Sunday, May 11, 2008

JavaOne 2008

WARNING: This blog entry was imported from my old blog on (which used different blogging software), so formatting and links may not be correct.

JavaOne 2008 is over. As usual, it was a great event, but with the stress and hard work leading up to the conference, it's a huge relief that it's all over. For my part, it was another extremely busy JavaOne, with two keynote demos, a technical session, a panel discussion, a BOF, as well as three presentations at CommunityOne the day before. If you add to that the prep time for these (keynote software setup and rehearsals, slide planning etc.) there was barely time for anything else, so despite my best intentions I didn't get to meet up with a lot of the out-of-towners visiting JavaOne that I had planned to. I only made it to three technical sessions - and in all three I learned something. Hopefully the rest of the sessions that I missed had the same high level of quality.

I was interviewed by the JavaOne paper on Wednesday; the online interview is here. If you read my blog you might find it interesting. However, in the paper version of the interview, something went horribly wrong... Some of the questions and answers attributed to me were from a previous interview! In particular, I'm found endorsing the Flex SDK, as well as talking about my "math background". Those parts were from the previous day's interview with Chet Haase!
If you're wondering why I'm referred to as a "Rock Star" in the interview, that's a JavaOne thing. The top 20 highest rated talks each year (as determined by the speaker survey forms collected for all talks) earn their speakers a lifetime "Rockstar" title at JavaOne. And speaking of Rockstars, I've got independent verification that I am one (wink, wink) since Ed Burns also interviewed me (and the other JavaPosse guys) for his Secrets of Rock Star Programmers book. The interview was conducted a year ago, but the book is out now. I've read some of the chapters already and really enjoyed it.

It's always exciting to be part of the keynote demos. It's a huge production with over 10,000 people in the keynote hall. A lot of work goes into it. There's a control room in the back, NASA ground-control style. Arun Gupta snapped a few pictures during rehearsals this year and posted them here. The 10th picture gives a sense of the size of the hall. On the left is a drawing one of my kids drew of how she imagined my keynote demo - it would be nice if we actually had chairs to sit on. I guess when you're a kid you wouldn't imagine standing up while doing things on a computer! Anyway, you can see the webcasts from the keynotes - they are all available here. In particular, you can see our Tic Tac Toe demo here (about 2:20 into it), and the JavaScript editing demo here (about 19:45 into it).

The Java Posse BOF was another highlight for me. We had a short appearance at CommunityOne, but with just 20 minutes we didn't quite get into the groove. Thursday night for our BOF however, and with beer, we had a great atmosphere. We had feared a really low turnout since our BOF was scheduled smack in the middle of the Smashmouth concert - but that turned out not to be a problem, either because it was cold outside, or because a lot of people hadn't heard of Smashmouth (think the movie soundtrack from Shrek), or perhaps because we have really loyal listeners! If so, thank you!! A contingent of Norwegian listeners came up and handed us a lot of Norwegian chocolate! I didn't catch your names - but thank you very much! My local gym also thanks you...

My brother (who also works at Sun and has his own blog) has been staying with us for the last month - first for the MySQL conference in April, then JavaOne. It's been great having him here. We tried to get him on the air in one of our podcasts, but he refused - so instead we embarassed him during our BOF with a dedicated slide and tribute! He headed back to Norway this morning; Trond, it's been great to have you here and welcome back.

I'm taking a few days off now to catch up on sleep and chores!

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