JavaCro 2016 - Two Perspectives

Posted by Slaven Tomac Monday, Jun 06, 2016
Amphinicy at JavaCro 2016 break

A blog post by Misel Mesnjak and Slaven Tomac about JavaCro 2016 from backend and frontend developer perspective.


JavaCro 2016 from a perspective of a Java (backend) developer

To immediately make the punch line using the words of one of the presenters at the conference (Emanuel Darlea, from Genuitec) when asked about how he finds JavaCro thus far: "Country and location... great, people and food... great, quality of conference talks... so-so".

Even when said with a joking tone you could certainly find it to be quite true. And now a disclosure: I've never before attended a JavaCro or any other mostly Java oriented conference so this view may not apply to you, valued reader, but in my case, even without a proper measuring stick to apply to it, I also found the conference lacking in the quality department. It was mostly in presentational style and the ability of presenters to captivate the audience. It's not even that conference talks were that boring, or that subjects for talks were poorly chosen, or that the speakers didn't care about the matter they were talking about, but for the most part, it looked like persons giving talks were somehow "forced" to do it.

On the other hand some of the talks that appealed to me like "Unikernelize your Java application" by Mario Žagar from Infobip were a tad bit too short and maybe missed some concrete examples of the subject matter. Likewise, some keynote speeches that gave the overall, big picture of the current state of Java ecosystem were on the right track and gave a good note to the conference in general.

Maybe I'm too harsh in giving my opinion this way, but things seem to each and every one of us differently - that is just a cold, hard fact. It could be, that my lack of experience in choosing a right track to listen to and a little too much switching between tracks led me to have this overall not-so-good feeling about the formal part of the conference, but there it is.

Besides a formal part (talks and speeches) of the conference, it was nice to see some old faces and catch up, meet some new faces and learn about what they are doing and see the general direction towards which Java community is moving. These informal parts of the gathering were and probably are the best part of such conferences anyhow, since networking and making contacts are an essential ingredient of any professional's career.

All-in-all I hope to get another chance to visit some of the future JavaCro conferences and see in which direction the whole scene will move, and hopefully, prepare an interesting enough speech about some of the cool stuff we do here at Amphinicy.

 

JavaCro 2016 from a perspective of a web (frontend) developer

Now, when you read a perspective from a Java backend developer let me give you my point of view. I work in Amphinicy as a frontend developer, but I have a lot (from a frontend developer perspective :)) experience in the backend area too.

My first visit to JavaCro was 2014 when I was told that maybe I should apply for a lecture. My first thought was, well, wait, it's JavaCro, is it really a conference for me, but my colleagues convinced me to apply for a talk, so I applied for Unit testing in AngularJS. I didn't think they will accept it, but they surprised me as they had to separate them just for Web and Mobile, so I went. At first, I was surprised how many talks I could hear that were tightly bound to JavaScript. A lot of interesting talks, together with mine, were related to the frontend (JavaScript).

This year, I applied for the conference again, just as a listener, but I must say that I expected more. There were only seven lectures related to Web and Mobile, and one more related to web development (Angular2 - New weapon in developer's arsenal), but placed within Java platforms, frameworks and servers section, sorry,  but my opinion is that this should have been inside Web and Mobile section. And it was overlapping with ES6 and the future of Javascript talk - that should have also been scheduled differently.

From those which I found most interesting inside Web and Mobile section, I will point out two lectures: Demand-oriented Web Architecture and Modularize your Angular application in two weeks, which weren't pure technology oriented talks, but which were more project structure/architecture based and they also included a few technology introductions. I guess I liked those the most because I'm dealing with a same troubles/thoughts myself and they solved them as I would/did :).

Let me now turn to non-web/frontend talks. Those were, on the other hand, really interesting and they gave me a pretty good insight on what's going on in Java world. Branko and Aleksander from HUJAK gave a really interesting talk (Why we live in the world of Java) where he pulled out a bunch of the statistics on how much Java is used and where. Branko went through the history of Java and future development. He also went through a lot of services and business portal to inform us how Java stands amongst other languages and how many jobs are offered to Java developers. In the most of the fields Java was in 1st place, but where it wasn't, there was JavaScript, so for a web developer, I liked the stats too :). Overall, it was nice to see how Java is developing and where it's headed.

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