You Really Want to Attend the Reactive Summit. Here’s Why.

The Reactive Summit offers a great opportunity to learn about reactive programming and to connect with a community of people who share your interest. So, why do you want to attend the Reactive Summit? We tackle that question by asking three related questions.

What are some of the biggest advantages of adopting the Reactive Programming paradigm?

Building efficient microservices is a challenging task that requires using asynchronous and non-blocking programming where non-blocking and optimal hardware usage natively protects the applications. Unfortunately, in the majority of cases, combining asynchronous and non-blocking code with imperative and structured programming increases code complexity.

Functional Reactive Programming offers a solution to these problems by:

  • Bringing certain composition patterns and a set of common operators to overcome many engineering problems
  • Enabling resilience
  • Fitting well network communication scenarios

The functional orientation of reactive programming can also be a strength. For most developers who are not accustomed to functional programming, there is a learning curve. But when it clicks, reactive programming becomes a very natural way of writing logic. Some developers do not ever return to the imperative style!

Reactive Streams, the specification for reactive programming, brings the advantage of backpressure in applications. Backpressure ensures that a consumer does not get flooded by a fast producer and lets applications avoid potential cascading errors. In short, it makes applications more resilient.

Project Reactor incorporates all these concepts in a single library, which makes it the best choice for building modern distributed systems and microservices. The declarative nature lets you compose operators together, form a chain of operators that describe a “recipe” for your asynchronous processing pipeline, and then subscribe to it to let data flow through it.

Moreover, with the RSocket protocol, all these concepts are mapped on the network protocol so that you have transparent networking by using Reactive Streams.

How do you connect with the community when you are the early adopter in your company?

Some developers might be in the position of early adopters for reactive technologies within their companies. Without a team of senior developers already expert in the technology, this can feel like a daunting proposition.

We encourage you to engage with the community. It can be conferences (some of which, such as the Reactive Summit, are specifically tailored towards reactive technologies) or nearby meetups.

For Reactor in particular, our users ask questions on StackOverflow[1], but they also use Gitter channels ([2] and [3]) for rapid-fire questions and discussions, while the Github issues are for bugs and suggestions and direct discussions with the team around the library itself.

As your company starts to get more vested in Reactive Architectures or Reactive Programming, you should consider participating in the Reactive Foundation[4].

Also, consider talking about reactive programming and your journey so far at local meetups. It could be a great way to connect with companies or developers in your area that share a similar interest, whom you didn’t know about. Often, if you are interested in a topic, others are, too, and you do yourself and others a favor by getting together with them.

[1] https://stackoverflow.com/tags/project-reactor/
[2] https://gitter.im/reactor/reactor
[3] https://gitter.im/reactor/reactor-netty
[4] https://www.reactive.foundation

What is the main thing that you hope people walk away with after attending Reactive Summit 2021?

For users new to reactive programming, we hope that those individuals come away with a good idea of where to begin. It can be hard to get started with building reactive applications, particularly if you are working with existing code. You have to consider a lot of different concepts, including how and when to integrate with blocking libraries. We hope that you leave the summit with a better sense of where to begin to use reactive concepts and gain the benefits of an asynchronous system.

If you already have experience with reactive programming, we hope that you come away from Reactive Summit with knowledge of best practices and an idea of where the future of reactive design patterns can take you.

Regardless of your experience level, we hope that you come away from the conference energized and ready to build asynchronous and reactive applications.

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