Red Hat
Sep 22, 2013
by Adam Warski

This year I had the chance to attend JavaZone 2013. So far I mainly knew JavaZone from their conference trailers (e.g. Javapocalypse or Java 4-ever). But now as my talk got accepted to the conference, I could see for myself how the real thing looks like.

First of all, the organisation was really great, and in many ways JavaZone stands out from other conferences in this respect. For example, there’s the concept of “continuous food”: food is served all day in the exhibition area. And there’s plenty of choices: each bigger company has an accompanying lunch menu. That means no lunch queues!

Another plus of the organisation is the almost-instant video upload. Some videos were available during the conference, and the rest was uploaded within a week. And you can watch all the videos for free; just choose a talk from the program.

The content, which I suppose is one of the more important parts of the conference, was also very good. Some talks were in norwegian, however most of them were in english, so it was easy to be busy for the whole day. As for a foreigner, the exhibition area wasn’t that interesting, as most of the stands were occupied by norwegian IT consulting companies. But after all, it’s a norwegian conference.

I think the most interesting talk from ones I’ve seen (and I haven’t seen a majority of course), is Kevlin Henney‘s “How to write a method”. It would seem that given all the Java experience we have writing methods is something we generally know how to do, but it turns out there’s always quite a lot of field for improvement. I already changed my method formatting settings in IntelliJ Idea.

I’m also pretty satisfied with my talk: “Scala macros: what are they, how do they work & who uses them”. I got some good feedback, though the turnout wasn’t very big, but I partially blame the competition of Nilanjan Raychaudhuri’s talk on Functional I/O in Scala and Trisha Gee’s talk. Luckily, there are always the videos! ;)

After the conference, I was lucky enough to be part of JourneyZone 2013. With some other speakers and part of the organisers, we went to the far north, to MIT FabLab Lyngen near Tromso. And I think that was the best part of the trip: the people I met there were really interesting; we went hiking on a glacier with two great norwegian guides and zip-lining over a canyon (on the photo you can see the other group on the glacier):

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Finally, the FabLab has a laser cutter which I used to cut SoftwareMill‘s and CodeBrag logos in a piece of wood. Cutting things with a laser turns out to be lots of fun ;):

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Overall, JavaZone is a really great conference; and it’s really good to be a speaker there. Hopefully, see you next year! Next up, Devoxx in November and BuildStuff in December.

Adam