It happens only at Devoxx ...

After attending several Java conferences world wide, this was my very first time at Devoxx. Here are some items I found that happens only at Devoxx ...
  • Pioneers of theater-style seating - This not only provides comfortable seating for each attendee but the screens are very clearly visible to everybody in the room.
  • Intellectual level of attendees is very high - Read more explanation on the Java EE 6 lab blog. In short, a lab, 1/3 of the content delivered at Devoxx 2011, could not be completed at other developer days in more than 1/3 the time.
  • Snack box for lunches - Even though this suits well to the healthy lifestyle of multiple-snacks-during-a-day style but leaves attendees hungry sooner in the day. The longer breaks before the next snack in the evening does not help at all. Fortunately, Azure cupcakes and Android ice creams turned out to be handy. I finally carried my own apple :-)
  • Wrist band instead of lanyard - The good part about this is that once tied to your hand then you are less likely to forget in your room. But OTOH you are a pretty much a branded conference attendee all through out the city. It was cost effective as it costed 20c as opposed to 1 euro for the lanyard.
  • Live streaming from theater #8 (the biggest room) on
  • All talks recorded and released on over next year. This allows attendees to not to miss any session and watch replay at their own leisure. Stephan promised to start sharing the sessions by mid December this year.
  • No need to pre-register for a session - This is true for most of the conferences but bigger rooms (+ overflow room for key sessions) provide sufficient space for all those who want to attend the session. And of course all sessions are available on anyway!
  • Community votes on whiteboard - Devoxx attendees gets a chance to vote on topics ranging from their favorite non-Java language, operating system, or love from Oracle. Captured pictures at the end of Day 2 are shown below.
  • Movie on the last but one night - This year it was The Adventures of Tintin and was lots of fun.
  • Fries with mayo - This is a typical Belgian thing.
  • Guys going in ladies room to avoid the long queues ... wow!
  • Tweet wall everywhere and I mean literally everywhere, in rooms, hallways, front desk, and other places. The tweet picking algorithm was not very clear as I never saw my tweet appear on the wall ;-) You can also watch it at
  • Cozy speaker dinner with great food and wine
  • List of parallel and upcoming sessions displayed on the screen - This makes the information more explicit with the attendees.
  • REST API with multiple mobile clients - This API is also used by some other conferences as well. And there always is
  • Steering committee members were recognized multiple times. The committee members were clearly identifiable wearing red hoodies.
  • The wireless SSID was intuitive "Devoxx" but hidden to avoid some crap from Microsoft Windows. All of 9000 addresses were used up most of the times with each attendee having multiple devices. A 1 GB fibre optic cable was stretched to Metropolis to support the required network bandwidth. Stephan is already planning to upgrade the equipment and have a better infrastructure next year.
  • Free water, soda, juice in a cooler
  • Kinect connected to TV screens so that attendees can use their hands to browse through the list of sesssions.
  • #devoxxblog, #devoxxwomen, #devoxxfrance, #devoxxgreat, #devoxxsuggestions
  • And Devoxx attendees are called Devoxxians ... how cool is that ? :-)
What other things do you think happen only at Devoxx ?

And now the pictures from the community whiteboard:

And a more complete album (including bigger pics of community votes) is available below:


Only at Devoxx: 19th century public transport to the venue :-(

Posted by Willem on November 20, 2011 at 08:37 PM PST #

Many good points...

IMO, the greatest one is "Pioneers of theater-style seating"! I was at Jazoon in Zürich this year, which also uses a cinema. The screens are huge, the seats are comfortable, and the night movies are a perfect ending of each conference day :-)

If I had to choose one conference a year, I would choose a theater conference due to these reasons (very good - and often the same - sessions are available at most well-known conferences).

Best regards,
Kai Wähner (Twitter: @KaiWaehner)

Posted by guest on November 20, 2011 at 10:34 PM PST #

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Arun Gupta is a technology enthusiast, a passionate runner, author, and a community guy who works for Oracle Corp.

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