I Code Java, Africa’s largest Java, Kotlin and Mobile developer conference, will be back in Johannesburg from 24th to 26th July 2019, featuring some of the industry’s leading experts, designers, developers and bloggers.

A common theme of this year’s conference will be overcoming the massive skills shortage that continues to hamper local companies and larger enterprises. Software architect and ICJ 2019 speaker Corneil du Plessis says that aside from an actual lack of developers on the ground, the community is also short on mentorship and diversity.

“Growing the community while changing both requires careful consideration, effort and willingness from those already inside,” says Du Plessis. “Contrary to popular belief, Java is the most widely used language in South Africa and has a huge install base, and mobile development in particular provides a way to reach a huge audience with relatively low investment.”

Du Plessis also believes the Kotlin language is one of the fastest growing languages, and since it is portable across platforms, may actually have a wider reach than Java. “I’m personally very excited about Kotlin and would love to be using it exclusively, so ICJ will be a great sounding board for how far Kotlin has come – and gauge how much potential it still has to grow.”

Fellow speaker and Android engineer Rebecca Franks says access to talented individuals is one of the biggest challenges facing the mobile industry today.

“Companies are constantly looking for highly skilled mobile developers and unfortunately there are just not enough developers to fill the demand,” says Franks.

“Personally I am looking forward to meeting more local developers and getting to know the community even more,” she says. “I love teaching people how to do their jobs better or more efficiently, so I look forward to sharing my knowledge on the day, in the hope that it’ll help someone.”

ICJ 2019 is structured around a full first day of workshops, followed by the two-day conference. The Future of Java will be discussed and workshopped, along with the latest development trends in Java, Kotlin and the mobile space.

“We live in such a pressurised industry and most developers works under very tight deadlines,” says Solution Architect at Red Hat, Phillip Kruger. “This means that they don’t find time to keep up to date with the latest technologies, as it’s always head down to deliver.

“Conferences like ICJ are a vital link between developers and the broader industry, and a forum for Java developers, project managers and businesses to come together, share ideas, and find new and better ways to work together.”

Kruger says that most surveys still show Java as one of the top languages, especially in Enterprises.

“Java is evolving very fast and there are many frameworks, libraries and tools available, so it is hugely important for the local and global development community. Apart from Mobile (which is still dominated by Android), Java is very popular in big enterprises, and more recently has taken a foothold in the cloud/ container space.”

Rory Preddy, Audience Developer at Microsoft, says Microsoft is excited to be sponsoring the venue and food for this year’s event. “We are looking forward to the amazing things the Java community will create by leveraging local Azure Datacenters,” he says.

The booking deadline for ICJ 2019 is 20th July, at a cost of R1 900 per delegate. More information and online booking is available here.

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