I had a fantastic time at DevFest Istanbul, Turkey, on Saturday 6 December. It was the first time I was in Turkey. However, over several months, even before knowing I'd be going to this conference, I'd been following a free on-line Yale course on medieval history and then, hey, there I was in Constantinople. Fortunately, Mark Stephens, from NetBeans partner IDRsolutions, and one of the new NetBeans Dream Team members, turns out to have studied medieval history for many years, so turned out to be a perfect tour guide, when we went with a small group to many historical sites, such as the Hagia Sophia.
The conference itself was excellent. Three thousand turned up, to the free conference, which is about twice as many as last year. Mark Stephens did a great session entitled "5 Reasons Why NetBeans Should Be In Every Developer's Toolkit" and I followed with a packed out room, i.e., 800 at least, since many were standing at the doors, "Coding for Desktop and Mobile with HTML5 and Java EE 7", which showed many features in NetBeans, such as the HTML5 tools, Chrome integration, AngularJS features, and Java EE code generators.
Also on the agenda were sessions by PrimeFaces and Vaadin, while Martijn Verburg, London JUG lead, Java champion, etc etc, and one of the new NetBeans Dream Team members did his "The Habits of Highly Effective Teams". But there was much more, in four tracks, most of which I missed because I was at the NetBeans booth answering heaps of questions about NetBeans. We also worked on the next NetBeans community podcast, which will again feature interviews done by NetBeans users with each other, all recorded during the conference.
Another highlight was that Dorine Flies from "Encouraging Programming in Kids" (together with Luke Mayell and others) did another Minecraft hacking session with kids and their parents. Of course, they started by setting up NetBeans and the JDK, after which they ran Minecraft from NetBeans and then hacked it.
It was great seeing heaps of little kids with NetBeans on their laptops!
And I'll be working a bit more on the NetBeans shisha integration soon, in gratitude to all the nargile I consumed.
All in all, a great few days, thanks everyone for making it possible, for being so enthusiastic, and I hope I'll be there again next year!