Saturday Nov 05, 2011

JFall 2011 Trip Report

JFall is an annual conference organized by NLJUG, the Dutch Java Users Group.

The very first conference organized by NLJUG was JFall 2004. At that time, 7 years back, Simon Phipps talk about Java 5 and Adam Bien talking about Service Oriented Architectures with Beehive. Its amazing to see that the slides are linked from the web page and, more interestingly, still accessible :-) This is the case for all the subsequent years as well starting with 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010. They've also organized JSpring for some years in between.

The conference is free for NLJUG members after they've paid their annual subscription of 37.50 Euros. The membership also pays for several workshops and events across the country through out the year, a quarterly Java magazine, and a chance to schmooze with the best of Java in Netherlands.

This year, Oracle was the main sponsor and the conference had 2 keynotes, 30 sessions, 4 hands-on labs, 42 speakers, and 1000+ attendees. As in the previous years, the attendance had to be capped at 1000 so that the members are not charged to attend the conference. But NLJUG may have to reasses it with the rapidly expanding Java ecosystem. The growing number of conferences in Europe (Devoxx, JFokus, Java2Days, 33rd Degree, JAX London, W-JAX, Oredev, GOTO, Scandinavian Developer Conference) and with most of them going packed, going commercial will allow JFall to move to a bigger venue and accommodate more attendees as well. But that's always a delicate balance :-)

Half of the sessions from the conference are recorded and will be published on later this month.

I gave a talk on "The Java EE 7 Platform: Developing for the Cloud" providing details on how Java EE will provide a standards-based PaaS platform. The talk had about 500 attendees and the slides are available:

The talk showed how to deploy a Java EE 6 application using GlassFish 4.0 early builds. The demo can also be seen at:

Complete instructions to reproduce the demo are available here.

One of my favorite talk from the conference was "Migrating Spring to Java EE 6" by Paul Bakker. The talk was very real with pragmatic approach on how to migrate your Spring applications to Java EE 6. Like others, this talk was recorded and will be released on Other than that the speakers' dinner with Bert Ertman, Bert Breeman, Klaasjan Tukker, Michael Heutterman, Stephan Janssen, Steve Wilson, Tomas Nilsson, Michael Heinrichs, and others was fun.

Klaasjan, finally, showed me speaker evaluations from 2009 and was happy to see that the overall scores were the second highest for me. Its always nice to know that attendees like the structure and technical depth of the presentation. Looking forward to evaluations for this year now!

The conference venue was in Regardz Van Ampt, Nijkerk with nice biking and running trails all around. I just could not miss this chance and ran a quick about-5 miler:

Bert Ertman also hooked me up with HAN University, Arnhem. I gave a code-driven Java EE 6 workshop using NetBeans and GlassFish to about 50 Computer Science students and several faculty members. The students are about to start a 6 month project and hopefully some of them will use Java EE 6. The audience was very interactive making the overall delivery very interesting. The instructions to reproduce the code are available here.

Arnhem has Sonsbeek Park which had beautiful fall colors and has great running trails too. Fortunately, the park was very close to the hotel and so I managed to sneek another run:

Here are a few pictures captured from the event and related visits:

And the complete album here:

Thank you NLJUG for giving me an opportunity to speak to Dutch audience, looking forward to my presentation next year!

Next stop is Oredev, back home for a close wedding, Devoxx, OTN Developer Days in Portugal, and final stop JavaOne Brazil for this year!

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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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