Devoxx 2013: the perfect conference for Java Development companies

By | January 7, 2014

devoxx-2013AROBS @ Devoxx 2013

The AROBSian presence at Devoxx (the annual European Java, Android, and HTML5 conference) is a tradition which, according to one of our guys present at the event, “must go on at an even higher scale”. The whole experience was unique and overwhelming, opinion that is illustrated by thousands of tweets like this one: If your body doesn’t feel broken, your head isn’t full of ideas & your spirit doesn’t feel renewed, you didn’t push hard enough @ #devoxx.

Six of our colleagues experienced Devoxx first hand last year.

Before leaving you with one of them (Zsolt), whose feedback is savory to say the least, we let the event statistics and facts speak for themselves:

  • 3500 participants, 195 speakers (among them Mark Reinhold, Brian Goetz, Venkat Subramaniam, Josh Sureth, Geert Bevin), 9 discussion threads on topics such as JavaSE/Java EE, Web & HTML5, Architecture & Security, Mobile, and even Future<Devoxx>.
  • This is the right place for finding out JVM news straight from big names like Oracle, Google, Jenkins, Spring.
  • Bier Central, the event’s Landmark, is well-known to those who stop at least once in Antwerp for its more than 350 types of Belgian beer.

„If we participated to a Java focused conference, I thought it would be interesting to use Java code to illustrate the data.

The beginning would be like:

System.out.println(new Date(System.currentTimeMillis()));
|Tue Nov 12 04:00:00 EET 2013

the day and the hour we woke up to be in time for the airport check-in, which looks more like the bedtime hour for a programmer. At the end a two hour flight, followed by a two hour train ride, we arrived at Antwerp Central.  If we were to place ourselves somewhere in time using Java, the code would look like:

Calendar calendar = GregorianCalendar.getInstance();
calendar.add(Calendar.YEAR, -100);
System.out.println(calendar.getTime());
|Wed Nov 12 12:00:00 CET 1913

You would be surprised to know that we traveled 100 years back in time; that is the first impression one gets from the imposing railway station built in 1905. After a few hours of rest (sleep for some), we went out to discover how wonderful the city is.

The following day we eagerly made it to Kinepolis Antwerpen, the cinema complex hosting the event; after receiving the access wristbands we attended the first presentation (Java 8 and beyond keynote) about Java 8 novelties, held by the famous Mark Reinhold and Brian Goetz.

Being interested in Lambda Expressions, I decided to continue with a more detailed and technical presentation by Brian Goetz: Lambda: A Peek Under the Hood. A tweet posted during the conference perfectly describes the changes, the direction. and the principles behind Java 8: „Java Core Language Principle: Reading code is more important than writing code. #Devoxx keynote“.

The same day I watched two other interesting presentations: one by Mark Reinhold about the future modularization of the Java Platform (to be implemented, most probably, starting with Java 9). The second, What Java EE can learn from dynamic languages?, was a very interesting approach bearing Remi Forax’s signature.

Should we locate ourselves again in time, taking into consideration the presentations we attended, here is the corresponding code:

System.out.println(LocalDateTime.now().plusYears(2));
|2015-11-12T11:00:00

In Cloud Patterns , the first presentation of the second day, Nicolas De loof described a few patterns and directions which must be followed when moving applications to the Cloud. Later, Nathan Bijnens, using  Hadoop and Storm, presented the very interesting architecture of a real time application.

The climax of the second day was Jonas Bonér’s presentation about the biggest trend du jour:  Reactive Programing. In Going Reactive: Event-Driven, Scalable & Resilient Systems, he showed the model of future applications, in which everything becomes asynchronous to avoid resource blocking.

On the last day of the conference, Google delighted us with a demo of Google Glass, their latest gadget. In addition to exhibiting such features as hardware performance and design, Google also delved into how applications can be developed for this device.

The last presentation I attended focused on Server Side JavaScript, which is a quite a new concept. Its subject was Avatar.js, Server-Side JavaScript on the Java Platform, which is based on a node model but at the same time benefits from the Java platform advantages.

Devoxx is an extraordinarily diverse place, where one can meet and exchange ideas with people from all over the world. One of the tweets we could see on the live Twitter wall during the presentation breaks summarized the event perfectly: „Devoxx, the place where Flemish people speaks English to Flemish people“. We too had a similar experience in the tram: after politely asking someone at what stop we should get off for the railway station we continued our conversation in Romanian and the guy we had just spoken to in English asked us in Romanian: “Are you from Romania?”.

The overall experience was great: there have been excellent reviews in high quality presentations. I consider Devoxx the place where every software company that develops Java based software solutions must be present.

The story ends at:

System.out.println(LocalDateTime.now());
|2013-11-16T11:25:00

when our plane landed in Cluj.

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