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Last changed: Oct 19, 2011 10:09 by Stephan Janssen

JavaOne 2011: the good, the bad and the ugly

This was my 15th pilgrimage to JavaOne and the first time as a JavaOne (external) steering member. Overall it was a much better experience compared to last year, considering the infrastructure restrictions.

But there's still room for improvement, here's my list:

The Good

  • More registered attendees compared to last year, hopefully JavaOne can out grow the 3 hotels so we can finally move back to Moscone (West) next year?!
  • The additional pavement signs and extra 'Ask me directions' people was a great help within the JavaOne labyrinth.
  • I also liked the tweetwalls, I know I've seen this somewhere before
    Small remark: remove the general schedule info (top part) because that info was too high level to be helpful anyways.

  • One of the suggestions I remember making was to group the content tracks per hotel. As a result you would stay in one hotel when you're interested in Java EE. The flip side is of course that you'll not run into people interested in client side stuff etc.
  • Having the possibility to have lunch in all 3 hotels was also a good improvement, again limiting the number of conference miles.
  • Extra lounge areas in all hotels was also appreciated.
  • Rescheduling talks to a different room at the very last minute did not happen anymore which really helped finding the rooms/hotel.
  • Recording the sessions and making them available on is really "Moving Java Forward" I know this is an extra investment for the organizers but should be seen as marketing for next years JavaOne and in addition making the JavaOne brand even stronger. Also my experience with Devoxx is that making talks public available DOESN'T cannibalize attendance, actually on the contrary!

Suggestion: Devoxx records ALL the presentations, makes them available for free for the attendees and have others pay a small subscription fee. People who don't want to pay have to wait for the free talks which are released per week. This approach allows you to (partly?) cover the recording and post-processing costs! I'm sure that Oracle could also find companies to sponsor the recordings and give them extra exposure (for example 10 second intro or logo in the footer of each talk) on each talk.

  • The most interesting part of JavaOne are the hallway discussions and the social events (Java User Groups and Java Champions walking dinner, JavaPosse and O'Reilly party just to name a few). For me that's the real value of JavaOne, meeting my Java Community peers and also (potential) Devoxx speakers.

Who's that guy in the blue shirt?

  • The Community Keynote was for me the most enjoyable keynote during JavaOne, of course being on stage announcing the collaboration between JavaOne and does help

The Bad

  • You could feel more people attended JavaOne this year based on the wireless, or lack off. This wireless was a problem this year. People want to tweet, blog or upload pictures but when the wireless can't handle the load you get less online conference coverage which is never good. I had to go to my room so I could tweet and check my email
  • As a result I was unable to use the JavaOne mobile app because it didn't work offline! And when it did work it asked my JavaOne username to get access to MySchedule each time over and over again. So next years mobile app MUST work offline, ask your email once and then store that info for future usage.
  • On a more positive side, both the online and mobile app were sync'ed which was not the case last year!
  • Please remove the boring Partner keynotes. I would schedule them as a separate independent keynote so the sponsor needs to work for the attendance, making sure they've a good story and speaker. Of course IF it has to happen during the normal keynotes, scheduling up-front does work because people have to stay. But next year I'll just sleep 30 minutes longer :o)

The Indifferent

  • Do we really need the Mason Street setup? If we do then please use a tent next time. BTW I was told during one of the JavaOne steering conference calls that it never rains in October, hmmm.

The rain gods at work

The Ugly

  • Several conference rooms had such a low ceiling that the screen was so small only the first 3 rows could see something, the other 25 rows only saw 25%... this is not acceptable! When selecting hotel rooms PLEASE introduce a minimum height for the ceiling and projection screen this way everybody can see the slides and demo's!!


  • The 3 hotels setup remains the main problem for JavaOne and being the side-kick event of Oracle Open World doesn't help either. "But then you can't have the appreciation (rock concert) event" isn't why I'm attending JavaOne. So please Oracle get JavaOne back into Moscone West ASAP!

See you all at Devoxx 2011.

Stephan Janssen (@Stephan007)

Posted at 11 Oct @ 10:31 AM by Stephan Janssen | 0 comments
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