By mohanpraveen on Feb 26, 2009
Another important developer event that I attended recently was the SunTechDays' 2009 at Hyderabad. It's been a few years since I last visited the event and lot of things have changed since then for the better - the venue, the technologies, the organizers etc and the passion towards learning new stuff is always on the raise. I actually expected lesser no of people this time due to the economic downturn but the moment I entered the venue, I was proved wrong. In fact, I had to squeeze in to reach the JavaFX stall that I was manning. The convention center was flooded with professionals and students !! The venue (International Convention Center) is really one of the state-of-the-art infrastructure for such mega-events and on par with the Moscone center in SFO where JavaOne is held every year.
The center of attraction was of course 'Father-of-Java' - James Gosling, one of the most admired celebrities in the technology arena. The event started off with a musical bonanza where a 10 year old boy was playing Drums for 20 mins or so. The audience were captivated entirely by his performance and there was a pin-drop silence for few moments when he gave a break and people had to gather themselves to put their hands together. Only at that time, I realized that I have tears on my eyes since I had kept them open for so long. He looked as if he has 10+ limbs while playing the drums. He is indeed a child prodigy !!
KeyNotes started with some cool demos on JavaFX, Java TV and OpenSolaris and some of them actually triggered many 'WOW!'s. People were getting restless and eager to see James on the stage and finally when he arrived, there was a thundering applause. It's amazing to see the amount of excitement, respect and admiration that people show towards this man and of course, he deserves it for innovating a technology that touches people around the globe through every bit of device that they use.
JavaFX clearly took the center stage at Sun Tech and all the JavaFX sessions were full-house. Right after every session, people stormed the JavaFX Stall asking multiple questions, watching demos and it was a challenge for me and my colleagues to streamline the people, given the limited space for the stall. Our neighboring stalls also felt the pinch due to this and at times, they asked when is the next JavaFX Session, just to get prepared. It would have been worth even If I had taken my entire team out there to handle the stall. But it clearly demonstrated the value and potential of this platform and the excitement that it's been creating in the developer community. Another thing that attracted people was the CodeJavaFX Contest (For Students and Professionals in India, please sign up for the CodeJavaFX Contest if you have not already done so. It's a great opportunity to unleash your creativity and showcase your talents and you get a chance to win Exciting prizes) from Sun for Professionals/Students in India to contribute cool RIAs written in JavaFX and we have been getting an overwhelming response. Overall, It was an exhaustive ordeal but very satisfying at the end.
Theme of my JavaFX Session was to take the audience through the development of A Rich Internet Application and demonstrating it on Desktop and Mobile. I and my Colleague Rakesh Menon were there at the Stage driving the session and we demonstrated the development of a Media Browser application that facilitates navigating through media and image contents obtained from the web through FX-WebServices. It was a code-walkthrough session and we were showing a demo after developing each module. This helped us keep the audience awake especially in a post-lunch session. Main objective of our session was to emphasize on rapid development of RIA and the ease with which it can be done using JavaFX with NetBeans. people seemed to have grasped that pretty well at the end of the session. There were lot of interesting questions from various modules in FX such as Langugage, Graphics, Scenegraph, Language, Media, Animation etc and some of these questions were really sharp to the extent of taking them offline accompanied by lengthy conversations.
Slides can be found here.
Overall, It was a good learning experience for me connecting bright professionals and students across india and I would definitely like to be there next year as well.