Let’s get back in time. Devoxx 2013 in Antwerp was actually my first big IT conference. Since there was no direct flights, I drove there with two friends a bit over 1k km, which wasn’t so bad considering it was mostly German Autobahn and we had a nice car which itself had only 1k km of mileage (mileage given in km, doesn’t it sound funny?) when we started. It was nice little adventure.
How is Devoxx different than Jax? Well, it’s muuuch bigger. There was like 7 to 10 times more people. The conference took place in a second largest cinema complex in Europe, meaning that talks were delivered on big screens with excellent audio. There were 10 halls, two with capacity over 800 people. Exhibiting companies were like: Google, Oracle, Red Hat, Microsoft and that kind of league. There were chief architects of stuff. They were gadgets like chess robots, machinery out of Lego Technics bricks and all the stuff geeks like.
There was even a game where you could see entire audience on the big screen, and there were virtual fruits (seen on the screen superimposed over the camera image) thrown at them. If the fruit happens to hit your location, you had to slash it with arm movement to get points. People were divided in two teams, two halves of the audience, and more hits equalled winning entire game.
Jax had better food on the other hand ;)
Similarly to posts on Jax, I will quickly present talks I’ve watched. Main part of Devoxx was one day longer than Jax, and I since it was almost a year, I don’t remember everything exactly, so there will be a selection.
Lambda: A peek Under the Hood by Brian Goetz.
I made a reference to this talk already in The Peak of the Mountain. Very technical details of JVM internals, not for everyone and perhaps not so useful in everyday development, but very interesting for me. And the speaker is the chief Java Language architect.
The Crazyflie Nano Quadcopter by Crazyflie team.
One of the cool ones. Story of developing tiny quadcopter both from hardware and software point of view with all the ups and downs.
The Modular Java Platform and Project Jigsaw by Mark Reinhold.
Java is big and tangled, but there are efforts to untangle the platform and make it more efficient especially on tiny devices with very limited resources . Nice to see a talk by Java platform chief architect regardless of the topic.
Shaping the future of web development by Lars Bak.
Java 8 Language Capabilities – What’s in it for you? by Venkat Subramaniam.
At the time that was the first presentation about lambdas for me. Very dynamic yet easy to follow and technically very well done.
Introduction to Google Glass by Alain Regnier.
Well, what can you say besides that Google Glass is an awesome technology. Still in prototype phase, and with a lot of improvements along the way. Alain presents how to connect to the device from your PC, how to control it with voice or head motion and what you can do with it. Possibilities seem to be endless.
Another cool talk about quadcopters. You can buy one for $300, attach Raspberry Pi for $30, some sensors, do some programming and voilà, you have an autonomous drone which can fly over the field, do some photos and recharge itself when needed. At the end, you can use data to tell the farmer where he should apply more irrigation to get the most out of his plants. Countless other things you can do for a few bucks.
Besides I remember attending Cryptographic operations in the browser by Nick Van den Bleeken, EJB 3.2 and Beyond by David Blevins, Java EE 7: What’s new in the Java EE Platform by Daniel Delabassee, Spring Framework 4.0 – The Next Generation by Sam Branen, Batch Applications or the Java Platform (JSR 352) by Scott Kurz. And there were few others I can’t remember.
Overall, in my opinion Devoxx is much better than Jax. Longer, much more speakers to choose from, much more “cool” stuff outside of Big Data, Enterprise and Java for a very similar ticket price.
And somehow I prefer both Belgian beer and weather over English ;) See you next time.