Geertjan's Blog

Trip Report: NetBeans Day UK 2015

Geertjan Wielenga
Product Manager

NetBeans Day UK was held on Friday. Attendees ranged from Java teams at financial organizations (e.g., sucdenfinancial.com) to HTML5/JavaScript frontend developers (e.g., farmison.com), to university/college lecturers and students (e.g., from University of Greenwich and University of Kent).

Also read "13 things you missed if you were not at NetBeans Day UK" by Mark Stephens from IDR Solutions, who organized the event, many thanks Mark! (Also go to Twitter and search for #netbeansday to get some short reports on the event.)

It was especially cool to see devs trying out new technologies they learned about on their own codebase, e.g., below you see the Chrome Connector plugin being tried out live during one of the sessions, enabling the Chrome browser and NetBeans IDE to interact with each other for JavaScript/HTML programming:

Next time, the focus will be a lot more on hands on exercises and tutorials, so that attendees can actively participate in the sessions and go home with new code and techniques that will have been taught during the event.

The University of Greenwich was the location, which was a great location, for which we'd really like to thank Gill Windall and others from the university. Other universities participated too, such as the University of Kent, where BlueJ and Greenfoot are developed, and which were demonstrated, as well as a range of other technologies and organizations, such as the very interesting Praxis LIVE and Sharp Statistics. Praxis LIVE is a truly unique application, for doing hypermedia displays, comparable to Quartz Composer and Isadora, except that it is free and open source, created in Java, and full of really awesome features, including integration with TinkerForge.

Steve Millidge from Payara did an excellent all code, (almost) no slide, demo of creating a Java EE application and deploying to Payara, the "baddass fish" of the application servers!

An interesting highlight came from Nick from ionCube who demonstrated switching on and off his office air conditioning from the IDE! Dorine Flies talked about EPIK, while Luke Mayell showed Minecraft running from NetBeans, which was fun (and a great way to introduce programming to kids)! The day was started with a great keynote on the current state of Java, by London JUG leader Ben Evans, as well as a session (by me) about the NetBeans community, roadmap, unique features, and some small NetBeans demos. With the various contacts that have have been established in the UK, we're looking forward to doing more events in the UK, at least one more in England this year, including sessions and courses dealing with Java, JavaScript, Java EE, Cloud, etc.

NetCAT (the NetBeans Community Acceptance Testing program) was well represented by Mark Stephens from England, John McDonnell from Ireland, and Holger Stenger from Germany! During his session, Mark explained in some detail what NetCAT is all about, watch his session here and here on YouTube.

The lunch and coffee breaks were sponsored by Payara, IDR Solutions, EPIK, ionCube, and jClarity. The day ended with a prize draw, where various organizations had contributed prizes, such as books, t-shirts, and licenses. It was the first time that we've had booths at a NetBeans Day. Several of the above ran a booth and had interaction etc with users:

Throughout the day, recordings were done for the next NetBeans Podcast, which should be out sometime in the coming weeks.

It was great for everyone to see the great turn out and the plan is to have the next NetBeans event in the UK toward the end of this year. If you missed this event, no worries, the next one will be announced here and elsewhere, planning will begin once everyone has recovered from the above event!

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