Several women gathered around a laptop in front of the BbWorld and DevCon logo

Happening at DevCon 19: Angie Jones, Hackboard Data, DevRock, and More


DevCon 2019 is approaching fast, and I hope to see you in Austin! You won’t want to miss this opportunity to catch up on all the latest Blackboard developer news and product roadmaps, and to network and knowledge share with your friends, colleagues, and fellow clients.

This year’s event takes place at the Austin Convention Center July 22 and 23 prior to the kickoff of BbWorld.  We’re pleased to have Amazon Web Services as our sponsor again this year — they always help us make DevCon an amazing event. 

We’re also excited to have Angie Jones, Senior Developer Advocate and Master Inventor, as this year’s guest keynote. Angie speaks all over the world, authors tutorials and articles on her popular blog, and supports initiatives at Black Girls Code, a non-profit organization that introduces Software Development principles to young girls in an effort to attract more women and minorities to tech.

In addition to our guest keynote, we have a packed agenda for you.  You’ll learn more about Blackboard Data, our platform designed to bring all of your Blackboard product data together in one place.  Our Architecture team will dive into the platform from a technical perspective, and we are thrilled to bring our Hackboard: Data hands-on experience to you as part of your DevCon registration. 

Hackboard: Data is an exciting event where we provide training on the technology and then help you work through mini challenges that show you the power this game-changing platform provides.  These sessions are a fantastic way to experience the data yourself and see what types of insights it can provide. 

We also have a plethora of REST API sessions. I know what you’re thinking, “Of course. There are always a plethora of REST API sessions.” We’ve expanded from Blackboard-led sessions about what you can do with the API—you’ll hear more from your fellow developers and admins talking about the things they have done with Blackboard APIs.  When we first delivered REST in 2016, there were only 36 API endpoints. Now we have over 150.  There are things you can do with REST now that you could never do with the Building Block framework, and we’re excited for you to put them to use. 

If you are an admin at an institution that is thinking about moving to the SaaS deployment of Blackboard Learn, you’ll have the opportunity to hear from us and fellow clients about the migration path.  We now have more than 550 Blackboard Learn clients running on our SaaS deployment.  If you aren’t already, this is a great time to start thinking about making the move to SaaS.

Of course, no DevCon is complete without a party. This year’s event has a rock-n-roll theme. We’ll have a live acoustic band (so we can enjoy good music and still have engaging conversation).  We’ll also have an airbrush tattoo station, souvenir bandanas, a caricature artist, and plenty of good food and drink.  We’re pleased to give you a little taste of Austin’s vibrant musical heritage.

For those of you that come to DevCon and stay for BbWorld, we have taken your feedback to heart.  We’ve heard from you that you head to DevCon and you are immersed in technical nirvana, and then you get to BbWorld, and there isn’t much for you of a technical nature.  So in 2019, we’re introducing the “Nerd Space” as part of the Community Live area.  You can enjoy lightning talks and a lounge area where you can sit down and pull out your laptops to work on code or share tips and tricks that you use at your institution.  We will also have a Blackboard Data station available where you can actually play with real-world data using either SQL or data visualizations. 

We’re looking forward to a rocking event in Austin, and we hope to see you there!