Global DevSlam is back, setting the stage for a unique gathering of tech aficionados from all corners of the world. Supported by Coders HQ—a standout initiative by the UAE government—and the Python Software Foundation, this year’s event is designed to cultivate innovation and foster meaningful connections.
Taking place at the bustling Dubai World Trade Center from October 16-20 and co-located with GITEX, Global DevSlam is dedicated to offering a diverse platform that encourages widespread participation. The event beckons a rich tapestry of insights from C-level executives, government representatives, and a broad spectrum of international coding professionals.
With a focus on a harmonious blend of deep knowledge sharing and transformative dialogues, the conference aims to provide a practical, engaging, and enlightening experience for all its attendees. As a hub for exploration, learning, and networking, Global DevSlam is set to showcase an array of tech expertise and collaborative endeavors.
During a special pre-event interaction, we delved into the perspective of JJ Asghar, a Developer Advocate at IBM. Hailing from Austin, Texas, JJ brings a robust reservoir of expertise in DevOps and SRE, paired with an intense enthusiasm for the ever-growing realm of AI. He shares diverse insights as he gears up to enlighten the Global DevSlam audience—from his personal aspirations and cultural immersion at the event to in-depth musings on trending industry topics like Cloud Native and Serverless Applications.
JJ’s participation will be a journey of exploration and innovation, contributing tales of unexpected discoveries in serverless applications and insights into the transformative facets of AI. He will join other esteemed speakers in guiding pivotal dialogues on AI, emphasizing the essential role of ethical and responsible practices in technology’s evolution.
We invite you to join us in exploring JJ’s insights and forecasts as they shape the course of what promises to be an unforgettable experience at Global DevSlam:
1. Is this your first time attending Global DevSlam? What are your expectations for the event, and what insights or experiences should participants from around the world anticipate?
Yep! I’m a Developer Advocate from IBM, living in Austin, Texas. I never once in my life thought I could make it over to the UAE, and speak no less. Thank you for having me! My expectations of the event are not only to learn about the culture in the UAE, but to learn how I can engage in the space from a technology standpoint. I’m passionate about this AI ecosystem, and I want to make the biggest impact I can.
2. What are the highlighted discussion topics at this year’s Global DevSlam, and are there any that resonate with you particularly?
As much as Cloud Native is still “hot” it’s incredible how many people genuinely don’t understand that it’s a journey, not a “goal.” In order to grasp the advantages of Cloud Native, you have to first take stock of what you are trying to accomplish and what you already have invested in your development and infrastructure.
So many times, I’ve helped advise clients and/or companies that “You need to do your homework first” before you buy that OpenShift/Kubernetes cluster. Figure out what you’re trying to do, and maybe you should be looking at your next project, not this one. On top of that, too, I’ve learned to give people/clients/companies permission to realize that Cloud Native is hard. It isn’t like any other way of running your application and requires a real investment of time and effort to be successful. It’s amazing how many people don’t actually say this and give a false sense of security, saying, “just by my thing, and everything will be ‘ok’”.
Our team at IBM helps businesses navigate this process and implement hybrid cloud infrastructure to ensure security and make it as simple as possible for their development teams to manage.
3. Could you provide some insights into the presentation or talk you’ll be delivering at Global DevSlam?
I’m going to be talking about how we accidentally created a Serverless application, and surprisingly a very common journey for developers to find themselves in the serverless space. I’m a highly experienced DevOps/SRE engineer, so it has a vector of how leveraging DevOps software can get you only so far, and before you know it, you’re building an application to make your life easier. And before you know that, you’ve accidentally created a Serverless app!
4. What industry trends or shifts are currently on your radar, and why do they excite you?
Frankly, I’m very excited about the AI space. With Generative AI all over the world and people are starting to pay real attention to our industry as a whole. That’s actually not what excites me, it’s more the aspect that now as technologies, we have the chance to teach and engage with non-techies in a way to understand what we do day in and day out. Nerd stuff is cool to nerds, but when we get say my parents interested, now I can show it to anyone.
This also ties in with how everyone needs to use this AI space responsibly. Something I genuinely love about IBM watsonx is that we really are the trusted AI platform. We have the datasets and the training of our foundational models there, so you can verify that our models are fair/balanced and built the way real enterprises and privacy-concerned institutions need.
5. Gen AI is significantly shaping our global landscape. How do you view its influence on individuals, communities, and the broader enterprise world?
Honestly, that’s one reason why I’m so excited about coming to Gitex. Where I’m located in Texas, the AI space is just budding, and the community is small. I’m hoping through the lens of Gitex and AI Everything that, I’ll be able to find influencers to learn from!