Monday, September 26, 2011

Javazone 2011

From Sept 7th to 8th I attended Javazone, a technical conference targeted towards developers and professionals with interests in Information Technology in the Scandinavia region.  This year's venue was at Oslo Spektrum, the same venue as the Top Gear event that was held earlier this year.

Each attendee was issued a 3.5 inch floppy disk (remember those days?) with a QR code.  You could take your disk to a special computer at a booth and check if you won anything.

I remember when Windows 3.11 came on 10 of these disks!

Day one's program - Technical sessions till 6pm followed by a party which starts at 7pm held at the Rockefeller music hall.

Click the above for a larger image

Each session is roughly an hour with 20 minute breaks before the next session.  There were also lightning talks, which consist of a collection of 4 short technical talks crammed into an hour.  These were all in Norwegian unfortunately, which is mostly okay since most attendees are Scandinavian unless you're an ignorant foreigner which I am. :)  Most of the talks ranged from okay to very good to incomprehensible if you do not understand Norwegian.  This is the first technical conference that I've ever attended which did not have completely English talks.  The others I've attended are Apple WWDC in San Francisco and YOW! in Brisbane Australia.

You can watch all technical sessions recorded at vimeo.  I'm in one of the Kent Beck videos from Day two.

The sessions that I attended on day one were:

  • Mythbusters: Javascript edition - good beginner level introduction
  • Lightning talks (Even the code was in Norwegian :)) - not good if you do not understand Norwegian
  • Complexity Theory and Software Development - Interesting and worth attending
  • HTML 5 fact and fiction - good introduction to what HTML 5 is about
  • Regex - The future programming - This was really a Regex tutorial, I was very disappointed
  • Javascript design and architecture - More intermediate to advanced Javascript stuff
  • Usability 101 - good introduction and why you don't really want developers without a UI background designing UIs. :)
  • The art of garbage collector tuning for the SUN/Oracle JVM - Interesting and worth attending.  It's not practical to me since I work mainly now with C# but it was very interesting nonetheless.

Technical talks are usually hit and miss.  But generally the American speakers are better than the non American ones.  I'm really not biased when I say that!

Here's photos from the venue.

Cisco booth smack bang in the middle

The food was pretty good, and there was no shortage of food.  I had sushi, tandoori chicken, ice cream, chicken caesar salad, beef with potatoes and that was all in the one day!  There was also plenty of coffee and other drinks.  No alcohol was served until the last technical session was over.

There was an American band that played in the morning however I did not know who they were.  They had just finished performing when I took this photo.

After the talks we walked to the Rockefeller music hall and watched some bands play including Cisco's.

Here's the Cisco band.  The other band above is from a different company.

CC Cowboys, they're Norwegian.  And quite senior in age.  All the songs they played were in 
Norwegian. :)

I didn't get home till after midnight, it was a very long day!

Day two's program - More techical sessions!

Click the above for a larger image

The sessions that I attended on day two were:

  • Real Architecture: Engineering? or Pompous Bullshit? - This is an interesting take on what architecture is and what architects are supposed to do.  Basically if there are no hard numbers to an architecture i.e. how much will this save us and how fast will it run and under what performance specifications, an architect is not a real architect.
  • The Complexity of Complexity - Just watch it!  Building software is insanely complex.
  • Functional thinking - About programming in functions using Java
  • Pump it up: Maximizing the value of an existing investment in Java with Ruby - Didn't interest me too much since it's Java but you would maybe be interested if you're a Java developer
  • Building for the Cloud - I can't remember what this was, so it's better to skip this :)  I wanted to attend the Apache Wicket one but that was in Norwegian!
  • Enterprise Integration - The seriously nasty stuff - This was presented by a guy with a background in finance applications so I was definitely interested in this session.
  • Software G Forces: The effects of acceleration - Kent beck gives his take on how development, testing would change when deployments become shorter i.e. half yearly to quarterly to monthly to weekly to daily to hourly.
All in all the technical sessions were decent, I would probably go again, my only gripe is that all sessions should be in English.

All videos are available at vimeo so check them out if you're interested.

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