenkins. After it, you should be able to develop at full speed with CI/CD in a ccloud-native way in any language on any cloud or kubernetes cluster.

Euan Allen / Alex Moylett – Quantum Computers: From Hardware to Software

Euan and Alex are two researchers from the University of Bristol’s Quantum Engineering Technology Labs, where academics work on building quantum computers using integrated silicon photonics.

With both large companies and new start-ups around the globe working on developing these new and exciting machines, this talk will take you through quantum computing; the fundamentals, the hardware used to construct quantum processors, and what cool algorithms you can program for a quantum computer right now.

Euan says, “I’m really looking forward to Bristech. It will be a rare opportunity for me to engage with the potential future users of quantum computers and discuss their potential application.”

Martin White – Consistent Security Controls through CIS Benchmarks

Regular Bristech attendee, Martin White, is the lead author of the Center for Internet Security (CIS) secure configuration benchmark for Juniper JUNOS devices and has been involved with numerous other good of the Internet and technical community organizations.

This talk will introduce you to CIS and discuss what it’s for, its controls, benchmarks and recommendations as well as letting you know how you can get involved with the Center for Internet Security.

Martin says, “Every time I look at the talks I find something new I want to see and am, frankly, feeling a little bit in awe to be sharing a list with such an amazing group of speakers.”

Ben Byford – Holistic Ethical Machines

Ben is an AI ethics researcher, technologist and host of the Machine Ethics Podcast.

There has been a lot of talk about AI and it’s dangers, and how as project managers, directors, designers or developers we should create ethical technology. This talk will be a short look at some of the issues, at the design, business, data and algorithms that make up a holistic view of creating ethical AI.

Ben says, “Having started SWFuturists Meetup and participated in Bristech and other Bristol tech events for sometime I’m excited to meet and have discussions with the community on tech in Bristol, AI and ethics.”

Roderick Chapman – Building Software like it Matters: Developing Safe and Secure Code with SPARK

Rod is a Principal Engineer with Altran UK in Bath, specializing in the design and construction of high-integrity software systems. Recently, he’s been trying to work out how to merge traditional high-integrity software process with the best that the Agile, Formal Methods, and Lean communities have to offer.

This talk presents a deep dive into SPARK – why it exists in the first place, how it works, and some example applications. If you think Rust is the state of the art in systems programming languages, then this talk is probably for you.

Steve Loughran – The Age of rename() is Over

Steve Loughran is an R&D engineer at Hortonworks, he is the author of Ant in Action, a member of the Apache Software Foundation, an active committer on the Hadoop core projects. If you are using Hadoop, Hive, HBase, Spark, or similar: you are encountering his code, somewhere. Usually stack traces.

This talk looks at our foundational preconceptions from the perspective of trying to define a single operation in Hadoop HDFS, rename(), what it takes to implement it in a distributed filesystem –and what has to be done to mimic that behaviour when working with an object store.

Joseph Woodward – Improving System Resiliency via Chaos Engineering

Joseph Woodward is a Senior Software Engineer at Just Eat, organiser of .NET South West, co-organiser of the DDD South West developers’ conference and open-source contributor.

Advances in Cloud technology means systems are becoming increasingly more distributed and complex. In this talk we’ll look at how we harness Chaos Engineering, a discipline pioneered by Netflix, to better understand our systems, their failure modes and how we can use this information to improve system overall resiliency and reliability.

Viki Johnson – Enhancing Exhibits with Augmented Reality

Viki is an XR Developer at Zubr, here in Bristol, where she works on an ever-changing variety of augmented reality projects,

With augmented reality (AR) becoming more popular and accessible, it is an excellent technology to use to immerse visitors into exhibitions, galleries, and museums. This talk will discuss how to use AR to add value to your galleries. How to enlighten visitors and enhance their experience in a way that is sympathetic to the message you are trying to send, with the help of this wondrous and pretty exciting technology.

Dora Militaru – Where are the Women?

Dora is a senior developer at the Financial Times, where she works on

They say that if diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being glad you’re there. This talk will help you understand and begin to fix the diversity issue in technology and beyond. It’ll help you contribute to our community becoming more accessible, inclusive, and welcoming for everyone.

Dora Says, “We’ve been spending a lot of time arguing about diversity, lately. It’s time we took a closer look at the dialectic in the diversity debate – and see what’s helpful, and what isn’t.”

Stig Telfer – OpenStack and the Software-Defined Supercomputer

Stig is the CTO for StackHPC, a consultancy specialising in the convergence of cloud, HPC and big data. He’s also co-chair of the OpenStack Scientific SIG, a globally-distributed grouping of research institutions using OpenStack for research computing use cases.

This talk is about how the cloud revolution is also revolutionising High-Performance Computing (HPC) and will cover some technical examples of how OpenStack and cloud methodologies can be used to create supercomputer environments without sacrificing performance. Real-world case studies will be used to describe the motivation and outcomes.

Stig says, “I love Bristech because of the breadth and quality of the content. It takes a conference like this to enable us to see the big picture of the Bristolian technology landscape.”

Antony Waldock – Computer Vision: Learning to Navigate in Unstructured Environments

Antony is a principal robotics engineer building new products at Dyson using the latest machine learning techniques.

This talk discusses the challenges involved in navigating in an unstructured and changing environment and highlights the importance of extensive real-world testing especially as machine learning approaches become more prevalent.

Cecilia Thirlway – Talking Tech: the Art and Science of Communicating Complex Ideas

Cecilia is a strategic comms consultant and writer working with technology companies, innovation teams, and change/innovation consultants to help them express what they do clearly and effectively, engage their audiences, and bring about change.

Post-truth means that media portrayals of technology are not necessarily accurate or helpful. This talk seeks to answer the question of how to communicate well and tell the right kinds of stories about technology to overcome some of these problems. Taking look at some tried and tested communications techniques to help, as well as referencing some past case studies of both success and failure and look at other complex areas that have struggled with this problem, such as the public understanding of science, in particular, the issue of climate change.

Cecilia says, “‘I’m looking forward to all the random, fun, horizon-expanding conversations on the day”

Mathew Galliard / Thom Leggett – Serverless… Servers?! Building a Global Multitenant FaaS Platform

Matthew is a programmer who enjoys all kinds of language nerdery, as well as whisky. He currently works on open-source code at Oracle, helping to make Java in the cloud as good as it can be.

This talk will tackle the architecture of Oracle Functions service – which is built on the open source Fn Project by teams in California and Bristol and is a global-scale multitenant service. Pulling back the curtain on the implementation choices we made, discuss some tricky trade-offs and describe how we ensure efficient use of our hardware.

Neil Madden – OAuth 2 – What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Neil is Security Director at ForgeRock, a leading identity and access management (IAM) company, where he provides expert guidance on all aspects of software security and applied cryptography to engineering teams globally.

This talk will look at threats against OAuth 2 usage on web and mobile and best practices for securing it.

Tim Walpole – Real Time, Vendor-agnostic, Personalized Chat Services Using AWS

Tim began his 21-year career as an IT Consultant with ICL (and then Fujitsu). He spent time working in Seattle for Microsoft, 3 years at the European Commission in Luxembourg, 3 years for HP, and now he works for BJSS as a hands-on Cognitive Architect.

Tim will discuss how organizations can deliver real time, vendor- agnostic, personalized chat services using the AWS platform. He will cover how this can be designed, assured and delivered as infrastructure as code and the issues around security, privacy, legal sign-off, data compliance. In addition, he will cover how the Internet of Things can be used as a delivery platform.

Bennie Johnston – Scaling DevOps: the SRE Model

With Agile and Scrum feeling outdated and even DevOps not being cool enough anymore, Bennie went in search of the next big buzzword in software development and found SRE. Since becoming the Head of Site Reliability Engineering at Just Eat at the start of 2017 Bennie quickly had to discover how to be accountable for the uptime of a multi-billion dollar platform, while not being responsible for what was run on it.

This talk will cover how Just Eat uses Site Reliability Engineering to scale independent development teams, as they ship to production 100s of times a day while maintaining a high level of uptime for our 24 million global customers.

Pick up your tickets on the Bristech 2018 website and for more news leading up to conference – follow them on twitter @bristech 

Geraint Evans