Results for tag "conference"

JNation – The Java Conference in Portugal

posted by Roberto Cortez on

For some time, I had a wish that I could organize a Java conference in Portugal. Well, that finally happened in 19th June 2018, with the first edition ever of JNation, which is also the first Java Conference in Portugal.

JNation 2018

I was already talking about doing the conference a couple of years ago, but only this year it was possible.

The Beginning

JNation Birth
I think the entire idea started when I went to my first now defunct JavaOne conference. If I recall correctly, it was the year of 2012. I’ve never been to a conference before and I felt overwhelmed by the size and organization behind it.

Another thing that impressed me was the community around it. Everyone was so kind and eager to help. It really motivated me to also join the community and try to help other developers.

In Portugal, the Java community was not particularly strong. So, I was not even sure that there was a demand for a Java conference in Portugal. A strong community had to be built first. The PT.JUG was the only JUG available in Portugal, but most of their sessions required me to travel for 4 hours to attend the sessions. To build the community, we also required more local JUG’s.

To that end, I’ve created the Coimbra JUG. Slowly another community was being built. Shortly after, two other JUGs were created in Portugal: Beira JUG and Porto JUG.

The Coimbra JUG

Since its inception in late 2013, the Coimbra JUG grew to more than 400 members. During this time, it organized more than 20 meetups with international speakers from companies like Oracle, Redhat, Hazelcast or Zeroturnaround. Overall, these meetups gathered more than 700 attendees from all over the country.

It became clear that there was a demand for content, a place where developers could meet other developers and learn with each other. The conference dream could become a reality.


alphaCoimbra is a local non profit organization, created by local entrepreneurs with the intent to implement activities aiming to make Coimbra one of the most innovative and vibrant medium-size cities in Europe.

They were also looking to organize a technology conference in Coimbra, not necessarily about Java. Still, both the Coimbra JUG and alphaCoimbra started to work together to make this a reality.

JNation Conference

And the rest is history!

Well, it was not that simple. We were able to gather a great team that worked hard to make this happen.

Our initial idea was to make something simple. One day, a single track for 200 developers. Things quickly escalated in a positive way. The response was massive! We quickly sold out the first 200 seats, and speakers were contacting us to come. We had to increase the event capacity several times until we reached 450 developers and we added a second track to accommodate more sessions and speakers.

JNation Conference

We sold out! And we had plenty of other developers in a waiting list to join. Unfortunately, we had to make the hard decision to cap the conference size. The venue was not the issue. We just had to completely rethink the entire event if we wanted to increase the capacity even more, so we preferred to go on a safer route.

In the end, we came up with the following numbers:

  • 450+ attendees (yes a few sneaked in above the 450 limit)
  • 14 speakers
  • 30 volunteers
  • 2 tracks
  • 14 sessions
  • 20 sponsors
  • 13 supporters

We cannot be more proud and happy for a first run. On the other hand, this really sets the bar very high for future editions, so we hope we can keep going and make this event a success.

Check out the Opening Keynote video:

All the sessions were recorded and are available for free on JNation Youtube channel.

JNation Thank You

A HUGE Thank you to everyone that got involved in the conference: attendees, sponsors, speakers, volunteers, partners and of course the team! Cya next year!

Devoxx UK 2015 – The League of Extraordinary Developers

posted by Roberto Cortez on

The third edition of Devoxx UK 2015 was in London, between 17th and 19th June. This was my first conference since I joined Tomitribe. The dynamics were a little different for me this time. I actually had a triple role: attendee, speaker and exhibitor. Since Tomitribe was also sponsoring the event I had to spend some time at our booth to interact with other developers using TomEE and to promote to the ones that don’t know it yet. During that time, we also worked to push out the latest release of TomEE with most of the Java EE 7 support!


Devoxx UK 2015 VenueDevoxx UK was held at the same location as last year: The Business Design Centre. This year, more rooms were available, since the number of attendees was also higher. I don’t have the exact number, but I guess that close to 1 thousand might have attended the event. The Exhibition Hall was more or less the same, but I was surprised to see that some usual sponsors didn’t make it this time. The Community Hall pretty much had a non-stop Hackergarten well managed by Heather VanCura. By the way, what is wrong with the picture? I rule as a photographer, right? 🙂


The program was interesting enough, a lot of diverse subjects and you had five options to attend on each scheduling bracket. I was not always into sessions, since I also needed 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. These are my top 3 sessions (from the ones I have attended):

You should get the first two sessions on Parleys. But the third one is already available:

Also, have a quick look to this awesome Ignite Session by Tonya Rae Moore:

My Session

I’ve got to speak about the Five Ways to Not Suck at Being a Java Freelancer. It may sound a little strange, since I’ve put the Freelancer life on hold. I’ve submitted the session before that event and I think it’s still valid to provide some of my experience during my Freelancer life. Here is a session about it:

vJUG Reading Club

This is not exactly related to the conference itself, but since I was in London I’ve met with my good friend Simon Maple to conduct our second Book Reading session. If you are not aware, vJUG started a new initiative: the Book Reading Club. The idea is for the attendees to gather around a book, read it and discuss it. We started with the awesome book Effective Java by Joshua Bloch. We had our second meeting around the book and it was fun to hear Josh explain some of the decisions made around the development of the Collections API, Generics and For each statement. A must see:


The Community was awesome as always! This time I had the pleasure to have with me some very good friends from Portugal:

Devoxx UK 2015 PT Community


When thinking of stuff to do in the Hackergarten, I had the idea to write a small piece of code to perform Method Caching using the new JCache API. I’ve soon discovered that I’ve gotten beaten by Andy Gee (no hard feelings). Anyway, we had some interesting discussions about it with Bruno Baptista and Sebastian Daschner. Check the result: JCacheExamples.

Java EE BoF

Also on the Java EE BoF we had the usual discussion between Java EE and Spring. In my honest opinion, I think this discussion is pointless. Both technologies can be used together and everyone is free to pick the parts that fit their project more. On the other hand, I think that Spring has done a fantastic job with website. Java EE has a lot of information, but it’s all spread around the Internet. I believe that this causes a bad impression to new developers and in the end they may end up favouring Spring more.

Also, the adoption of Java EE 7 has been slow in the organizations. There is no Application Server support yet and companies are lacking the resources to perform the migration. I’ve personally been working in a Java EE 5 to 7 migration and I intent to make a session about it.

20 Years of Java

Do you have any idea what was going on when Java was born?

Devoxx UK 2015 Java 20 Years

During the event, there was a lady taking polaroid pictures of developers. These pictures went into a wall and organized by the year you wrote the first line of Java code. I remember that it was in 1996 for me. I was writing an HTML website, but was unhappy that I couldn’t do any kind of dynamic behaviour. Searching on the web, I’ve found the solution: Java Applets! I bought a book called “Learn Java in 30 Days” and I wrote my first line of Java in the Notepad. I wondered where was IntelliJ at that time!

Final Thoughts

That’s all! Hope you enjoyed this report. Cya next year!

Jfokus 2015 and Voxxed Days Vienna

posted by Roberto Cortez on

I kicked off my conference year by attending during the last week Jfokus 2015 and the first edition ever of Voxxed Days held in Vienna. I was scheduled as a speaker for both conferences with my sessions about Java EE 7 Batch Processing in the Real World and The 5 People in your Organization that grow Legacy Code.


Jfokus LogoThis was Jfokus 9th edition, so we can expect a great celebration next year for the 10th anniversary edition. We are still one year away, but I already scheduled it in my calendar! The conference was 3 days long, with the first day dedicated to Tutorials and the next couple of days to conference sessions. The numbers are impressive. It had over 1700 attendees, making it one of the largest Java conferences in Europe.


Docker had been a hot topic over the last year. So, naturally we had a few sessions dedicated to Docker. I do recommend checking out the Docker Workshop from Ken Sipe. You can find it here. It also includes how to scale Docker using Apache Mesos. Apache Mesos is a distributed system kernel that abstracts CPU, memory, storage, and other resources away from machines so you can program against your datacenter like it’s a single pool of resources. Unfortunately, I think this tutorial session was not recorded. Only a few rooms had their sessions recorded.

These are my top 3 sessions (from the ones I have attended):

My Session

I had my session about Java EE Batch Processing in the Real World as a Lightning Talk. It was a bit hard to do it in only 15 minutes, since the session was originally planed for a full conference session of 50 minutes. Anyway, I was able to demo everything I wanted.

I also had the privilege to be a guest to the Live Nighthacking stream with Stephen Chin, where I talk about Java EE Batch in much more detail. Check it out:

And here are some slides. I didn’t use them all the Lighting session, since they are from my full session.

Jfokus Demogrounds

Voxxed Days Vienna

Voxxed Vienna LogoA new brand of smaller conferences was launched as Voxxed Days. These are one day tech events organised by local community groups and supported by the Voxxed and Devoxx team. I was happy enough to be part of the first edition ever and to be a speaker of course! We got the usual cinema like venue, which is to be expected from the Devoxx brand. There were probably around 200 attendees, or maybe a little more.


Since this was a one day only conference, there were not many sessions, but we had 4 full tracks worth of content to choose from. I recommend to check out Monadic Java by Mario Fusco with a very good way to explain Monads in Java to newbies. Also, Coding Culture by Sven Peters is a must. You will hear real life stories about how Atlassian evolved as a company and how they create awesome stuff. These sessions were recorded and should be available on Parleys very soon.

My Session

I had the session about The 5 People in your Organization that grow Legacy Code. I have presented the same session for the first time in Java One and the recording was released a few days before I delivered the session in Vienna. This was great, since it gave the change to check some of the mistakes I made and correct a few things. This one was also recorded. Let’s see if I improved a little bit. Thank you to Sven Peters, which provided me with a few pointers to improve my presentation stance.

Anyway, here is the full video (from JavaOne):

Final Words

It was an awesome week, but also very consuming. I was very tired at the end, but it was great to hook up with old friends. Thanks to Mattias Karlsson and Grzegorz Duda for having me in Jfokus 2015 and Voxxed Days Vienna.

I als have to mention Paulo Grácio. We worked together for 6 years and he was a mentor to me in the early stages of my career. Paulo is now working in Stockholm and we are far from each other, but I’m looking forward to work together again. Thanks for the hospitality!

Roberto and Paulo

Java2Days – Two days about Java

posted by Roberto Cortez on

Java2Days LogoAfter 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):

Unfortunately, the sessions were not recorded, but you can check the slides here.

My Sessions

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.

Java2Days 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.

Java2Days Community

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!

Final Words

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!

Java2Days - radcortez - ivan

Devoxx 2014 – Infinite Possibilities

posted by Roberto Cortez on

Devoxx BE 2014This year, Devoxx Belgium was held between 10 and 14 November at its usual place, Antwerp – Metropolis Business Center. This was my second time at Devoxx BE and I’ve enjoyed my time there. Unfortunately, none of my submitted sessions were selected for this event. It’s very hard to get im there, since there are so many good submissions. Check the program here.


Devoxx is going to Poland. The popular 33rd Degree Conference is rebranding to Devoxx.

Parleys has a new look and it’s now possible to enroll in online courses by recognised experts from across the tech sector.

A new knowledge sharing platform was revealed: Here you should be able to find the most recent news about Java and JVM technologies. When the platform was being demoed, the server crashed with everyone in the audience trying to access it. A funny moment, but the platform is stable now, and had no problems accessing it afterwards.


A new brand of smaller conferences was launched as Voxxed Days. These are one day tech events organised by local community groups and supported by the Voxxed team. Check the schedule. Voxxed Days are going to be in Vienna, Ticino, Istanbul and Berlin. Maybe we can bring them to Portugal too!


I’ve spent most of my time in the Hackergarten, but I’ve also attended a few sessions. I recommend to have a look into these:

All the sessions will be on Parleys. So keep an eye on it.

There are a lot of sessions dedicated or related to Docker. It seems to be the next big thing. It would be interesting to see if Docker is going to be threat to multi-platform Java and open the path to other technologies. I don’t believe in it, since Java evolved way more than that, but let’s see what is going to happen.

We also got to see the very last podcast of The Java Posse. Thank you for all the great content produced for the Java community since 2005.

Java Posse Devoxx

Interesting Facts

Attendees of Devoxx vote on certain topics on whiteboards. Check this great post: Devoxx 2014 – Whiteboard votes by Stephen Colebourne with these year hot topics.

All results should be looked carefully, since these represent a very small number of developers at a top tech conference. Still, it’s interesting to see a very good adoption of Java 8 and IntelliJ IDEA being the number one IDE these days. What made me wonder was the huge amount of web frameworks or techniques (I’ve counted 27!) to build web applications. Diversity is good, but anyone else feels that something is really wrong here?

Devoxx Webapps

Final Words

It was great to attend Devoxx and to hang out live with the persons you usually only interact online. If you have never been to a conference, you should definitely consider attending Devoxx. Probably the reference conference for Europe.

(Please serve better food next year)!

I’ve travelled next to the Java2Days conference in Sofia – Bulgaria. So expect a post about that one too.