2019 DevSummit Top 20

If you missed out on DevSummit this year, or are just looking to re-live it, the following are the Top 20 technical sessions you may want to check out.

First… what does “Top” mean really?

Well, some we included due to them being some of the most popular sessions of the week, and some we chose because of the session room was really full, or flat out overfull. But then, some of the sessions below introduced some new products and capabilities, and we wanted to take one more shot at ensuring you know about them.

Ok, here we go, in no particular order:

0 – Real Software Engineering

It’s not uncommon for some to assert that software development isn’t, or should not be considered “engineering”.

We were lucky to have as a Keynote Speaker, Glenn Vanderburg, the VP of Engineering at Glenn gave an interesting talk exploring the concept of “engineering” and how it applies to the pursuit of building powerful software applications.

Glenn does a clever job exploring this idea–showing that, while software engineering has aspects that are fairly unique compared to other engineering fields, there are other aspects that not only show that it can be considered engineering, but that when it comes to designing, testing, scaling, deploying good software, and collectively learning from what we all do, for us to get the most from technology it should be treated as, and practiced as an engineering discipline.

1 – High-End 3D Visualization with CityEngine, Unity, and Unreal

GIS and Game Engines–interesting combination. And the future is here today. Game-like interactive experiences, whether on the screen or in VR/AR, are the next big step in 3D GIS. In this session, you will get an introductory guide to Unity and Unreal, the leading game engines. You will learn to load your map data up into a virtual world, one where you can walk through realistically rendered city models or to explore interactive storytelling of your 3D project.

2 – ArcGIS API for JavaScript: What’s New

This was THE most heavily attended session at DevSummit this year (that didn’t have “Road Ahead” in the title). Web developers make up the largest part of the global developer community building with ArcGIS, and the developers and engineers at Esri responsible for growing this API continue adding many new capabilities each release.

For web developers, hitting up the annual What’s New session is near the top of their lists of things to do. And now you can too.

3 – Using Insights for ArcGIS with Python and R

New this year, Insights has been enhanced so that developers and data scientists can now extend the capabilities with both Python and R for analysis and visualization.

4 – ArcGIS Runtime SDKs: Everything (or Anything) You Wanted to Know But Were Afraid to Ask.

Live Q&A session. No slides, no demos, just all of the ArcGIS Runtime SDK developer leads. They all covered topics such as Metal, Vulkan, React Native, editing, snapping, Arcade, samples, styling 2D and 3D, and more. And here is the full list of questions that were answered by the panel of developers and engineers on the ArcGIS Runtime teams.

5 – ArcGIS Enterprise: Architecting Your Deployment

This is not a very GIS-y presentation, and I’m not doing any live coding…“, says ArcGIS Enterprise product manager Philip Heede. Despite that caution, this session continues to be very popular in Palm Springs year after year. The title says it all. Optimizing your resources, storage, and performance starts with a solid architecture that fits the needs of your organization, apps, databases, and users.

6 – Extending Survey123 for ArcGIS

Sure, Survey123 has been one of the most popular end-user apps for a couple years now, but given this is DevSummit, this session looks into ways developers can now extend the app, to customize it further to make it more closely fit your workflows, such as: writing JavaScript functions, creating Add-ins, using Webhooks, and rebranding the app.

7 – Using Webhooks in ArcGIS Enterprise

This. Demo. Theater. Was. OVERFULL. All chairs taken, standing room only, spilling out into the Showcase. Easily the most popular demo theater of the week. If you got there too late, then today you’re in luck. Here’s the 30-min video… enjoy! Webhooks: They’re Better Than Polling!

8 – Integrating Machine Learning and Deep Learning with ArcGIS

During the Plenary session, Rohit Singh invited everyone to follow him into “the exciting world of pavement cracks“. 🙂 Well, this session here is a more complete version.  This was the 2nd most highly attended demo theater of the week. Also standing room only.

In this session, Rohit demonstrated how organizations can detect deep and complex spatiotemporal patterns in their data, and use that to predict geospatial events of interest – at scale, and in real-time.

And if you like this 30-min session, don’t miss the 4+ hours of machine learning “deep dive” here.

9 – ArcGIS Data Store Management: Best Practices

This was a new session this year, but with almost 300 attendees in the room, its popularity is clear. We bet you will find this information useful as well. In this session, after a brief intro about what the Data Store is, how it works, and what it can do for you, the presenters dig into how to install and configure it, followed by techniques for backing up, restoring, moving, and upgrading the Data Store.

10 – Using Webpack and React with the ArcGIS API for JavaScript

Modern frameworks continue to make robust and powerful web app development better. In this session, you’ll learn to integrate the ArcGIS API for JavaScript via the ArcGIS webpack plugin or esri-loader, and then use React to build a fast and responsive application that uses some of these modern tooling and techniques.

11 – Network Management with ArcGIS: Introduction to the Utility Network

We put this session in the wrong room–way too small. If you tried to get in, and couldn’t, then this is what you missed. Next year, the update to this session will be much better placed.

12 – What’s New in Collector for ArcGIS

One of the most popular apps over the past several years, the Esri Apps team gave a rundown–to a full house–on all the new capabilities of Collector, and what their plans are for the future, so that you can get the most from your field data collection. As they say “Accurate Data Collection Made Easy!”

13 – Interacting with Hosted Feature Layers through the ArcGIS REST API

Yet another overfull demo theater session. Although ArcGIS Online has a rich user interface for working with Hosted Feature Layers, there are some advanced features that developers can use for interacting with these web services using the ArcGIS REST API.

14 – Tools for the Modern Web Developer

When pulling together this session, Josh and Gavin from Esri Professional Services ask themselves: “What tools improved our workflows the most over the past year?”. So in 30 minutes, they went and covered helpful techniques for using Postman, Visual Studio Code, and open source tools from Esri for working with Calcite Maps, React, Angular, and Ember.

15 – Building Native Cross-Platform Apps with AppStudio: Advanced Topics

DevSummit attendees really like sessions with the word “Advanced” in the title. In this talk, we dig into some new capabilities, such as leveraging other geolocation tech with your apps, using Bluetooth, Beacons, and high-accuracy GNSS receivers. Also demonstrated is the new extension for developing AppStudio apps with the Visual Studio Code development environment.

16 – Roadmap for BIM-GIS Interoperability

As soon as GIS introduced 3D capability, users started experimenting with putting one of the most widely created 3D data types in GIS context, Building Information Modeling (BIM) data. This session covers best practices and techniques for using BIM data in ArcGIS, along with a road map for where things are going.

17 – Continuously Delivered Scalable Geoservices on Kubernetes

Containerization is hot. It’s a sharply growing trend in the IT industry, improving the automation, scalability, and management of apps, services, data, users, and organizational workflows. In this session, developers from Esri’s Washington DC R&D Center cut to the chase on how to use Kubernetes and Jenkins, and their useful abstractions, for automating and managing the creation and use of containers, so that you can continuously deliver scalable web services.

18 – ArcGIS Pro SDK for .NET: Understanding the CIM, a Guide for Developers

CIM == Cartographic Information Model. While the Pro SDK provides classes and methods for the most commonly used aspects of rendering layers and managing map layouts, the CIM opens that box up all the way. Access to the CIM gives ArcGIS Pro developers access to all of these much more advanced capabilities. This session digs right in, showing you techniques you’ll find useful right away.

19 – Improving your Web App through UI/UX Best Practices

With so many great GIS tools around, why isn’t map app design a slam dunk? This session teaches you that great UX is more than the sum of its parts and explains how to design more compelling User Interfaces. We’ll cover fundamental building blocks of successful applications and introduce ways to improve the total experience.

Tied for 20 – 242, all of the other videos that you can find here:

Let us know what you think!


About the author

Amy is the Developer Community Manager in Product Management. She has an MA in English Literature and Composition and an MBA with a focus on Global Business. Follow the @EsriDevs and @EsriDevEvents accounts on Twitter for updates on developer community events and happenings!


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