Trip report: JavaOne 2008, people and parties

Dr. Mik KerstenPosted by

For those that haven’t had a chance to attend the madness that is JavaOne, I think the following picture sums it up. There is a massive amount of people waiting in massive lines to attend massive talks. I snapped this shot while walking into my Mylyn: code at the speed of thought talk. The people at the front of the line had been standing there for way too long and looked very bored. The talk had filled up at pre-registration and had around 700 attendees. But once it was underway, the crowd and questions were great. For those interested in seeing this talk, I plan on recording it and making a webcast available this summer.


For me the conference started with the RedMonk Community One day, which was ridiculously located in a huge hall, in the middle of a never ending lunch line. Amazingly the RedMonk guys managed to get a lively crowd engaged in an RIA discussion, despite the fact that you needed a microphone to speak to anyone more than three feet away from you. With a lack of interesting announcements from major vendors the news that dominated for me was the excitement around the SpringSource Application Platform. The SpringSource booth appeared to have a permanent queue of people attached to it and the interest in OSGi was palpable. Here’s a picture of a rare quiet moment before the exhibit hall opened. On the left is Christian Dupuis, who we’re working with in Vancouver on the tool support. Alongside him are Rob Harrop and Adrian Colyer, the very entertaining SpringSource gurus who had more demo laptops than hands.


My favorite event at JavaOne started with the following invite, to the Tangosol and SolarMetric Founder’s Party.


I was expecting this to be just another JavaOne party, but while walking out of it at 2am I realized what a great bunch of conversations I’d had. Perhaps it was the fact that the hosts had paid for the party out of pocket that got people’s guards down and let the ideas flow. There was a high density of accomplished technologists, and the following picture sums the mood up nicely. On the left you can see Neelan Choksi, SolarMetric co-founder, SpringSource COO and one of the most interesting and capable software business people I’ve met. In the middle is Mike Cannon-Brookes, the CEO of Atlassian, with whom I had a bunch of great conversations about creating deeper integration between Eclipse, Mylyn and Atlassian’s increasingly impressive product suite (thanks go to Nitin Bharti for the picture).


The Eclipse Party was awesome too. A ton of people turned out, the beer flowed freely and at the end of the night it was just me and a few Eclipse Foundation folks left, including Lynn Gayowski and Ian Skerrett.


The best conversation I had at the EclipseCon party was with Rod Johnson–not a surprise considering how interesting he is to talk to–but the topic of the conversation flipped from SpringSource tools to having him show me how he’s been using Tasktop to manage his work. I got some great feedback on the key usability corners that we’re planning to address for the Tasktop Summer release. And that concluded my JavaOne experience very nicely, which in summary was a chance to chat with some great people about building software tools and platforms, get some fresh perspectives, and figure out how we can work together to make our offerings better, cooler, and more useful for the next time the conference rolls around.