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How does a Full Day at IP Expo Europe Look Like? The Graduate’s Way

IP Expo Europe is a 2 day event, which showcases products like the latest trends in the world of computer technologies. IP Expo gives a clear picture of changes in the IT industry, while providing with knowledge about IT infrastructure focusing on all the aspects such as, IP network, data analytics, cloud, cyber security, DevOps and open source.

“Annie, do you want to come with me to IP Expo?” I was asked one week before the event.

“Sure, I’d love to!” I replied immediately without having a clue what IP Expo is all about - but it sounded fun!

After doing my own research on the event, downloading the mobile app, planning my schedule for the day, deciding which seminars I wanted to attend and having a look at the exhibitors, I was ready for the Expo. Or maybe not yet?

“What should I do there? What should I ask the vendors? What kind of discussions usually take place at such events?” As a recent graduate, I didn’t have experience on these kinds of IT events, so I was a bit nervous.

Try and spend some time with the vendor stands and take as many pens as you can!” my manager said. “Challenge accepted”, I thought to myself while laughing.

But what is IP Expo Europe?

IP Expo Europe is a 2 day event, which showcases products like the latest trends in the world of computer technologies. IP Expo gives a clear picture of changes in the IT industry, while providing with knowledge about IT infrastructure focusing on all the aspects such as, IP network, data analytics, cloud, cyber security, DevOps and open source. The exhibitors, who are coming from different parts of the technological sector, have the opportunity to showcase their products while people from various segments of the IT industry were able to socialise with each other, building up a solid business network.

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It’s morning!

Wow! Lots of people! Where shall I start?

Visiting some cyber security stands (e.g. Sophos, BAE Systems, Eset, Paloalto), I got information about their different platforms, products and services. We discussed businesses being under threat from increasingly aggressive ransomware attacks and about security solutions that need to be in place to give the best possible defence. In order to stay secure against ransomware, good IT security practises are needed including keeping a recent backup copy off-line and off-site, being cautious about unsolicited attachments, as well as enabling file extensions in order to easily spot file types that wouldn’t commonly be sent to you, such as JavaScript.

We trust nothing”, a vendor shared his company’s approach with me. I memorised his words, and it made me think that it’s not about security anymore, it’s more about defence.

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Now, it is DevOps time! Different definitions from different exhibitors. Again! Talking with some companies (e.g. DevOps Guys, CollabNet), I got a better idea of the tools they provide in order to help software development and to collaborate better within teams.

What is DevOps?” I asked just to see what other people’s perceptions of this massive current trend are. “Delivering business value” was one response. “Expanding from development to operations through CI/CD” was another response. Everyone was agreeing on the same thing, though: “You should always start small and then repeat”. This might help to deal with the big challenge of implementing a DevOps environment within a large organisation, I thought. Different companies’ representatives walked me through their services to design and implement a structured DevOps Transformation programme and the benefits of this change.

I had already started forming clearer understanding about DevOps. But I went one step further and attended the “DevOps Platform for the Evolving Enterprise” seminar. How can companies benefit from DevOps? “Faster deployment and transition from the one environment to the other, synchronisation of deployment in different apps and devices, better collaboration”. Still the challenges that the big teams are facing still remain. These challenges include end-to-end traceability and visibility because data is widely spread, sharing and collaboration across different tools, among others. The need for better visibility becomes urgent and this is where a DevOps platform can help.

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I think it is time for some motorbike riding! Yes, I am serious! This company (Riello UPS) brought a massive motorbike for racing games. What a clever idea for facilitating networking!

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Seminar time!

After having fun, I attended some more seminars about Cyber Safety, IoT and DevOps. Our dependence on connected technology is growing faster than our ability to secure it. Adding millions of lines of code and connecting everything to everything else exposes cyber physical systems to new accidents. While many in security fear DevOps and see it as the end of security as we know it… maybe that’s a good thing as it is finding breakthroughs like greater visibility and response agility. We can be better!

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Women in IT! A seminar I couldn’t miss. Why is women’s contribution to STEM significantly lower than the proportion of women in the global population? Is it because of gendered roles emerging in childhood due to stereotyping? Is it because of stereotyping in the workplace? Is it because of explicit and implicit bias? Whatever the cause, the conclusion is the same: More women should be encouraged to join the IT industry and the encouraging thing is that more and more companies are working on balancing their gender diversity.

Almost the end of the day!

Another walk around the vendor stands and that is the end of the day. A day full of interesting experiences, full of new information and much more food for thought. An educative event that gave me the motivation to challenge myself even more and I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to discuss the current and upcoming trends in IT and the new technological tools in the industry.

Oh! I almost forgot! My “pen challenge” is completed successfully even if there were no pens on hardly any of the stands!

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