It was an honor to attend and present at Devoxx 2010 for the first time this year. A big thank you to Stephan Janssen and his team. I presented Mobile Development Choices: Native Apps vs Web Apps, you can view the slides here.
I arrived in Antwerp, Belgium Wednesday morning (November 17), I missed the first two days of the conference. When I arrived, the sessions where in so of course the hallway was empty. I stepped into the first room and was immediately surprised by the size of the room. It was a movie theater room, the whole conference was taking place in a movie theater. I have presented at many conferences, but have never seen such big rooms. Once you see one such and room and realize there are five more that are filled with people, only then you understand the size of this conference. I attended other big conferences such as JavaOne but Devoxx being more of a community conference, you just don’t expect to many people. The conference was attended by 3000 people. It was sometimes difficult to move in the hallway due to the number of people. Getting in and out of the sessions required standing in a slow moving line. And the most popular sessions, people were sitting on the stair. Enough about the size.
I presented on the last day of the conference, at the last time slot. This meant that I spent some time preparing for my talk (if you ever presented, you know what I mean). Because of that and being jet legged, I missed some interesting sessions. The once that I did attend, being a movie theaters the chairs are very comfortable, it was very easy to fall asleep being jet legged. These are the sessions I attended:
- The State of the Web by Dion Almaer and Ben Galbraith
- From Shabby to Chic by Richard Bair and Jasper Potts
- JavaFX Your Way: Building JavaFX Applications with Alternative Languages by Stephen Chin
- Spring 3.1 – Themes and Trends by Juergen Hoeller
- Getting Things Done for Programmers by Kito Mann. I wanted to attend this session for a long time but would always miss it at other conferences.
- Hadoop and NoSQL at Twitter – by Dmitriy Ryaboy. It’s really amazing what engineers at Twitter have to deal with.
- HTML 5 Fact and Fiction by Nathaniel Schutta. This was probably my favorite session. Nathan is a great presenter and made the session very interesting.
JavaFX got a pretty good coverage at the conference. There was a mention of Java Web Toolkit (GWT anyone?) that will produce HTML5/JS. I think that’s a really intersting idea and I’m waiting to see it in action. I think using it with Flamingo, could be a very interesting combination for building enterprise applications.
JavaFX coverage included a university session, a BOF, as well as 3-4 regular sessions. It’s interesting that technology that didn’t produce any real applications in the past 3 years and will drastically change next year (JavaFX 2.0) got so much coverage while JSF got almost none even though it’s a standard UI technology in Java EE 6 (and 5) and where its counterparts Bean Validation, JPA, and CDI got coverage. Matthias Wessendorf did a session on WebSockets meet JavaServer Faces, but I was still hoping for a dedicated JSF session.
Just as a general observation, HTML5 is continuing to gain momentum. Nathaniel Schutta, in his HTML5 talk went as far as to say that “Flash is dying“.
Last but not least, it was great to see and chat with all my from JSF, JavaFX, JBoss, and other communities.
In conclusion, attending Devoxx was a great experience. It’s a conference I wanted to attend for a long time and hope to come back next year.