India's developer conference gains ground

The annual Great Indian Developer Summit has come a long way in the last five years, serving as a vendor-neutral platform that differentiates itself from vendor-led conferences and tradeshows.
Written by Abhishek Baxi, Contributor on

Starting out as a small developer conference piggybacking on the speakers and sponsors of other big industry conferences in the region, the Great Indian Developer Summit (GIDS) has come a long way.

It serves as a vendor-neutral platform that seeks to differentiate itself from vendor-led conference and tradeshows. The annual conference in Bangalore successfully culminated its sixth, and largest yet, edition last week.

Great Indian Developer Summit 2013

The conference was spread over four days this year covering focused tracks--GIDS.EDGE & TUTORIALS, GIDS.NET, GIDS.WEB & MOBILE, and GIDS.JAVA--which included forward-looking keynotes and in-depth workshops apart from overa 100 focused sessions.

GIDS has been fortunate to have industry luminaries like Venkat Subramniam, Scott Davis, Neal Ford, Miko Matsumura, Marty Hall, Sander Hoogendoorn, and Tom Marrs as key speakers and patrons. They command great respect from the developer community, and in a felicitation on the third day, both Venkat and Scott got standing ovation not just from summit stakeholders but enthusiastic audience as well.

Some of these core speakers also had the most anticipated keynotes. In his keynote on the first day, Venkat talked about directions the programming field was evolving toward.

Scott, always popular with the audience, in his keynote asserted that video was the future of the Web.

Marty had a tough job talking about the future of Java, and he insisted the language would not stagnate and become a Cobol-like dinosaur. He discussed trends in the programming community and gave insights on Java, such as where it was innovative and where it was stale. 

I caught up with Scott after his keynote, and tried to understand his cynicism as a practitioner in a country plagued with bandwidth constraints and a fractured authority-citizen-service provider relationship over the legality of content. He backed technologies like adaptive streaming and cultural evolution like free Wi-Fi at coffeehouses to counter the former. 

Great Indian Developer Awards 2013

GIDS is hosted by Saltmarch Media, a new-media company providing industry-leading Web sites, conferences, and media platforms which focus on sectors such as IT, clean technology, BFSI, utilities and energy, manufacturing, telecom, healthcare, retail and media, among others. 

Dilip Thomas, chairman and CEO of Saltmarch India, said: "The Great Indian Developer Summit was founded six years ago to fill the need for a truly independent, vendor-agnostic, polyglot conference series. GIDS fits in with Saltmarch Media's ethos of empowering communities and professionals with information they require to spur change. Over 20,000 attendees have benefited from the GIDS platform thus far, and several hundreds have testified to the success they owe to GIDS--from individuals who turned entrepreneurs, to garage startups which metamorphosed into full-fledged global operations, to several thousands who have reported super positive career upgrades and shifts."  

The winners at the Great Indian Developer Awards 2013

The summit also features annual Great Indian Developer Awards honoring trail-blazing technologies and organizations contributing to the evangelism, productivity, and innovation excellence of the software development ecosystem.

  • Development Environment: Visual Studio 2012 Ultimate
  • Collaboration Solution: Telerik TeamPulse
  • Content Management: Microsoft SharePoint 2013
  • Design and Modeling: Infragistics NetAdvantage Ultimate
  • Testing: JBoss Profiler
  • Security: Atlassian Crowd
  • Open Source Solution: OpenStack
  • Web Development: Telerik KendoUI
  • Mobile Development: Android
  • Framework: Microsoft .NET Framework
  • Database: MySQL

This year, Saltmarch Media honored Venkat Subramaniam and Scott Davis with the first ever "GIDS Rock Star" awards for their continuing contribution to the summit.

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