Well, I'm at JavaOne again, and after only one day I've already learnt stuff. And, of course, had a great time catching up with interesting people. Here's a summary of the first day.
So, I thought a few months ago that my blog would become more of a travel blog than a tech blog because of the amount of conferences I was going to. Turned out that I was so busy writing / updating / practicing talks and workshops and, er, travelling, that I never got around to doing retrospectives on the events I'd been to.
Taylor Street Cafe
I'm going to be controversial. I think this was my favourite conference of this year. I know that's not trendy, and that Oracle-bashing is still a popular pastime. And I know I've also made a big deal about how much fun it is to meet people who program in different languages. But there is something very special about being surrounded by thousands of people from all around the world who use the same technology as you, some facing the same problems, some solving very different issues.
Yesterday dawned, with a sense of foreboding (actually it dawned with me coughing my lungs out, but we've heard enough about the sub-optimal state of my respiratory system this week). On this day, I was giving the talk I was dreading when I got asked to do it. It's the talk I actually put more work into than any of the other sessions I was presenting at this JavaOne. It was the Women In IT talk.
Well this is exciting! JavaOne 2011 is the first conference I spoke at, so this the first time I've covered the same conference two years running. I think.
It's very nice to be back at JavaOne. Last year it was my first opportunity to meet so many people - the guys at Oracle who work really hard to make sure Java has its own identity; the JUG Leaders and Duchess folk; the JCP EC committee members; and loads of people who live and work in the area who I wouldn't normally get a chance to speak to in person.
This year I'm here with several other London Java Community people, and it's great to be a member of the Alumni, to have the privilege of showing other guys around and introducing people to each other. It's nice to run into people I met here for the first time last year, some of whom I've had a chance to see at other events this year.
Today, Sunday, is an interesting day. The focus is on community, so I get to hear what other JUGs are doing, some of their pain points, and learn some of the things they're doing that maybe we should think about.
The day started well, with Jim and Richard de-mystifying the business and technology terminology we're bound to come across at this conference. 8:15am is a really harsh time to have to do your first presentation, but it had a good turnout and was a great way to kick off the conference.
I followed this with a talk about why you would open source your secrets, a short presentation detailing the benefits to your business of opening up parts of your codebase. It went better than expected, given my voice has all but disappeared due to a stupid cold and plane travel and jet lag (and noisy bars). I had contingency plans on how to present via typing or drawing on my iPad, but in the end I managed even despite the microphone not being turned on. Doh.
There were a series of presentations on how to make your JUG successful and how to run Adopt a JSR/OpenJDK programmes in your user group, before Ben and I had to dash off to the public EC meeting. This was not as well-attended as last year, but it meant that I had a chance to talk to all the EC members, and to drink more free champagne than one really ought to in the afternoon.
Next on the packed schedule was a trip to yet another location (seriously, that's 4 different locations just on Sunday) for the keynotes. Note: next time I say "it's not far, let's walk" in San Francisco, hit me with sticks. That's the second time in as many days I've been hit with a vertical distance that was further than the horizontal. At least this time I wasn't wheeling my luggage up the hill like I was on Friday.
The keynotes were definitely better than last year. I really enjoyed how the technical keynote put the shiny new stuff into an everyday context - seeing JavaFX running on all the platforms, including embedded, and seeing lambdas used in anger, was really engaging. In my mind, it's much more likely to get "real" developers using these things. I particularly enjoyed the interplay between Mark Reinhold and Brian Goetz, it's great to see people like that so passionate about what they're doing, it really humanizes them and their projects.
The last trip of the day was back down the hill to one of the many parties scheduled this week. Of course, it's not in every party that you get given an award, so this was particularly sweet - the London Java Community has been honoured with a Duke's Choice Award. This is the first year a community has won a "Dukey", and it's amazing to be part of a group of people who are actively contributing to the language I work with daily, and to be recognised for this. So yes, I was on stage getting an award again. It's addictive.
So, a really great kick off to this year's JavaOne, and I'm back at the apartment well before my coach (well, Uber) turns into a pumpkin and resting my voice in time for my Disruptor presentation tomorrow.
Having been back in London for a few days I've had some time to digest the madness that was last week.
My lasting impression of JavaOne is almost entirely positive. Granted, it was my first major conference, so maybe I'm just not jaded yet. But let me tell you what I loved about it (yes, I did cover some of these in my last post):
So, I'm off to JavaOne next week!
This is an unexpected and very pleasant surprise. I'll be there with Martin (of the Disruptor fame), and Martijn (that's not going to get confusing at all). Martin will be talking about the Disruptor on Thursday, and Martijn is busy talking about... everything. Most importantly for the LJC he's representing us in our shiny new JCP Executive Committee role.
I'm really looking forward to meeting pretty much anyone and everyone who'll talk to me. It's the first international conference I've been to and I'm hoping to meet people I wouldn't normally get a chance to see in London. It's also really cool to be able to represent both LMAX and the London Java Community. Hopefully it won't lead to some sort of split personality syndrome.
Almost more excitingly, I'll be doing a spot of shopping in New York on the way there and back. Because, well, it would be rude to fly over to the States and not drop in on my old home.
Maybe I'll get a chance to catch up with some of you in one of those amazing cities...?