A Visit to JavaLand
During this week, more precisely between 25 and 26 of March the first edition of JavaLand came to life in a theme park called Phantasialand in Brühl – Germany. I only decided to go very close to the event, even after already discarded my presence. I’m glad that I was able to attend. Unfortunately for me, I was not able to enjoy the fullest of the first day due to a few bugs I had to solve in one of my work projects. Anyway here are my thoughts on some aspects of JavaLand:
I’m totally biased on the venue since I love theme parks! Thanks to the sponsors, we got to enjoy a few rides available in the park, like roller coasters, simulators and a few others, totally for free and no waiting lines! How cool is that? Take a look into Black Mamba. Phantasialand also have hotels where you can stay, so you got everything in one place. I actually choose to stay in an hotel outside the park to reduce costs, and it was good enough for me. Wi-fi was generally available and conference room sessions were good, you could see and hear the speaker properly.
The Community Hall was just amazing, lots of room, tables and chairs for you to hack, code, work or just hang out with your friends. The organization hit pure gold with the venue choice.
Most of the sessions were in German. No surprise here, since the conference was held in Germany. Unfortunately, I don’t know how to speak German but for every schedule you had at least one english session. As I said before, I couldn’t attend many sessions on day 1, but the program seemed interesting enough. Day 2 had better content in my opinion. These are my top 3 sessions:
- The Adventurous Developers Guide to Application Servers by Simon Maple and Oliver White (Awesome energy by these two guys).
- Keynote: Threading Bugs – Some War Stories by Heinz Kabutz (Great examples on JVM bugs)
I did not see any recording cameras around, but maybe the content will be available as an audio format. I’m not sure. Need to confirm.
In the last few years I attended JavaOne and Devoxx, which are probably the top Java conferences around the world, but the food there totally sucked! JavaLand did it right! Awesome buffet, with several options during lunch, snack and dinner. They even have small chocolate cupcakes and I couldn’t stop eating them. By far the best food I had at a conference.
The community was awesome! I have spent most of my time in the Community Hall, hanging out, networking and hacking with a lot of people. Several events were being held in the room, like the NightHacking Live Stream with Stephen Chin, the Java EE 7 Hackergarten with Arun Gupta or the Adopt OpenJDK supported by the London JUG. Thanks to Mani Sarkar I was able to checkout, change and build the JDK 8 and try the changes that I introduced myself to the JDK. Pretty awesome! I also won a brand new Raspberry PI courtesy of the DOAG e.V. SIG Java by answering a quiz correctly.
In no particular order, a special thanks for the following people that made my event memorable:
- Ivan Ivanov
- Amelia Eiras
- David Blevins
- Oliver White
- Simon Maple
- Arun Gupta
- Mani Sarkar
- Daniel Sachse
- Dominik Dorn
- Alex Soto
- Stephen Chin
- Sven Peters
- Andy Gumbrecht
- Andrew Rubinger
And many others…
JavaLand was well worth it. The general feeling was that the conference is established for many years, but was actually a first timer. The organisation completely nailed it every aspect and I’m definitely returning for a second event. A big thanks to the conference board: Fried Saacke, Markus Eisele, Tobias Frech, Alexander Neumann and the rest of the team for delivering this awesome event! Cya next year! #jatumba