We are currently half-way through Devoxx 2011 – the 10th time the show has taken place and (I’m embarrassed to say) my first visit. It is quite an experience! Imagine if a group of hardcore technical geeks took over a huge cinema complex, turned the big screens into lecture halls, invited all the best speakers to attend and had an Expo in the foyer and you might have some vague idea of what it is like. There is a huge amount going on.. Here are 5 things I have particularly noticed after having only every been to Javaone:-
1. You can never have enough bandwidth! Stephen stood up for his keynote and admitted that he had not initially allowed for everyone having multiple devices with IPs. 3,000 technical people with laptops, smart phones and tablets can quickly soak up a great deal of capacity.
2. Devoxx is very well organised. There are queues at lunchtime but they move quickly and the show has run very slickly. Everything starts on time and the day is planned to squeeze in a great deal of talks. A great deal of thought has gone into making it both a useful and a fun conference. Tonight we had Belgian beer and fries. Tomorrow night is movie night with Tintin.
3. A conference really gains from having speakers from Google. It is great to hear the likes of Joshua Bloch again.
4. ‘Enthusiasts’ can organize a really great conference. And they always want to improve it. This year they have been trying out some new wristbands in place of a smartcard (they are waterproof so you can wash during the week!). There are some really cool interactive signs and there will be a Devoxx France next year.
5. Java is still really exciting. There is so much passion and ideas here – it is a wonderful atmosphere to be in.
What do you think of Devoxx so far?