Here it was another amazing Devoxx conference. Tons of new stuff to learn and a lot of new and familiar faces to discover.
As already became a tradition each year of Devoxx brings some innovation and this year wasn’t exceptional. The big theme of this year was NFC, it was used in the wristbands that each attendee had to wear. With such chips it was possible to get food but also to vote for talks after they complete. This was done via amazing piece of machinery (picture) that had and NFC reader and was sending HTTP POST to a server running and a Raspberry Pi device. The server was putting votes to the MongoDB and cost of the server is only 35 EUR (i.e. cost of Raspberry Pi itself)! It was so COOL!!!
It always pays off to go to Devoxx for full 5 days as during first 2 University days one can get a lot more deeper insights and have more access to the presenters. This year was not different in this respect as one could attend some sessions that were not repeated during conference. For example “Performance optimization methodology” (Performance Methodology part 1/2 and Performance Methodology part 2/2) by Kirk Pepperdine (@kcpeppe) and Alexei Shipilev (@shipilev) which was simply brilliant. If you want to learn more on the subject of performance tuning and how to find performance problems watch videos on Parleys.
Conference itself started on Wednesday and as already became a tradition opening keynote by Stephan Janssen had some surprises.
For one thing he showed video from the first Devoxx4Kids an event for kids from 10 to 14 years old which were hacking some robots and learning some programming. If you watch video you’ll see how happy were those kids. Later during JUG’s BOF it was agreed that JUG leaders will do such events in their cities. Which I think is a great way to bring more young boys and girls into programming.
Second announcement was about Devoxx UK an event which will take place in March 26-27, 2013 and will be organized by London JUG. The idea is to bring Devoxx experience to UK and also leverage great Java community of London (they have 3000 JUG members and are very active in the JCP and OpenJDK realms). Devoxx UK will be followed by Devoxx France (28.03-30.03) and thus speakers and attendees will have possibility to enjoy a week of Devoxx in 2 different countries and cultures! Just hop on EuroStar train and in 2 hours you are in Paris! (just bear in mind that Devoxx France is 75% done in French language)
Third announcement was about complete re-write of Parleys in HTML 5. So Flash is gone and now entire web site will leverage latest and greatest technologies. For one thing it will retain all functionality but will add more features. For example there is one full blown editor that allows editing presentation with slides and video. Have you ever tried to edit video clips in HTML, now you can. This version will be available in March 2013 before Devoxx UK. Which is great because with new Parleys they will also change upload rates of recorded videos – videos will be uploaded after sessions directly so one could enjoy conference experience real time!
Next keynote was handed off to Oracle. Aside from corporate mantra about billions of devices running Java etc. there were couple of interesting demos. For one it was JavaFX demo that showed kiosk that was created for JavaOne (picture) and which features were used (re-write this sentence). Next was Joe Darcy talking briefly about upcoming JDK8 with lambdas and new Date-time API (JSR-310) besides that there will be plenty of other features like annotation on types (JSR-308) and repeating annotations (JEP-120). Afterwards we heard about upcoming Java EE 7 and it’s features and also plans for Java EE 8.
After Oracle stage was given to Neal Ford (@neal4d) and his “When Geek Leaks” presentation (video, unfortunately full version available to subscribers only however it would become available for free before Devoxx 2013). As always quality of the presentation was superb. Neal talked about concept of leaking or cross-pollination between different domains and how it can be good and bad. One of the examples was article in Forbes Now Every Company Is A Software Company which basically says that any company that wants to succeed in modern world needs to invest in software (e.g. should have strong mobile and web presence to stay ahead of competition). Neal used it as an example of software geek leaking into other domains and transforming them.
After the keynote the conference itself officially started and went for great 2.5 days. Devoxx did it again – delivered great experience and content. For the rest please check out videos on Parleys. Most of them are already free and more and more will be made available for free before Devoxx 2013.
P.S. Here is my list of best sessions (without any particular order):
- “Performance optimization methodology” by Kirk Pepperdine and Alexei Shipilev
- “7 things: How to make good teams great” by Sven Peters
- “Modern Software Development Anti-Patterns” by Ben Evans and Martijn Verburg
- OpenJDK BOF by Ben Evans and Martijn Verburg
- “Developers – Prima Donnas of the 21st Century” by Hadi Hariri (@hhariri)
- “Closures and Collections – the World After Eight” by Maurice Naftalin (@mauricenaftalin)
- “On the road to JDK 8: Lambda, parallel libraries, and more” by Joe Darcy
- “Modular Architecture Today Part 1/2″ and “Modular Architecture Today Part 2/2″by Kirk Knoernschild (@pragkirk)
- “Hacking the Java compiler for fun and profit” by Raoul-Gabriel Urma (@raoulUK)
- “Crystal Methodology – The Future Of Software Development” by Chet Haase (@chethaase) //watch if you want to get tons of positive emotions and laugh hard