Archive for May, 2023

What children can learn about artificial intelligence

Sunday, May 21st, 2023

One of the conference presentations I gave last year was a talk at Heapcon, sharing some stories of AI/ML lessons I’ve run in schools. The focus of the talk was how I’ve seen children understand and react to machine learning technologies.

I’ve since expanded the ideas in this talk into a mini-book at but here is a recording of where some of these stories started.

Using Xbox to get started with Kafka Connect & Kafka Streams

Wednesday, May 17th, 2023

It’s easy for developers who aren’t immersed in all-things-Kafka to assume that “Apache Kafka” just means an event backbone: something that hosts topics (and perhaps the client libraries to produce and consume messages using those topics). But Kafka is more than that. It is an ecosystem of tools that enables a complete event-streaming application.

That was the premise of this talk, recorded at Devoxx UK, which I gave to a room of Java developers. I introduced them to two other bits of Kafka: Kafka Connect (for getting data in and out of Kafka topics from external systems) and Kafka Streams (for developing stream processing applications).

Because they were Java developers, I thought the best way to give them a flavour of these tools was to show them the APIs, and walk through an example solution made using the APIs.

The example solution used Kafka tools to process data from Xbox – mostly because I’m a gamer and it made for a fun, if silly, demo.

recording of the talk at