JUDCon

12 posts
Mark Little

JUDCon India 2012 summary

Posted by Mark Little Jan 31, 2012

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It has been less than a week since JUDCon India ended and I'm still hearing so many good things about the event. In the end I wasn't able to attend (don't ask!) and that only makes me miss the event even more. Whether it's Dimitris telling us about the record number of participants (800!), Jaikiran enthusiastic about the sessions and even taking community Q&A for the Hibernate team, Manik giving his take on it, or one of the many other articles or tweets, it seems that this was probably the best JUDCon ever and certainly the biggest! My thanks go out to all of the people who made this a success: the presenters, the attendees and the organisers. I am glad we took the decision to try India this time and I hope that it won't be the last time we go there. Of course we'll be having another JUDCon with JBossWorld (look out for the Call for Presentations very soon!) but it's important that we move the workshop around so that we can allow much wider participation from our community. So you never know ... maybe JUDCon will be coming to a city near you soon!

 

I'll leave you with a few images from the event that help to convey the great feeling of participation and community buzz that I think I could feel even from the UK!

 

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I'm just back from JUDCon London, sitting in an airport on the way to Boston with some time to write this summary. Last year we did JUDCon Europe in Berlin and it was a great choice. But this year we thought we'd move it around a little and also do something else different: team up with the JAX folks and specifically JAX London. It was an inspired decision that worked out very well! I want to say a big 'thank you' to the JAX London organisers who did a fantastic job for the two days, as well as to the JBoss team who set things up beforehand. And of course many thanks to everyone who turned up to the event and sat in the audience and participated: this event wouldn't be the same without you!

 

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The attendance was good too, and everyone I spoke with had only positive things to say about the event, the location, and the sessions. The evening lightning talks and hackfest went well, with us even having a Halloween themed competition for best lightning talks. And an Asylum Podcast (available soon!) on the Polyglot JBoss, which will make an interesting listen. Probably the only issue on the evening was that 150 pizzas was maybe slight overkill for everyone We had a mix of talks from people within Red Hat but also from our communities; the "by developers for developers" theme definitely stuck and pretty much all of the sessions I attended had a significant amount of cutting code happening on stage!

 

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On the second day I opened JAX London with the first keynote, that went well. It was about Middleware everywhere, making some of the same points from my JBoss World keynote but with less of a JBoss flavour. One thing I did notice this time though was that the audience seemed a lot younger so terms such as "pong", "floppy disk" and "6502 processor" met with some wonder and surprise. I'm getting old(er).

 

Anyway, overall I think JUDCon London was a success and I look forward to doing the European JUDCon again next year. I'm not sure where we'll do it, or if we'll tweak the format, but this one will be a hard act to follow. In the meantime we're working on the next JUDCon, which hopefully won't be too far off!

We've been working on this for a while, but we're finally able to announce that JUDCon London is open for presentation submissions! This time we're co-located with JAX London so attendees of both will be able to take advantage of this. We're cramming a lot into JUDCon this time, so take a look at the CfP and if you've got any ideas for submissions then get them in quickly as we're having to close the process on the 5th of September. (It took longer to finalise this than I'd have liked, but I'm sure we'll still get some great submissions.)

 

One final word: this may not be the last JUDCon for 2011/early 2012. I don't want to spoil the surprise just yet, so watch this space!

We just finished collating all of the great feedback we got from everyone at JUDCon and I wanted to share it with you all. (Thanks to Rayme for this information!)

 

 

1. JUDCon event stats

 

 

  • We had 222 registrations. Largest JUDCon to date.
  • When asked if JUDCon met their expectations, on a scale of 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent), the average response was 4.44 (n=26).
  • When asked "Would you recommend JUDCon to others?" everyone who replied said yes. That's right. 100%

 

 

2. Session evaluations

 

The aggregated data from speaker evaluations are as follows (n=366).

 

 

  • Rate this session overall: (1) Poor to (5) Excellent - 4.41    
  • Rate the speaker's effectiveness: (1) Poor to (5) Excellent - 4.42    
  • Rate the speaker's knowledge of the subject matter: (1) Poor to (5) Excellent - 4.77   
  • Did you have all the material that you needed? - 0.916
  • Was the speaker open to feedback? - 0.98   
  • Did the session match the title? - 0.966
  • Was the information that was presented new to you? - 0.822

 

 

The last 4 numbers (between 0 and 1) were arrived at by regarding "yes" to be 1, and "no" to be 0, and then averaging over all of the evals for that.

 

 

First of all thanks to everyone to gave feedback. It's very important for us to improve the conference as we start to think about the next one. Second, this feedback is fantastic and really shows that over the course of 12 months we've built JUDCon into THE place to be if you want to hear what's happening as a developer!

We've just completed the lineup for the next Boston JUDCon and although it hasn't gone public yet I can say that it was very difficult deciding on the sessions. We had far more submissions this time and the quality across the board was excellent, with a great mix of presenters from within JBoss and our communities. This was really good to see as well.

 

We had originally thought that two tracks for two days would suffice, giving us room for about 24 presentations. That in itself would make for an excellent agenda and hopefully a similarly excellent turn out of attendees. However, we got over 50 submissions for JUDCon and it was simply impossible to whittle them down down by over 50%! I've been on countless program committees over the years and I don't recall having had as much trouble with them as we did here. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. Anything but! This is a great situation for us to be in and I think it shows that JUDCon has quickly become an accepted part of the JBoss community.

 

So rather than get rid of sessions that really deserved to be in the conference, we racked our brains for ways around the problem. Maybe we try to add a couple more sessions early in the morning or during the hackfests? Maybe during lunch? Unfortunately neither of those options would really suffice and give the sessions the attention they deserve or allow us to have as many extra sessions as I wanted. Plus I don't want JUDCon to feel like it's chaotic or a mishmash of presentations. Therefore, we've decided to add an extra track all to itself (we're not sure whether it will be across both days or just one). This should give us about 30 presentations covering a wide range of topics that I'm sure all JBoss developers will want to attend. The fun will be choosing which ones to go to!

 

Now unfortunately even with this extra track we can't really cram 50+ sessions into the conference. Plus it wouldn't be right to accept everything that's submitted to JUDCon: a little competition really does help! So some presentations won't get in this time, but I really hope that those submitters aren't disheartened and will resubmit these sessions (or submit something new) to the next JUDCon in a few months time. Remember that without your submissions JUDCon wouldn't be as appealing or successful as it is!

 

And with that I'll just say thanks to everyone who submitted a session. We appreciate all of the hard work you put into them and the good problems that caused in making the final selection.

In case you haven't noticed, we've just announced the official Call for Presentations for JUDCon Boston 2011, which is being held immediately before JBossWorld. If you submitted something to JBossWorld and it was rejected, you may have gotten a pleasant surprise if you learned that we auto-submitted a few of those to this JUDCon. So I can say that we have a very healthy pool from which to draw the final presentations, but if you haven't already submitted something then get moving! And if you haven't signed up for JUDCon or JBossWorld, then get moving on that too.

 

See you all in Boston in May!

As I promised a week or so ago, we've been hard at work pulling together ideas for the very first JUDCon in 2011, which will be at Boston before JBossWorld. We'll do a formal Call for Presentations early in January to give everyone plenty of time to submit a session or plan the trip, but I wanted to give those people who have nothing better to do at this time of year a head start. So here's a provisional idea of what tracks we'll have, along with some examples of the type of talk that might be appropriate for that track.

 

JUDCon will be a 2 day event, with two tracks each day. So the four tracks will be as follows, though which day a given track will be on, and the official name for the tracks, has not yet been decided:

 

  • track 1: Developer-oriented projects, e.g., Byteman, Arquillian etc.
  • track 2: Beyond Java and Java EE, e.g., talks on Ruby, topics not covered by EE, such as CEP, BPM etc.
  • track 3: JBossAS and EE6, e.g., talks on Weld, transactions, performance tuning, management etc.
  • track 4: Scalability and Cloud, e.g., got anything to say about NoSQL and JPA, mobile etc?

 

Of course we may tweak things a bit between now and the official CfP, but the above topics will likely cover the majority of what we announce. So there you have it. Go and put your thinking caps on!

 

Note, if you submitted to JBossWorld and you find out that you weren't successful, there's a good chance that you have been placed into the JUDCon pool of possible sessions because your talk was considered more appropriate for the JUDCon audience. We'll put all of those cross-submitted talks on the website once we do a formal CfP and if you don't want to be considered for JUDCon just let us know then.

 

Have a very merry Christmas!

 

Update: we always have room for talks that don't necessarily fit a specific track but which are compelling for one reason or another, e.g., great use cases for JBoss projects or something just so cool that we all want to hear about it. So if you have an idea for a talk and it doesn't seem like it will fit one of the tracks initially, don't let that put you off. Submit it. You might be pleasantly surprised!

Mark Little

JUDCon 2011

Posted by Mark Little Dec 12, 2010

This year has seen the start of the JUDCon series of conferences/workshops. It's interesting to look back over the last 12 months or so and see how the idea that we needed a more developer focussed event morphed into JUDCon. The team, including, though not limited to, Rayme, Bob, Cheyenne and James, have done a great job for both of the events we've had so far. But of course JUDCon has been successful for a number of reasons, including the content of the presentations as well as the quality of the attendees! Looking back, I remember being concerned that we'd miss the mark with JUDCon and that we'd have to iterate over the format significantly for a few years (I may not have said as much explicitly, but I was concerned nonetheless!) However, it seems like we got it almost right by the end of the second event and I have to say that I am very pleasantly surprised!

 

So now we're about to enter the second year for JUDCon and I'm really looking forward to it! We did great in 2010 with Boston and Berlin, but I'm hoping that we can do even better in 2011. I know that the community is behind us and wants to hear more about what we have planned for the coming years, but also wants to show how much they are also contributing to the success of JBoss technologies! JUDCon is a great venue to hear about what we have planned, whether it's for Java EE6, for Cloud, or even for Ruby! JBoss is eclectic and so is our community. I don't think I've ever seen this reflected anywhere better than at JUDCon. The passion of the developers is matched by the passion of the audience and the atmosphere is electric. If you haven't been to a JUDCon yet then I encourage you to do so. If you have been before then hopefully you'll understand why it's worth coming back.

 

We haven't got all of the details for 2011 iron out yet, but we are definitely having a couple of JUDCon events again. The first will definitely be in the US and so it's with pleasure that I can announce the dates for that: JUDCon 2011 Boston will be held on the 2nd and 3rd of May just before JBoss World. It will be multiple tacks, hackfests and unique material that you won't find at JBoss World. However, it will compliment JBoss World, so this will be a great opportunity to attend both events.

 

Unfortunately I (we) haven't figured out the themes for this first JUDCon of 2011, but you can probably guess at some of the core things we'll want to cover: JBossAS, Cloud, community and developer focus. So despite the fact we haven't quite got everything nailed down, this shouldn't prevent you all from either figuring out how you can attend in the audience or what you might want to submit in terms of a session. Both are critical to the success of any JUDCon. So put your thinking caps on! I'm hoping to announce the themes over the Christmas period, so watch this space. Though if the announcement does slip into January don't worry, it just means that some of us got waylaid by turkey, mince pies and various alcoholic beverages!

 

So with that I'll just remind you all again to get ready to submit sessions and put the dates into your calendar. And I'll also take this opportunity to wish you all a very merry festive season and thank you for supporting us over the years! JBoss is a community effort and I/we are grateful for everything the community does. Paraphrasing what my two illustrious colleagues/friends who once held my position used to say: we love you, and Onward!

http://pilhuhn.blogspot.com/2010/10/judcon-berlin-review-with-pictures.htmlIt's almost 2 weeks since JUDCon Berlin started and I wanted to give a retrospective on how it went and what lessons we have learnt.

 

The venue itself was incredible and many thanks to all those involved in organising things. And although we were late to putting out a call for papers and then the subsequent agenda (note to ourselves, we need to do both of these well in advance of the actual date for the event), the attendance was terrific. We've had several people blog about their perceptions of the event, but I can say that every one of the sessions I attended was packed, often with between 40 and 60 people. As you can see from the agenda, we also had a good mix of JBoss people presenting as well as community participation. All of the talks were good technically and many of them were pretty entertaining as well; for instance, Steve Ross-Talbot's on Testable Architecture and the Savara project.

 

The hackfest and lightning talk events on the first evening went well into the night, with several good sessions. Where we probably need to improve things is in this area: it was slightly too free-form, so in the future we're likely to have a lightweight process in place that helps identify which hackfests are going on and where. However, even saying that, the feedback I received on the night and the next day was that the hackfest went well and those who attended got a lot out of it.

 

Compared to the first JUDCon in Boston, I think this one went better. Not because the quality of the presentations was better, or that we had better attendees, but purely because we had two days over which to schedule things. Trying to push 2 days worth of sessions into 1 day, which is what we did in Boston, made things more complicated for those attending and impacted the feeling of community that we wanted to achieve. So in the future we will definitely try to have 2 days or limit the amount we try to achieve in the time we have available.

 

So in conclusion, I thought that Berlin was a great venue for the event and that, in the main, we did a great job of hosting it and scheduling a series of presentations. We may even make Berlin the home for JUDCon Europe for the next few years if there's enough positive feedback ;-)

 

My thanks again to all those who attended as well as all of those who helped to create and organise JUDCon Berlin (not all of whom could attend). It rocked!

So the very first JUDCon is over and planning begins for the next event in Europe. It was a great event with a pretty good turn out for the first occasion. It seemed that everyone who attended the sessions got a lot out of them and the direct contact with core developers and their communities should lead to further improvements in our projects: it's a lot easier to talk with someone face-to-face than via a forum or email and you tend to get a lot more done. I lost count of the number of times people came up to me and said they'd got as much done in a day at JUDCon as they would expect to do in weeks of to-and-fro activity at a distance.

 

I don't want to single out any one session or track, but it's probably true to say that Infinispan stole the show. Manik and his team have done a great job over the past year or more and this showed through with the attendees, their questions, feedback and of course the JBoss Community Recognition Awards, which was almost a clean sweep for people related to the Infinispan project. We'll definitely be hearing more from the team in the next few months and who knows, maybe at the very next JUDCon too!

 

It was also good to see a mix of community related projects in the tracks. Yes JBossAS and related projects dominated, but there was time for other projects such as Mobicents, JBossESB and TorqueBox. And judging by the feedback I had from talking with attendees afterwards, this mix of projects was something they appreciated. In fact some of them found it pleasantly surprising to see that although we may have been relatively silent over the past year or so we've been hard at work innovating. It was also good to see that there was a mix of attendees too, not just those using projects from the community but also customers who wanted to understand what was coming from us in the future.

 

After the tracks we had the Community Recognition Awards, followed by copious amounts of pizza and the hackfests. It seems that we may need to rethink the hackfests and not put them straight after a full day of talks or not position them too close to a bar or pub, since they did eventually degenerate into a drinkfest. Oh well. At least it was still By Developers For Developers!

 

So finally I want to say thanks to everyone who attended, whether presenting or listening. It was a wonderful event and I'm looking forward to JUDCon 2010 Europe!

Mark Little

JUDCon hackfests

Posted by Mark Little May 14, 2010

We've been spending a lot of time and effort thinking about how best to structure the hackfests that we're setting up to run throughout the night of JUDCon. With this being the first ever JUDCon we don't have any precedence to fall back on, so we've been basing this on our collective experiences from other conferences and workshops.

 

In the general spirit of JUDCon ("By developers for developers") we're going to ensure that the hackfests are as technical as they need to be so people can come along and learn as well as contribute to their favourite project(s). There'll be several JBoss Core Developers around at each hackfest throughout, just to answer questions and facilitate collaboration. But the general theme will be on promoting different topics/projects of interest, with the potential for several groups to be working through problems with their communities concurrently. The initial list of topics will be published on the JUDCon site before the event, but we'll allow for people to add more on the day. I know that Bob McWhirter will be there to discuss JBoss Cloud, Ruby and JBossMC Deployers, for example, and I'm hoping to persuade Bill Burke to stick around and help with any REST questions and tasks that may arise.

 

If you're completely new to JBoss, open source or simply want to move from being a user to being a contributor, then we'll have a list of project tasks that we'll be giving out on a first-come-first-served basis. Of course we'll not expect you to have to work on them alone, particularly if this would be your first time, so the JBoss people will be there to lend a hand. But this is a great way to get to know the open source methodology as well as become part of an open source community.

 

Finally, we're introducing the concept of "lightning talks": every hour or so a few people will get a chance to stand up and give a quick presentation on a topic, project or idea that's important to them. It could be related to a JIRA that they've been working on. It could be about a new open source project they're thinking of starting up. It could be about a specific aspect of an existing project that they believe the audience will find interesting. As long as it's related to the core theme of JUDCon, pretty much anything will be allowed. There'll be a sign-up sheet on the day and we'll make the selections as we go through the evening.

 

So there'll be a lot going on in the hackfests and plenty of opportunity to get involved. I'm hoping we can provide sustenance for the body as well as the mind throughout the night, so come along!

I get to write the first entry Hopefully it won't be the last.

 

JUDCon voting for the community track is going on now. If you haven't voted then you should do so now. The tracks are shaping up to offer an excellent in depth series of talks on many of our projects. There's still time to register for the event as well, so get going as the places are running out rapidly.

 

Finally, we're working on the hackfest format at the moment. I'll post something about that later once we have a better idea, but I can say that they're going to be very free-flowing and dynamic. So if you have an idea for something you'd like to present at a hackfest and get feedback on from JBoss engineers and the wider community, come along on the day.

 

I'm looking forward to seeing many new faces at the first ever JUDCon!