San Francisco & JavaOne

As JavaOne is now ancient history (it being over 2 days since the last official event) I thought I should weigh in on my expiereinces of being at the conference for the first time and also my experiences in San Francisco in general (since this is my first visit to the United States).

I arrived with my boss and workmate on the Wednesday last week, a little confused and knackered, After getting through the huge line at arrivals in the airport we proceeded to pick up our bags and grab the train towards our respective hotels; my boss staying in different one to me and my workmate since we had come out early and wanted to do some tourism. So he rushes off to his hotel to get changed and have a meeting with an important client while we got off a few stops down and then try to find our way to our hotel on the bay. To cut the story short we eventually took a tram that stopped 5 minutes walk from our hotel, got checked in and then went for an explore of the bay area.

Twas above my bed in the room, very swanky

Over the course of the next few days we had a nice explore of the bay area. We went to the aquarium, Pier 39, saw the Golden Gate Bridge, spoke to homeless people (well I did much to the confusion of my colleague), and also visited Alcatraz.

After all this we took our bags and went to the same hotel as my boss in preparation for JavaOne. After checking in (and again navigating to the hotel via a tram) we decided to pick up our badges from the Hilton Hotel which was only 2 blocks away. Upon getting the badges we decide to go up a level or two and have a look around, ending up at the MySQL dinner and getting free food, talking to a guy called Jimmy about databases (I could barely keep up, suddenly I was grateful for the tedious module I had on them) and then two slightly older developers who were there about all manner of things, including functional programming, Scala, Java and lambdas.

After which we were pretty warn out so went back to the hotel to prepare for the opening of JavaOne which I annoyingly forgot my camera for so no nice pictures of the opening key note, although I have one of my GlassFish talk from my boss’ phone and maybe another of his from the keynote itself.

I’m actually wearing the GlassFish shirt they gave me just before the event, and my boss is wearing one from the year before!

This all occurred on the Sunday, after the keynote, we went to the GlassFish party where I spoke to one or two people and clocked in for the night back at the hotel ready for the conference proper.

On the subject of the keynote, we learnt a great deal about how Java is progressing and what will happen next, there was big excitement over lambdas and while project Jigsaw has been pushed back another release there was news on different distributions of Java available for different sized devices which is good news if you are interested in running Java on a wide variety of platforms. They showed off these kiosks they built that contained a touch screen connected to a Raspberry Pi running a JavaFX application. JavaFX being the other BIG talking point of JavaOne.

Overall the Sunday was very interesting, not just because it was the first time I’ve had to do a presentation in front of people at a convention, but also because of the exciting NetBeans, GlassFish and general Java stuff unveiled in the sessions and at the Keynote, if you can find it online I recommend you watch it.

The next few days were mainly filled with the exhibition and the music events in the evening. But I will try to summerise them as best I can (its been a LONG time since Monday!).

Our stand looked like this:

Believe it or not there was actually a bit of a cock up with it (Oracle are able to make mistakes), the images in the back were supposed to be a different size and we were supposed to have shelves but it all turned out okay in the end. In the first day we had over 50 people visit us which isn’t bad by anyones standards!

I saw a few interesting talks and sessions over the days we were there. An interesting one on where the next set of Java developers are coming from (Minecraft!) and how to attract more children to programming and another on The Problem with Women, which was a similar talk about how there aren’t enough women in the IT industry and how to improve it in general for women and other minorities. I also saw one on making a game in JavaFX which was quite interesting although I am still not convinced it’s the right platform for anything other than little simple games.

Overall we had over a hundred people visit our booth which isn’t bad considering we werent giving out free stuff like a lot of the stands around us. The night time music events I went to consisted of Macy Gray, Jimmy Cliff, Joss Stone and the Oracle Openworld Appreciation event consisting of Kings of Leon and Pearl Jam. I also went to see The Hives on Friday who were amazing.

Miss Joss Stone
 
 

Overall I learnt quite a lot at the conference, not just about Java, but also about how Oracle know how to throw a party and how nice the US can be.

It was great I recommend if you get the chance to go to a convention to go, even if it’s not as big as an Oracle even it will be well worth the time and money.

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