A few days ago I attended a Java Developers’ Day 2010 conference in Cracow. If someone ask me to sum this event I would tell: not bad but definitely not very good. I think that popularity of Java conferences in Poland made people who are responsible for organizing JDD think that whether they do it very well or they just screw some things up it won’t affect number of developers who are willing to pay for tickets. This is short summary of JDD’10. If you are interested in more complains and a few praises please continue reading this post 🙂
What definitely was NOT good
- Agenda was not fully ready until the conference start was really, really close.
- Start time changed ONE day before conference. Ok, maybe it’s not organizers fault, but at the end who cares. It had changed and forced me to take luggage with me instead of leaving it where I planned to sleep.
- If I rent one half of sports hall for my wedding I really, really WOULD check that there is no basketball match or training planned at the same time in the second half of the hall.
- Scala workshop was definitely good, but room was cold and not only me complained about it. There is nothing nice in sitting for over three hours in such environment.
- We all have to thank sponsors for their support and money they gave to the organizers. But I think it shouldn’t be too hard to prepare presentation which won’t be so, so, so much marketing-like and as a result really boring. That’s why only at sponsors lectures I saw many people surfing on the Internet, reading e-mails and even simply staying at the coffee hall to chat and do something more interesting.
- Almost blinding Thomas Sundberg with reflectors at the end of his talk that he wasn’t able to see people asking questions was embarrassing for me and so it should be for organizers.
What was good
- Quality of presentations (no sponsored talks included) was good and sometimes even very good. The best I attended was Scala Workshop and functional language introduction, both by Ted Neward. Scala seems interesting and for a complete newbie like me that was time well spent. Talk held by Linda Rising about changes and convincing other people to your ideas was also good and highlighted some very interesting solutions.
- Conference lasted for two days which means more knowledge and more occasions to meet and talk with interesting people. This is large plus.
- Conference party/meeting in the evening which allowed me to relax and talk about technical and no-technical stuff. Some people played Wii Sports and other console games, there was dance floor, some drinks and a lot of socializing. Definitely a good idea!
- Food, traditionally for conferences by Proidea, was very good.
What could be slightly improved
- Conference should start later, I think 12 o’clock would be perfect. People who had to wake up at 5 AM to catch a train to Cracow would be really happy. Last talk would end about 6-7PM then we will have small 2-hours break and party in the club. I personally didn’t need so long (4-5 hours) break between last lecture and party.
- Very short breaks between lectures. Most of the time in the sports hall, where the lectures took place, there was one exit and people had time only to leave, grab juice and just return for the next presentation. Ten minutes break would be a lot better.
- Saying that this was the biggest conference in Poland only because it is the longest one (only one lasting for two days as far as I know) is funny thing but reminds me some TV ads where big letters say something and very little text near the edge of the screen says “Applicable only to ….”.
JDD 2010 wasn’t a bad conference. If we take under consideration only non-sponsored talks and workshops I can say that was even a very good one, but some organizational problems and neglected stuff must decrease my opinion and, I hope, will pinpoint people from Proidea areas that could be easily improved in 4Developers and JDD next year.