torsdag 3. november 2011

JavaOne summary

This was my second time at JavaOne, the first time being in 2006. Obviously, much has changed since then, one of which is the location. Instead of Moscone Center, JavaOne is now hosted at three hotels near Union Square. This is the second time it is done this way, but it’s my first experience with it.

People who attended JavaOne 2010 said that this year was a great improvement over last year when it came to locations. That probably says more about the situation last year than this year.
A recurring problem for me was figuring out where the session I wanted to attend was.I had the printed agenda, but it was huge and I often forgot to bring it. The mobile app required me to log in all the time and I couldn’t remember my password, besides the wireless network was spotty and wasn’t set up to handle the attendance. I often found myself knowing which hotel I was supposed to be at, but unsure of which room. A suggestion for the organizers would be to a) equip the people helping you find the way with an agenda so they could tell you which room you were going to and not only where the room was. b) put up boards like what you’d see in airports of departing flights and their gate number. They could have something similar, upcoming presentations, their hotel and room. That would help a lot.

Listening to the Java Spotlight Podcast I noticed that the organizers said that there was a lot of non-Oracle speakers, but that is not how I saw it. Doing a find ‘Oracle’ in the speaker catalog clearly shows the impact Oracle has on the agenda. The agenda was full of Oracle or Oracle partners speakers. For a Oracle World attendee this is perhaps not surprising, but I think the Java community would rather have unbiased and interesting talks than a polished agenda with a unison message.

One thing I found quite curious is the way Oracle (and other JEE implementers) keep trying to pick a fight with SpringSource. There was a talk titled Java EE and Spring/MVC Shoot-out presented by a Chris Vignola from IBM. So, there’s actually a guy employed by one of the largest commercial JEE implementers comparing Spring and JEE? I didn’t attend the session, but no prizes for guessing who won that shoot-out. I also heard there were talks were Spring 1.2 was compared to JEE 6. I didn’t see this myself, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

All in all, my opinion is that the agenda was too heavily influenced by the overall message Oracle wanted to convey, instead of the really good and cool talks. There should be more speakers from No Fluff Just Stuff out there. If JavaOne is to be something more than Oracle Open World with Java flavors the agenda must allow more diverse talks that aren't necessarily part of Oracle's overall (marketing) message.

I don’t know, it might be that I’m just spoiled by attending JavaZone every year. (I should probably point out that I'm part of the JavaZone program committee which some might see as bias ;-) )

There were two talks I really liked. One was Jevgeni Kabanov’s “Do you really get Class Loaders?”. This talk was an eye opener, explaining why we are seing ClassDefNotFoundError, ClassCastException etc when running apps in Servlet containers (or full blown JEE containers).

The other one was Ken Sipe’s “Rocking the Gradle”.

The party
Before I came to JavaOne I heard that the one big improvement that Oracle had brought to JavaOne was the party. The party was on Treasure Island outside San Francisco, and ~50.000 people were shipped there in busses (OracleWorld and JavaOne has a joint party. OOW outweighs J1 1-10.)

It’s no easy job shipping 50k people by bus, and I’m sure the organizers did a good job. Still, waiting in line for a bus and then trolling through traffic (which I guess the amount of buses contributed to) was a drag, I almost fell asleep on the bus. When we got there, there was free food and drinks. The food was actually quite good, a selection of BBQ. The beer was bland, at best. There was concerts with Sting and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, but that isn’t really my thing. We strolled around for about an hour and then headed home.

I’d say the party was a disappointment. I’d rather have something smaller in the Moscone with different companies doing happy hours in surrounding bars (which was what it was like in 2006) than this big and time consuming thing.

Thanks for having me
I do want to thank Oracle for accepting my BoF. I really enjoyed speaking at JavaOne. I’d also like to thanks the people who attended my BoF. It was the last BoF on tuesday so it means a lot to me that you chose to turn up at my presentation instead staying at the bar. I also appreciate all the questions during and after the talk.

Got my Speaker badge