I was in London between 12 and 13 June to attend the second edition of Devoxx UK. The conference was first scheduled to take place in April, but was later moved on to June. I guess it was a good call, since it was so close in dates to Devoxx Paris (that was also held in April) and they would probably overlap. I submitted a few sessions for Devoxx UK, but unfortunately they were not selected. I have to confess that since I was not selected I was not planning to go, but I’m getting conference addicted and the next conference I have scheduled is JavaOne 2014 in late September (where I’m going to speak). I realised that I couldn’t stay so much time without attending something, so I decided to signup just a few days before the conference started.
The Business Design Centre is a venue which houses exhibitions and consumer fairs and was also the place for Devoxx UK. The conference was only occupying a small fraction of the total venue capacity. We did not have the cinema like rooms from Devoxx BE, but the rooms were nice, the Exhibition Hall was well designed and there was also another floor for the community activities: Hackergartens, BOF sessions and hands-on-labs. Unfortunately, both the Exhibition Hall and the Community Hall were very warm in my opinion, good only to be on a beach or pool with a cold drink on the side.
The program was interesting enough, a lot of diverse subjects and you had four options to attend on each scheduling bracket. I was not always into sessions, since I also wanted to spend some time in the Exhibition and Community Halls. Not a problem, because all the sessions were recorded and are going to be available on Parleys, which is cool. Devoxx UK kicked-off with a very inspirational keynote by Dan North about building a career and the interactions that impact you and the ones around you. I advice you to check it out when the video is available. These are my top 3 sessions (from the ones I have attended):
- Building ‘Bootiful’ Applications with Spring Boot by Josh Long
- Moving to a DevOps Mode – Easy, Hard or Just Plain Terrifying? by Steve Poole and Daniel Bryant
- Myths, Tales and VooDoo — About JavaEE And Testing by Adam Bien
There a couple of other sessions that I’m pretty sure that were awesome, but I have actually seen them before at other conferences so I skipped them. Have a look into Programming with Lambda Expressions in Java by Venkat Subramaniam and How To Do Kick-Ass Software Development by Sven Peters
Unfortunately, there were also a couple of negative things. One of the sessions that I really wanted to attend the speaker didn’t show up, and in another the speaker arrived really late. I even considered jumping in and replace the missing speaker, but I didn’t have my laptop and I was not sure if the organization or the other attendees would enjoy the idea 😀 .
Call me weird, but I really need hot meals for lunch and dinner. The Devoxx food, and not only in the UK (it was the same in BE, I don’t know about FR), it’s bad for my taste, so I ended up going outside for some food. Idea: There is no need to have something fancy, just get some chicken and charcoal and you can have a pretty tasty roasted barbecued chicken. I can even do it myself!
The Community was awesome as always! This is now starting to be one of the mains reasons that make me want to attend more and more conferences. Once again a contributed a few little bits of code for the Java EE 7 Samples in the Hackergarten with Heather VanCura, Arun Gupta, Peter Pilgrim and Andres Almiray.
It was great to meet again a few guys (and girls) from others events (in no particular order):
- Peter Pilgrim
- Heather VanCura
- Andres Almiray
- Daniel Bryant
- Josh Long
- Amelia Eiras
- David Blevins
- Arun Gupta
- Mani Sarkar
- Sven Peters
- Andy Gumbrecht
- Jean-Louis Monteiro
- António Gonçalves
And many others…
Next Devoxx UK
Devoxx UK is returning again in 2015, and now with 3 days instead of 2 (running from 17 to 20 June of 2015). I’m submitting again for 2015 and I’m positive that I will have something selected next year!