Everyone and his dog has been blogging about JavaOne, so if you weren’t there you should by now know what you’ve been missing. I’ll try to keep it short then, summarizing my super-hectic week in a few paragraphs.
The conference, first. I have mixed feelings about it: my first comment would be “WAY too big”. You know how everything was organized in queues, and I have to confess Sun did an outstanding job in regulating 15K people swarming into and around the Moscone center. Most probably the content was nice, and a lot of people had a lot to learn, but I have to confess I almost lost my interest in conference sessions, given how I value much better the networking opportunities. And there is little if any possibility to network with a huge flood of people who has a tight schedule of pre-booked seats in sessions. Our talk was fine, and we had lots of fun performing it, even though our evil plot of presenting 30 Open Source projects was ruined by severe lack of time. Slides are online, if you feel like having a look at what we’ve been up to.
The exhibit hall: great for looting gadgets (I managed to grab a big bag full of stuff), much less so from a business perspective. Too crowded, again, which I reckon might be great for exhibitors, yet it definitely sucks for real business as you might be lucky to get a five minute slot with the guy manning the booth before some kid bumps you out so that he can have the free pen as well. It was OK for collecting business cards and networking with a few existing and future partners, but I had to resort to off-site meetings to get some work done: brownie points go to Atlassian for letting me crash their offices and bash their new partner program (special thanks to Todd for kicking my ass on a wonderful golf course during the week-end) and Terracotta for a great party (gee… unlimited booze and no stupid drink tickets, how about that?), some Chinese food to remember and a superb business conversation: those guys rock. Too bad agendas were colliding, which meant I didn’t get to meet the Iona guys, but I’m sure we will be able to find some quality time in the future.
San Francisco: it was my first time there, and I had great expectations. Despite being in a dodgy neighborhood (do avoid the Ramada Plaza, now known as Whitcomb, if you can: despite being in Market street, it’s just two blocks too far from the nice part of town), I have to say Frisco lived up to my expectations, and I still consider it one of the few places I might be willing to live if we ever were to move to the USA. At a very least because of the incredible climate, which suits me just fine.
People: it’s always nice to meet new people, and it’s definitely great to meet new excellent people. I spent a lot of time resonating and having fun with Henri, one of those guys that just get it and manage to have a very clear vision of what Open Source should be. And I have to mention that, despite this stupid guy trying hard to piss him off with a no-show at our first meeting, I had one of the most pleasant evening dinner and chat in a long time with Joseph di Paolantonio and Clarise: if talking about Open Source and posting recipes earns me such incredible people, I will never stop blogging. And of course I shouldn’t forget mentioning how great is hanging around with Brian: we should definitely have more talks together, at a very least as this makes a great chance to meet despite having an ocean and then quite some land between us.
I’m back now, with an impressive record of 2h13m average daily flight time since January (I bet there are pilots doing less then me), not to mention over 100 timezone been traveled in just a few months. This week I’m enjoying home before hitting the road again, as Sourcesense business is now claiming its fair share. Which will bring some interesting news for the near future… just stay tuned.
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