Engineer for the future of Cloud
June 10-13, 2019
San Jose, CA

Immersive development

John Voorhees (Primitive)
11:35am12:15pm Thursday, June 13, 2019
Emerging Tech
Location: LL21 E/F
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 12 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • C-level executives, project managers, and developers



Prerequisite knowledge

  • Experience with code or with managing a development team

What you'll learn

  • Learn how to understand code you haven't written and manage a remote team
  • See how virtual realities (VRs) can provide the best of both worlds—isolation for focus and telepresence for collaboration
  • Learn how to use a standard debugger to understand what a program is doing and use VR to display large datasets of debugged code to help find the root cause of complicated problems (e.g., debugging multiple threads and race conditions)


Almost all science fiction representations of the future involve some version of an immersive, holographic interface with technology. The aspiration at the heart of this vision is that working with technology will one day become an extension of our visual, tactile understanding that we have with the world. Today, virtual reality has brought us this future. There is no interface with technology that is more fundamental than computer programming. As a basic practice, it has remained largely unchanged since the days of terminals and the invention of compilers. Virtual reality offers a new frontier to explore code in a collaborative, immersive, and interactive format.

John Voorhees demonstrates how data displayed in collaborative virtual reality can increase memory retention from spatial layouts, increase the bandwidth of information that can be processed by a person, and simulate the presence of other people who are thousands of miles away.

Photo of John Voorhees

John Voorhees


John Voorhees is the founder and CEO of Primitive, where he and his team are working to transform the practice of software development through the power of data visualization in virtual reality (VR). VR has the potential to revolutionize software development by offering a new medium that fundamentally changes the way that teams interact with code. The company’s goal is to create a development environment that immerses a team in interactive 3D representations of complex software, allowing for an unprecedented look at code. John is a computer-aided design (CAD) engineer by training. As a self-taught programmer, John understands the challenge of learning to code. One of the main reasons he started Primitive was from a desire to create a programming interface that was similar to the kinds of tools he had used in CAD.