This year I attended for the first time the annual free (!) Java conference organized by couple of great folks from Warsaw. This conference – Javarsovia - more or less doubles (in terms of the number of participants) every year. This year it attracted about 650 people and I bet it could have gathered more, if the organizers had not suggested several days before the conferences on the web page that the registration is closed (and most of folks understood that there is no point in coming, whereas it meant: come at your own risk – there theoretically may be no place for you).
650 people makes Javarsovia one of the biggest Java conferences in Europe. And a lot of big players already noticed that: Google, Adobe, Oracle, Microsoft – all were sponsors this year. Thanks guys.
There were 4 parallel tracks. Each had six 45-minutes-long sessions. Drinks and lunch (very satisfiable) were served too. All free of charge.
So what I saw and learnt there. Honestly not much, but it was my own fault – please read why. But to the point:
First I listened to Jakub Nabrdalik who was talking about bio-degradation of your code. A very good speaker (although he claimed it was his first time – it was really really cool). Many people laughing and enjoying his style proved it. The content was also fine – more targeted toward less experienced programmers (coders). I would call it – line-level (or implementation level) code conservation.
I missed there more high level things like design consideration, architecture, but overall it was time well spent.
Next, I myself talked about agile contracts (basing on several we have had in last 2.5 years – including our wonderful relationship with Atlassian). About 300 people decided to listen to me. Wow! Thank you guys. Unfortunately I sucked. I was talking about how bad we are at estimation and I proved it myself. I overran the session by 8 or 10 minutes and still had several very important things to say. Shame on me.
And I was penalized immediately. Many people chased me down outside the main conference room and I have a prolonged discussion (or Q&A session) which lasted for about 1.5 hour.
Which means I missed the session I really wanted to participate in – Gil Tene talking about concurrent GCs. I almost missed my lunch. This is the price of talking for too long. I also wanted to hear Tomasz Kaczanowski talking about Gradle, but apparently I could not clone myself – it was colliding with my own presentation.
Then I rushed to hear Sławomir Sobótka and his take on Software Craftsmanship and the patterns. Slawek has been recently considered by many guys as one of the best speakers in Polish Java scene, so my appetite was very big. And that's why I felt somewhat disappointed. Slawek's talk was really good and informative, but I felt that he was quite dispirited and did not demonstrate such energy I had hope he would show. He talked about design patterns, how to apply them wisely and how they apply to software professionalism.
My next stop was Tomasz Łabuz talking about AOP, JPA, ThreadLocal – very decent talk, but I did not learn there anything new. Although it was good to hear the first really technical talk with a lot of Java gore.
The last session I attended was the one where Jarosław Pałka talked about NoSQL. Unfortunately it was disappointing for me. I was late 10 minutes or so (talking too long with guys from Javart who happened to use Atlassian products and our Connector). As virtually whole talk I attended was about Neo4J, I initially though I had missed the rest, but then other people complained about it too.
In the evening there was a free (thank you sponsor again) event where we could eat (traditional Polish fat food), drink (beer of course) and socialize – a lot.
This was probably the best part of the day – I met a few great guys and I could talk to them for hours.
As usually, such events are most for all about socializing, meeting new people, exchanging ideas and inspiring each other.
Javarsovia definitely met its goals then.
See you guys hopefully next year. Maybe till then our Polish railway won't suck any more so much (5.5 hours to get to Warsaw from Gdansk – the distance of 340 km).
But maybe not – as everything in Poland is to be ready only by Euro 2012 ;)