Overview and key take-aways from Devoxx Ukraine 2023: AI – Friend or Foe?

Devoxx Ukraine 2023 conference was held online and helped raise more than 50,000 euros for the purchase of medical backpacks stuffed with a full range of medical supplies that are necessary for medics who help save lives on the front lines. It is the second year in a row that the event took place in such a format, despite the difficulties and risks associated with a full-scale war in Ukraine. Since artificial intelligence (AI) is gaining more and more popularity and is actively used by IT professionals, this time, the event was dedicated to the “AI – Friend or Foe?” topic. The speakers of the conference shared valuable experience of working with AI, talked about its potential and impact on our lives.

Devoxx is the biggest worldwide technology conference for engineers and developers from around the world. During the event, participants can receive knowledge and advice from technology professionals from Europe, the USA, Canada, and other countries.

The rapid development of AI technologies improves our lives and mainly has a positive impact on us; however, it also implies a number of potential dangers and threats. With AI, we have learned to use our time efficiently, as automated processes and AI algorithms can perform both routine and complex tasks. At the same time, when working with AI, it is important to ensure privacy and security of user data, since the intensity of technology development also brings certain ethical challenges. In addition, there is concern in the IT sector that as AI capabilities grow, the number of jobs will decrease, which could negatively affect the labor market. That is why the following main issues were highlighted at Devoxx Ukraine 2023 conference:

  • how to benefit from AI and boost innovations;
  • transformative potential of Artificial Intelligence in the IT Industry;
  • AI: the catalyst for evolution or job displacement?

The achievements of this conference:

  • Devoxx Ukraine 2023 charity conference was held online in partnership with  Leleka Foundation;
  • the goal of the event was to raise 50,000 euros for the purchase of 50 medical backpacks with the necessary medical equipment for the doctors working in the combat zone;
  • 26 speakers, world-renowned experts from all over the world, joined the conference.

EPAM Ukraine partners with Leleka Foundation, a non-profit organization, which is registered in the USA. Since the beginning of the full-scale russian aggression, Leleka Foundation together with Leleka Ukraine Charity Fund distributed over 30 medical evacuation cars, more than 7,500 backpacks, over 100,000 tourniquets, tactical medicine supplies, etc. for thousands of medics who save lives on the front lines. For almost 10 years, the team has gained unique experience in supplying high-quality tactical medicine supplies from all over the world, built its own delivery system to Ukraine and has processed requests directly from hotspots.

Leleka foundation

In three parallel streams, the speakers shared their experience in building architecture, working with data and artificial intelligence, using security tools, development practices and methodologies. In addition, IT experts also talked about leadership, inclusion and personal development. During their speeches IT, enthusiasts and innovators in the field of artificial intelligence improved the knowledge of the participants and talked about the impact of artificial intelligence not only on the IT industry, but also on the improvement of life in general.

As in previous years, the speakers from such leading companies as IBM, Microsoft, EPAM, VMware, Lightbend, DataStax, Azul, as well as from Johns Hopkins University and many others, presented at the conference. The event’s keynote speaker, Dr. Alan D. Thompson, a consultant at LifeArchitect, made a presentation on “Superintelligence: No One Is Smart Enough.” Dr. Thompson explores human intelligence, AI models in 2023, and the rapidly evolving world of superintelligence or artificial intelligence. In his presentation, the speaker explained what the trend towards the increasing use of AI means and how it affects humanity.

Evgeny Borisov, Developer Relations Lead at EPAM, presented on the topic “Remake of Spring The Builder Powered by AI”, which is a follow-up to his previous talk “Spring The Builder”. During the speech, Evgeny demonstrated AI capabilities by utilizing ChatGPT in software development and explained how AI can be useful and effective in creating one’s own infrastructure.

Victor Rentea, Java-champion, Trainer and Consultant at Victor Rentea Consulting SRL, delivered a presentation on “Test-Driven Design Insights – 10 Hints You Were Missing” and talked about the importance of writing unit tests in a timely manner to gain a comprehensive understanding about the design of your production code. He spoke about the advantages of unit testing and provided advice on test-driven design.

Mohamed Taman, Chief Solutions Architect at Nortal, spoke about Java in his presentation on “Java 11 to 21 Evolution!”. The speaker talked about the evolution of Java from 11 to 21 and the impressive features that can make your life easier. Mohamed emphasized that Java remains the dominant programming language, and emphasized its impact on software development processes and why it is important.

Josh Long, Spring Developer Advocate at Tanzu, a division of VMware spoke about “Bootiful Spring Boot 3”. He told about the new features of Spring Framework 6+ and Spring Boot 3+. Spring Framework offers new support for building GraalVM-native images, features a new observability layer, supports Project Loom, CRaC, ProblemDetail, utilizes the latest Kotlin features and many more.


All Devoxx Ukraine 2023 recordings playlist on YouTube

Traditionally, the conference also included a panel discussion. This time, of course, it was devoted to the topic of applying AI technologies. The speakers discussed the following issues:

  • ethical concerns: balancing AI progress with personal data security;
  • is AI a threat to employment or an avenue for innovation;
  • AI impact on software development;
  • striking the right balance between innovation and control;
  • efficient AI regulation and its potential impact on technological advancements.

Devoxx Ukraine 2023 results:

  • due to our joint efforts, 55,872 thousand euros were raised. All the funds were transferred to Leleka Foundation;
  • all the participants who made a charitable contribution in the amount of 100 euros or more had a chance to win two gift sets – one from the organizers of Devoxx Ukraine, the other from Leleka Foundation;
  • the participant who made the largest donation received a flag of Ukraine signed by medics of the Donbas Special Forces Battalion;
  • two more sets of Devoxx Ukraine branded souvenir products were given to the participants who made donations in the amount of 100 euros or more through the Monobank jar.

Let’s meet at the next Devoxx Ukraine. Glory to Ukraine!