A Look Back to Philly ETE 2023

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Back In-Person

Philly ETE wrapped on April 11th, 2023, and as of the time we publish this post, all the talks are now available to the public. While we are so grateful for the way our attendees embraced a virtual format in 2020, 2021, and 2022, words can’t describe how refreshing it was to gather in-person with our tech community again.

This year, the conference was held at the University City Science Center. This felt fitting, as the Science Center has been a stalwart of Philly’s tech scene for years: it’s a collaborative space that helps startups grow, nurtures a STEM workforce that’s reflective of Philadelphia, and convenes people to inspire action. It also didn’t hurt that it’s home to an Elixr Roastery, arguably one of the best cups of coffee in the city 🙂


Our riff on It’s a Philly Thing, and a packed happy hour.


The new venue felt like a fresh start, providing a perfect backdrop to catch up on the parts of Philly ETE that simply can’t be replicated virtually: serendipitous hallway conversations, coffee catch-ups, conversations with speakers, happy hours, dinners, reconnecting with old friends and colleagues. And as is tradition at ETE, many speakers stayed the entirety of the conference to catch other talks.


Shout out to Jessitron for these doodles.


Speaking of speakers, we were lucky enough to host an incredible lineup who shared on a broad range of topics: dancing robots, the tech stack behind Wawa’s beloved hoagie kiosks, scaling Hachyderm.io, and – of course – artificial intelligence (so critical we invited two speakers to talk about it.) It was standing room only for many talks. We welcomed back some ETE veterans like Jessica Kerr, Richard Feldman, and Martin Snyder, and said hello to some new faces like Stephen Augustus, DaShaun Carter, and Hazel Weakly.


We asked a Chariot consultant to highlight some of their favorite talks from the show. 

Jessica Kerr’s Observability Talk
Every ETE, there’s a talk that I feel people cannot live without watching. This year, it was Jessica Kerr’s talk, OpenTelemetry: Your Distributed System is Talking to You. Observability is so important to modern software development because it’s highly distributed and complex by nature. Jessica adeptly describes distributed tracing for audiences technical and non-technical and takes us through an example end-to-end. I also saw a number of front-end developers attending this talk, which brought me a lot of joy: it’s a holistic practice, and directly impacts customer support, developer and SRE quality of life, and UX as well.

Whither Programming Languages
I also really enjoyed
Jamie Allen’s talk on the lack of evolution of new programming languages, and how platforms and cloud are killing languages. He made some excellent observations on where the conversations and complexity lie these days, how languages need to be rethought in the world of cloud and AI, and how current languages don’t directly map to thinking or intelligence. This got me to thinking, will programming languages and computational engines of the future be as seamless as natural language and thought? Even since ETE 2023, we’re seeing rapid development in using large language models to express code and SQL.

Lightning Talks
Lightning talks deliver a quick tour of different topics that you may not normally get to hear; it gives people in the community a chance to strengthen their speaking muscles. I hope this component remains for future ETEs.

Catie Cuan’s Keynote
Can you teach a robot to dance? Can a robot teach humans to dance? Can you teach me to dance? The answer to the last question is a resounding NO 🙂 Catie Cuan’s keynote stood out to me, because it’s not often we talk about the arts and humanities at a technical conference. The ability for technology to impact that used to be the stuff of science fiction… not anymore!



Stay In Touch

Planning is well underway for ETE 2024 — for announcements, be sure to subscribe to our events mailing list. In the meantime, catch this year’s videos, and all the videos from ETEs past on our YouTube channel. Don’t forget to like and subscribe.

Last, if you’re a business looking to build and manage software solutions optimized for your unique needs, Chariot Solutions is happy to help. We’ll apply our strategic, high-touch approach and expansive technology expertise to solve your most complex business problems. Simply reach out to us

We hope to see you in 2024!