Polish dev community is in great shape.

I mentioned some time ago, that fall will be eventful. But I didn’t know about all the events. Everyday I learn about something new, and most of it looks really impressive.

During last two weeks I attended two really well organized events. First one on 12th October. This day I planned to be at leetspeak (BTW – videos are already uploaded) in Sweden, but due some health issues I had to stay home. But there were more than one backup options. There was Warsjawa (name is nice play on polish name of Warsaw – Warszawa and Java) – full day of workshop on various JVM related topics. Not for everyone, but agenda looked solid – lot’s of interesting topics. Oskar was there on some Scala workshop. I hope, he’ll do some writeup ;)

After all I chose dotNetConfPL, which was virtual conference – as name suggests – focused on .net stack. Virtual means, that session were presented on Google Hangouts (live!), and you could comment/ask questions/interact with speakers on Twitter and JabbR channel. It didn’t have this nice part of interacting with live people between and after the sessions, but there were some upsides. You could do your dishes and cook dinner while learning some unit testing stuff (ncrunch is awesome) or JavaScript magic.  All speakers were Polish (or at least they spoke Polish), but they did their talks from various parts of the world. Level of presentation was very high. Generally I was impressed, how professionally it all looked and how smoothly all worked out. Huge respect to Michał, Paweł and Jakub who organized whole event. To see how it all worked behind the scenes and see recorded sessions look at Jakub’s blog.

On next Saturday I went to Meet.js summit which took place in Gdansk – my home area. I follow Meet.js meetings for some time, but they did never fit my schedule until now. Usually meet.js consist of 2-3 talks somehow connected with JavaScript. But summit was full day conference, with food, coffee and afterparty. I won’t talk about presentations, because JS is not really my thing. I enjoyed some of them, I didn’t understand other. But whole conference was again super professional from the organisation point of view. My teammate who writes lots of  JS said, that talks were solid and well prepared.  Venue (Amber Expo – conference center next to Gdansk Football Arena) is awesome. Really nice, spacey rooms for conference and great area to mingle between sessions. I also met few friends from University and spent Saturday surrounded by passionate devs. Love it!

If you count in DevDay which took place about month ago, this shows that Polish developer’s community is in great shape. This makes me very happy.

Especially, that’s not the end. This weekend Łódż will be packed with great events. Starting on Friday with .NET user group meeting and then Mobilization conf on Saturday (free as free beer, and there are still tickets available). Then on 16th November Makerland is organizing meetup for hardware geeks. If you like to play around with Raspberry Pi, Arduino or Mindstorm, this will be interesting for you. And of course there’s Øredev in Malmo and Build Stuff in Vilnius, which both will be invaded by quite big polish crews.

So, don’t stay at home – find an event that fits you and get some knowledge!

I’m not Java Master, but for 3 days I pretended.

I like to see myself as “.net developer”. Recently however, because of this specific project requirements, about half of my coding time is in Java. After my very enthusiastic reports from DevDay and Leetspeak, “Java guys” from my team proposed that we go to some jvm-centric conf. “Why not”, I said, and in the second week of March we attended 33rd Degree – a “Conference for Java Masters”.

Conference was 2 and half day event packed with 5 tracks of speakers. I won’t write about everything in details, just outline few things I liked, and few that could be better. Overally, this was great event, but there were some issues:

Too many tracks. This is just me, but I hate to have too much choice. Especially, when other sessions were not recorded. If I chose badly and then heard from my friends, that talk they chose was amazing, I was angry. And won’t chance to see it again. And it happened couple of times, because quality of talks varied from super-awesome-mindblowing to meh. I think it’s better to aim for quality then quantity. There were also some logistic hiccups like badly organized lunch area, no way to turn off the lights in conference rooms, air conditioning not working or extra payment for parking. They weren’t very bad, just little things that could be fixed and whole experience would be much smoother.

Now to the good stuff. By mentioning things I liked at the end, I hope to leave positive impression Because this was very good conference and I was left with positive impression myself. First of all there were some awesome talks and awesome speakers. I added to my favourite list names like Venkat Subramaniam, Ted Neward and Reza Rahman. There were also people I knew about already, like Tim Berglund, Hadi Hariri or Dan North. As you can see, these are huge names in the industry, which tells a lot about level of the conference. I also liked, that there were talks about other jvm languages, like Scala or Clojure.

The whole conference area was very spacious. There were chillout areas, where you could play guitar hero or just sit down and get some rest. There was plenty of snacks and drinks and lunch was very good. People were very friendly, and it was very likely to sit on the couch with some of the speakers and just chat. What I like most about conferences, are networking possibilites, and at 33rd Degree they were very good.

On the personal note, I realy liked strong presence of Tri-City area developers. I met some friends, I hadn’t seen since graduation. Some of them landed really good jobs, which is always nice to hear.

I found it to be really good conference and if you consider yourself Java developer, this is must-attend event. I don’t know how 33rd Degree compares to other Java conferences in Poland (like geecon or Confitura), but my best mate started blogging recently and he’s going to some of them, so follow him :).

For less-biased opinions and photos look here ;).