After attending Devoxx, I followed directly to Sofia – Bulgaria to attend one of the most popular conferences in the region called Java2Days. Java2Days started 6 years ago by Iva, Nadia and Yoana (yes, they are all girls). They have been doing a terrific job organizing and growing the conference over the last few years. This edition counted more than 800 attendees and 25% were women! For years, the tech world has been trying to attract more women is a world mostly dominated by men. For instance, Devoxx women’s attendance was only 5%. Maybe the tech world could extract a few lessons from Java2Days on how to attract more women.
This was my first time at Java2Days and I really enjoyed my time there. I was also invited as a speaker, to talk about the same sessions I’ve presented at JavaOne: Java EE 7 Batch Processing in the Real World with Ivan Ivanov and The 5 people in your organization that grow legacy code.
Java2Days kicked out with a packed room to listen to a very good inspirational keynote by John Davies about Technology Landscape and Innovation. I’ve retained the following words: “If you don’t innovate others will”. Check the full keynote here.
Most of the speakers were local guys (speaking in English) and they delivered great content. Java2Days is a perfect place for less known speakers to show their skills (myself included).
I’ve spent a lot of time hacking, but also attended a few sessions. These are my top 3 sessions (from the ones I have attended):
- Nuts and Bolts of WebSocket by Arun Gupta
- Apache Tomcat to Apache TomEE in 1-n Steps by Andy Gumbrecht
- Why Open Standards and Java/EE Matter by Reza Rahman
Unfortunately, the sessions were not recorded, but you can check the slides here.
After practicing a bit more on the presentations following JavaOne I was more comfortable doing the sessions. I’m very happy with the result. Attendees seemed interested and the rooms were full for both sessions. Thank you everyone that attended the sessions.
Here are the slides:
The community was amazing! Very friendly and happy to have people from outside of Bulgaria. Also a lot of Macedonians in the conference, which invited me to attend their own event next year. If I’m available, I will gladly attend.
I’ve also noticed that some attendees don’t feel comfortable enough approaching speakers. This is nothing new, since it also happens in other conferences, but I would like to leave this message: feel free to ALWAYS approach me and engage in conversation with me. I’m going to be very disappointed if I’ve missed the opportunity to engage with someone, because he or she couldn’t get to me. Please do it next time!
Java2Days was a great conference. I was surprised with the atmosphere, which was awesome and friendly. I was very well treated by everyone, and I already have plans to return next year. If you find the time, don’t hesitate to pay Java2Days a visit.
A big thanks to Iva, Nadia and Yoana for having me at Java2Days and for being great hosts to me. Also a special thanks to Ivan Ivanov for convincing me to go there and for his awesome hospitality. Cya next year!