4Developers conference, 2009 Cracow, Poland

Today I've spent few hours on 4Developers conference, in Cracow, Poland (http://4developers.org.pl/).

Shortly speaking - it was a very interesting conference, and I am really glad I've been there. Kudos to ogranisers, speakers and IT folks that I met there !

The lectures were in english or polish. There were 4 tracks dedicated to: "Java", ".Net & C#", "IT Project Management", "Dedicated languages". So, there were 4 lectures going on simultaneously all the time. I spent half of the day on "Java" track, and then moved to "Dedictated languages" tracks. Among the speakers there were some very famous (see http://4developers.org.pl/prelegenci), and... and... well... some that will surely be very famous one day ! ;)

I've really enjoyed the presentations that I attended.
Adam Bien did a very good work on convincing us that EJB 3.1 have nothing to do with old, bad and ugly EJB 2.0 - he took ~10 myths about new EJB and killed them one by one proving that EJB 3.1 is a technology that is worth looking at.
Neal Ford is definitely worth listening - no matter if he talks about technical stuff like fluent interfaces ("Advanced DSLs in Ruby"), mingles Plato with Galileo ("Essence & Ceremony"), or praises bash ("The Productive Programmer: Mechanics") - you can see that he is an experienced speaker and he is really good at it. Not everything that he presented was new to me (especially parts similar to "pragmatic programmers" books & articles), but it was always fun to watch and listen.
His slides are simply beautiful, he has a sense of humor, and his lectures give you plenty of things to (re)think by yourself. Well done, Neal !
I could only wish that he spent more time on explaining some of his ideas, because for example saying that "SOA & ESB are evil" without giving any good reasons (ok, there were some, but very generic) is not enough for me.
The lecture, that Ted Neward gave on Scala, was also very, very good. I can say he could go on like this for hours, showing Scala's features, but alas!, his lecture was only ~1h long, so what he showed was a tip of huge iceberg. Ted was very confident in what he was doing, and he never lost his line of thoughts even though he was showing slides and coding simultaneously. I guess he must have presented this topic many times before to be able to do it like this ! The effect was very good.
I've also seen Corneliu Vasile Creanga speaking about "Flex and Java integration", and I was a little bit disappointed - it seemed chaotic to me. The good thing was that he showed a lot of (working) code examples to show how Flex on the frontend talks with Java on the backend, but for me, there was no time to catch breath, to sum up what we have learned with this example before moving to the next thing. I don't mean the pace of his lecture (that was ok), but the lack of visible points which would show me "ok, we have seen A & B & C, now we will see D, E & F".
I've asked Corneliu after his lecture about the issue of testing Flex applications (if there exists tools which are so powerful and easy to use as let say Selenium / Canoo Webtest for html GUIs) and he gave me some pointers to the web resources. Thanks, I'll check it.
I've also attended "SUN SPOT" lecture by Paweł Bachara, which was ok, even fun sometimes, but the topic is rather outside my field of interests, so I should have probably chosen some other lecture. I'm not into hardware programming at all, and I definitely won't buy a tiny flashlight for ~1000 euros or so ! :)

Of course choosing some lectures means you have to give up on other - so, missed few good speakers, but mostly polish guys whom I've already seen, or I'll see in the nearest future.

I was not only interested in content, but also in a way the people give such lectures. This is very important for me, cause in 2 months time I will speak at GeeCON 2009 conference (see http://geecon.org/). So I was observing how fast they speak, how they address the audience and answer questions, how many slides they have, what is on the slides (how much text/images) etc. Yeah, I've some experiences myself, but I was really curious to see how others do it (especially the ones much more experienced than I am).
What bugged me is that even the profs sometimes forget about two very basic things:

  1. you should make your fonts bigger so the audience can see
  2. you should repeat loudly the question you were asked, so the whole audience can hear

Well, I'll try to do it right myself, but of course, I'll commit some other mistakes. Register to GeeCON (the registration is already open !) and you will see. :)

Comment after GeeCON: it's rather embarrassing to say this, but I have to confess, that I forgot to repeat the questions stated by audience during my session on GeeCON. I think it's a very good lesson to me. :)

Thanks for providing this

Thanks for providing this review of the conference to all of us.

Fedora 10 plus Eclipse 3.4 plus Java 5

Mr. Tomek Kaczanowski,

I need to talk with you, but I can not find your email.
I am newer in Java. I need to prepare some work about prisioners dilemma and your work exactly what I think. But your game archive only play at windows. i can not run in Linux. Is there something I can do for running?


This used to be my blog. I moved to http://tomek.kaczanowscy.pl long time ago.


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