JavaOne 2009 Complete!

So, last week was JavaOne. Quite the week, especially since it was my first time there (and speaking, too!). I think that the best way to describe it is "overwhelming, yet fun", but that's not very descriptive, so read on...

Monday was CommunityOne and setup.  I (perhaps foolishly) agreed to set up some of the demos for the GlassFish Scripting pod, which ended up meaning that I got to learn to use Solaris, install everything from a JDK upwards, and learn about incompatibilities between Solaris file compression and Ubuntu file compression. Despite these difficulties, I managed to get everything set up before the pavilion opened, and learned quite a bit. From there, there was a lot of wandering around figuring out where everything was, and going through speaker coaching. Although I didn't attend any talks, going on Monday definitely let me attend more talks later.

Tuesday I spent quite a bit of my time at the GlassFish "Deep Dive" CommunityOne talk. While unfortunately I didn't speak much (I was talking about the Ruby-oriented parts, and the audience was, not surprisingly, from a Java background), it did give me a chance to practice the speaking techniques from my speaker coaching. Apparently, the hand-waving and smiling that I do when I'm really nervous makes it look like I'm interested and enthusiastic about whatever it is I'm speaking about. A useful trait, I suppose. I was also able to attend the Scripting Bowl, which was a nice overview of the major scripting languages for the JVM (Ruby, Python, Scala, Clojure, and Groovy).

Wednesday was my talk, Dynamic Languages powered by GlassFish V3, at 11AM. That meant that the morning was spent going over last-minute details, checking to make sure that the demos worked (they did!), then two hours of talk, and a team lunch while I decompressed after the talk. The afternoon was spent wandering around the pavilion, and then a BoF on performance characteristics, unfortunately marred by poor benchmarking technique. The first of two "long" days.

Thursday had the two talks that I reviewed slides for, as well as the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) talks. Unfortunately, one of my reviewed talks (an applet-based distributed computing network) was co-scheduled with the FIRST technical session, so I had to go to the BoF instead. There was also a deceptively-named (to me) Complex Event Processing talk that I left halfway through (They mentioned "intelligence" in the title and abstract, and I assumed that they meant "AI". They didn't, unfortunately). The first talk that I had reviewed (EC2 + Hadoop at eHarmony) was well-attended, but outside my area of interest. The second (the distributed computing network) was poorly-attended, but quite interesting. Odd how that works out, but it meant that I got to speak to the presenters for a while after the talk, which was nice. That was followed by a team dinner, and from there to the FIRST BoF. An extremely busy day, but lots of learning took place.

Friday was a bit more relaxed, only one talk that I wanted to attend, on common mistakes in concurrent programming. Quite interesting, and it highlighted the kinds of ways that you have to think when designing a multithreaded system.

So, many talks attended, much learned (both inside talks and out), and a fun, but exhausting, experience. I'm looking forward to JavaOne next year (assuming that it still exists, that got brought up a lot too =p), but I'm glad that it wasn't more than a week long.

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Jacob Kessler

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