I just got back from the Java Posse Roundup 2009. It was our third year (blog entries from 2007, 2008), and therefore I can add "as usual" when I state that it was a wonderful time.
This year's topic was "developer productivity", which is obviously a passion of mine, so I found all the technical sessions thoroughly enjoyable. We recorded all of them so they will be released slowly through the regular podcast channel.
I was able to redeem myself from last year's skiing disaster but not falling doesn't make very compelling video...
Another highlight is the lightning talks. This year we had two hours of lightning talks every night. We'll be releasing those on a quicker schedule as YouTube videos in our YouTube channel. I can recommend Barry Hawkins' talk as a starter. The nice thing about lightning talks are that they are short so go ahead, give it a try!
In order to enforce the 5 minute rule for lightning talks, we wrote a little timer app, as seen in this picture:
The laptop on the left is running our downcounter. It starts at 5 minutes, and when it gets down to 0 it plays a sound effect which politely asks the user to, ehm, stop. We wrote this app as a collaboration on the first day of the conference, during the language dojos. We had 3-4 sites where different people studied Scala, Groovy, Python, Fan and JavaFX, according to their interests. In the JavaFX group we played around with the language in the morning, and then decided to build something real - the countdown timer. We needed a sound effect to play when the timer expires, so we held up one of our conference audio recorders and all at once yelled "Shut Up!" into it. In the room next door Dick Wall had just started talking about Scala, and our brief recording session apparently caused some confusion...
P.S. There are a lot of pictures from the Roundup on flickr.
The below are by Joe Nuxoll.
Crested Butte, Colorado by night:
The first day of the Open Conference we held a languages-on-the-JVM dojo. This is a picture of those of us playing with JavaFX:
The lightning talks schedule for the Tuesday night:
On Thursday we had a progressive dinner where each household served one course for the other participants. Carl made Indian Style chicken wings and Ido is getting ready to serve:
Dick and Dianne talking during the progressive dinner.