Devoxx 2011 - Wrap up

Now that Devoxx has finished and we had a weekend in between, it is time to wrap things up. In this last #Devoxx blog for this year, everyone from the ConSol posse draws his very own personal conclusion.

# Jan

This was my first visit to Devoxx, and I am really wondering why it took me five years to decide to go there (thanx for the little push you gave me, Roland). Here are some of the key lessons I took home with me (along with lots of fun & technical stuff, of course):

  • JEE is back in the game as (lightweight) application framework, we should try it out in one of our next projects
  • Continuous Delivery concepts sound interesting but laborious to achieve, I will explore it further
  • GlassFish (my favorite AS) is pushed by Oracle very well (rolling upgrades!)
  • Google tries to push HTML5-specification process by implementing lots of stuff in Chrome not even mentioned in the spec

It’s quite hard to pick one particular talk as “the best”, but my personal highlights were the talks about Infinispan, JEE6 (the live coding session), GlassFish rolling upgrades and HTML5.


Great conference with good talks but with potential to improve in catering: This was my first time at Devoxx, a good venue for conference (Especially there is nothing much to see otherwise in the city). The relaxing cousy chairs in the conference halls are very special. Oh yes the talks!! I was there for the university + conference. Generally the quality of talks were high except some talks in the university. There were lot of session on developing Android applications, new JVM based languages and of course HTML5. There were surprisingly less sessions around Spring framework. Topics like lightweight web frameworks (e.g. Play framework), new JVM languages (e.g. Scala), continuous delivery or cloud technologies outplayed topics like Spring, NoSQL by a big distance. The keynotes were bit disappointing though. My pick for the next big thing is HTML5, Scala and to some extend J2EE6 core components. Did I like Devoxx? A: Yes, and i will definitely go next year but may be prepare some space shuttle food and take with me :-)

My bets for the best talk:
* What’s in store for Scala? by Martin Odersky
* Play 2.0, a Web framework for a new era by Guillaume Bort and Sadek Drobi
* HTML5 with Play/Scala, CoffeeScript and Jade& by Matt Raible

My Bets for the worst:
* Crash Course into Scala, (second part) by Kevin Wright
* What’s In Your Toolbox for JDK 7? by Geertjan Wielenga

Good surprise Talk: Having fun with Java and Home Automation (first part) by Vinicius Senger


This was my second time at Devoxx in Antwerp and again I had a great time. Talks were great, location was great, beer was great (I think) and food was unhealthy. There was no explicit highlight talk this year but many talks of high quality. I liked the talks on Play Web Framework, CoffeeScript, PhoneGap and HTML5. I heard @jodastephen talk about Fantom, I saw Matt Raible skiing down hill in order to check out new HTML5 technologies. So now there is only one thing for me left to do: Look forward to next year’s trip to Antwerp!


Great conference, great venue: I listened to 15 talks within 2 and a half days and was completely overwhelmed by so much stuff… Anyway, I still left with some impressions and findings. First of all, architectural patterns seem to tend towards client-centric java-applications since HTML5, REST-frameworks, JavaFX and the new Android version 4.0 provide more and more unified APIs for heterogenous clients. Secondly, many talks were about dealing with non-functional requirements like performance, scalability, security, GUI look&feel etc.. Thirdly, XML and XML-related technologies seem to become old-fashioned, since there was no talk offered here at all. JSON clearly outperformed XML in public interest.

The most memorable talks were for me - because having most impact on my job - the ones about updates in Java 7. Except for a lot of presentations in bullet-list-style I didn’t experience any substantial low-level-talk, so this is a good reason to join Devoxx 2012 again.


We had to jump over some hurdles to attend this years Devoxx. Thanks to Roland and Wolfii we managed to finally get there. The three conference days were packed with keynotes, talks and junk food. This year there were no really bad quality talks but on the other hand also not that many brilliant ones - among which the play 2.0 talk was probably the best. On the server side it seems to me that learning a new JVM language isn’t that urgent which kind of relieves me. I think Java7/8 take away some of the pain and will keep Java be the dominant language for many more years. On the client side, deep JavaScript knowledge is definately already a key qualification for every developer and with the emerge of more and more really cool frameworks and libraries this gets even more important. Learn JavaScript!

What else? Android and mobile of course - 1 million activations of Android and iOs devices per day. The Android keynote was very good although a bit to pathetic. Ah, not to forget: Use GIT and throw away SVN! Devoxx 2011 has been very exciting, exhausting, inspiring and fun - definately worth visting.


For me it was the fourth or fith time I visited Devoxx (or Javapolis), and as always it was an intellectual and physical challenge. For me, this year was really special: I did my first (and hopefully not the last) talk at Devoxx, in this case about my pet project Jolokia. Luckily, there is still some space for improvement, but I already blogged about my very unique experience.

Personally, I always find those talks most refreshing when I intend to visit one, recognize that it will be completely overcrowded so that I don’t make it in and then select another more or less by random. In this way I picked James Ward “Deploying Java & Play Framework Apps to the Cloud”. Of course, I knew James Ward before, but I wouldn’t picked this talks by its teaser. However, the talk was given in a very refreshing way (and, hey, finally a Linux box !) and the big news for me was that Heroku now has a Java stack, too (for me Heroku was always the Ruby cloud ;-). I will give it a try (especially since I’m able to get a bash login on the dynos ;-). The concept is straight and deploying by git gives some warm guerilla feeling.

Although this one was my favourite for this year, other talks were very interesting and yes, entertaining, too. Unfortunately the diabolic developer Martijn Verburg didn’t occur in Matt Raible’ downhill video although he would have made a perfect fit with his ski cap. But maybe next year ;-)

Technologies I want to try out now: Play 2.0, Kotlin (when it’s here), jHome and Android (but the latter I want to check out since three years, but still didn’t get to it. Maybe this would have been different, if ever would have won an Android device at Devoxx ;*).

That’s it …

… for this year. Sorry for all those typos and gramatical errors, the focus was on quick delivery not so on formal quality. Please let us know in the comments, whether this is ok for you. BTW, any feedback is welcome ! (also e.g. whether you would prefer to have a single blog post per review).

See ya all next year again in paradise 2012 !

Author: Roland Huß
Categories: devoxx, development