JavaZone 2015 wrap-up

Last week I had the pleasure to represent 4finance IT speaking at JavaZone 2015. Despite of having spoken on 20+ conferences across 7 countries, this one has probably been the best experience I’ve ever had.

My session
Figure 1. A picture of my room moments before my talk

JavaZone is a pretty unique conference, and in my personal opinion, this is why:

  • Apart from the regular sessions, it had live shows during the opening and closing of the first day. Special mention to the party ("AweZone"), with concerts from Norwegian artists. Having the party on the very same venue is very convenient too.

  • The overflow area is a special room where all the sessions are displayed in a multichannel grid. Then you can grab a headset and tune the audio for the talk you are interested into. This is incredibly useful in 2 situations: when you don’t find a place in an overcrowded session, or when you are unsure to which talk you want to attend. You can start watching one, and if you don’t like it, just switch to another one.

  • The attention to speakers. Apart from the usual speaker’s dinner, they also ran a tour over the venue the day before the conference, to ensure everybody knew where was their room, how it looked like and the technical facilities available. It’s the first time I’ve seen organisers doing it. And after the talk, the speaker received a gift from the organisation: a Raspberry Pi!

The are other aspects that, although not unique for a conference, were of very high quality, such as the content, the organisation or the food.

The Java community in Norway

One of the things that impressed me more was the fact that Norway, with 5M+ people, had 2.5K attendees in a Java conference (I don’t have the numbers, but my impression was that the majority of the attendees were from Norway). Compared to Spain: 10 times bigger country (45M), 10 times smaller community (200+ in Spring IO).

Not only that. Norway is that country where Accenture and Cap Gemini are cool companies, sponsoring a Java conference, with booths full of gadgets and employees wearing company’s t-shirts:

JavaZone expo area
Figure 2. Have a look at Accenture’s huge booth in the top right

Yet again compared with the Spanish branches of such companies, looks like they are from a different planet.

My favourite sessions

Among all the sessions I attended, I would like to highlight the following ones:

  • Android 101 workshop, by Christoffer Marcussen & Øystein Strand. Although I had already done some hello worlds on my own, it was very useful for me to attend to a guided workshop to get a taste of how creating an Android app looks like.

  • Securing your Java EE applications, by Markus Eisele. Although the content itself wasn’t really advance nor new, it was useful to me because I discovered Keycloack, from Red Hat. Knowing my research on authentication and security, is something definitely worthy to take a look.

  • IntelliJ IDEA Tips & Tricks, by Hadi Hariri. as I said in Twitter, it totally blew my mind. I knew I was not using the full power of IDEA, but just watching Hadi using it was absolutely amazing. Do check out the video if you’re using IDEA.

  • BYO Java RetroPi Console, by Stephen Chin. He described the whole process of building a GameBoy-like console using a Raspberry Pi and a 3D printer. The work he did, from industrial design to software optimisation, was incredible. And it also served as inspiration to use brand new Raspberry Pi.

  • Building microservices with functional domain models and event sourcing, by Chris Richardson. A nicely presented session about domain driven design, event sourcing and functional programming.

My talk: OAuth 2 and JWT

My session itself went, in my opinion, fairly smooth. Another awesome aspect of JavaZone is that they publish the videos on Vimeo few minutes later. You can check the video out above.

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