On the 7-8th of October 2010, Cracow held Java Developers’ Day conference. This year it was two days long, so I guess they’ll have to think about changing the name. My expectations weren’t very high. First of all, I’ve heard an opinion that JDD is getting worse every year. Second, for the same price as GeeCON you got only one track. Third some of the lectures seemed really uninspiring.
For example, I was afraid, that the one about Flex is going to be the same one I’ve seen on 4Developers, half a year ago in Poznań. And, of course, there was the one most controversial to all the people I had a chance speaking with, the sponsored lecture from Wipro Technologies, titled: “Wipro in Europe and development opportunities on Polish market”.
Doesn’t sound like something you’d like to listen to on a Java conference, does it? More like an advertisement, to me.
Fortunately, my doubts were mostly unfounded.
The first day started a little earlier than planned, with Bill Burke talk about RESTful Java. Quite nice, I must say, as long as you have no idea what REST means, as half of the lecture was very basic. The other part was about JAX-RS (and RESTEasy implementation), and that’s where it got my attention. I haven’t had a chance to use JAX-RS yet, but the simplicity and efficiency of it is very appealing. I’ll have to give it a shot, especially when .NET/Java web service integration is sometimes very painful.
The second talk, “Java programming in days of multi-core processors”, by Angelika Langer, was gorgeous. Maybe it’s because of my limited experience in concurrency, maybe because Angelika presented a more in-depth view on the things happening under the hood, than I am used to, and maybe because she threw away the incorrect model most books present. What I’m sure about, is that Angelika is a great trainer and speaker, with vast knowledge and expertise. It was a pure pleasure to listen to her and I can only hope to be so passionate and sharp at her age.
Not that she’s that old, mind you. It’s just that terms like “burned-out” and “tired” do not seem to have anything to do with her.
Then there was Jarosław Błąd from e-point, talking about performance tests in JEE. That was also quite nice, though a little too basic. I wish the speaker could show us a little more real case scenarios and stories, as it was obvious he had a lot of interesting thoughts on that matter, but probably because of NDAs, he decided to go with more theoretical and generic information instead. Anyway, this was a sponsored talk done right. Thanks e-point for not leaving us with just advertisements.
After the lunch came the hit of the day, Ted Neward talk about functional programming for busy developer. A few slides passed by, when Ted asked the audience, whether we would rather see presentation or life coding. Guess what the answer was.
The great thing about the lecture was that Ted didn’t use anything more than standard Java, to show us the benefits of thinking in terms of functional languages. The examples were practical, with stuff you can really find from time to time in your code, and the advantages clear and explicit. Somewhere in the middle of the show, Ted said, that he wants us to remember, that we do not have to use anything fancy like Scala, to start solving some classes of problems in a much better way. I only wish he had more time on his hands, but I was lucky to sign in for Scala workshops with him on Friday.
I didn’t go for Flex presentation, partially because of the beforementioned doubts, partially because I’ve met some friends and speakers on the way. I really wish I could be there, on their lectures, especially on Łukasz Kuczera talk about Lift+Comet and Łukasz Szydło presentation about Apprenticeship, but I could either do that or go for the workshop with Ted Neward, and after what Ted had shown us a few hours before, I was sure his workshop will be a mind opener.
And here is for all those anxious about just one track on JDD10. There were actually two on Friday, if you count the workshops, and even though that doesn’t seem like much, the quality of what Ted had to offer, beat up the disadvantage of not being able to change every session for something different.
The last lecture on Thursday was “Brave changes: how to make new ideas happen”, given by Linda Rising. While not Java specific, that was quite interesting to me, mostly because of the latest changes I’ve been part of at TouK (both my own initiatives that you can read about here and here, and overall works on defining company goals and vision). Thing to remember: what your audience is eating is more important than what they are listening to. Scary but true.
Then there was the integration party. And as expected from programmers, Nintendo Wii had a much bigger take than girls :)
For three hours on Friday, I’ve been enjoying Ted Neward’s Scala workshops. I won’t give you much details, except it was really great, since Witek Wołejszo wrote a nice summary already.
And I didn’t dare to go for “Wipro in Europe and development opportunities on Polish market”. I was afraid, that my positive experience from JDD10 could be a bit reduced.
Overall, another great conference. Thanks to Witek Wołejszo, Piotr Przybyłek and Tomasz Dziurko for this interesting trip.