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 ;).