Devoxx 2011 post-mortem

2 minute read

So, Devoxx is over. And as always, it was awesome. I’ve attended many excellent talks, and also some not-so-excellent ones. I’ve met, talked with, and had dinner with some nice and smart people. Good times were had by all.

The problem with a conference like Devoxx, however, is that there are many talks that you really want to see, but can’t, because another talk with an even better sounding abstract is scheduled alongside it. Fortunately, this problem has now been solved: every attendee will get a free subscription to Parleys! You can simply watch the talks you missed online. Within the next couple of weeks, all Devoxx talks will be available there for streaming.

To make it easier for you to decide which talks to watch first, I’ll list here the best talks that I have attended. (Maybe, if I’m not too lazy, I’ll add some hyperlinks once the talks are up.) If you, dear reader, have attended Devoxx as well, and have seen great talks that don’t appear in this list, please mention them in the comments! That way, I will know which ones to watch, too :).

Here are, in chronological order, my favourite talks of this year:

  • The Diabolical Developer by Martijn Verburg. Challenging the agile establishment. You constantly need to think about the advice he gives, because it’s never quite clear when he’s serious and when he’s ironic. Often, he’s somewhere in between. Also, I thought he was quite funny.
  • Above the clouds by Jonas Bonér. Excellent introduction to Scala’s solution to handling concurrency.
  • HTML5 with Play/Scala, CoffeeScript and Jade by Matt Raible. Watch this if you want to know how to get a free trip to Antwerp, and learn some cool stuff along the way.
  • Is Fantom light years ahead of Scala? by Stephen Colebourne. Interesting and subtly funny critique of Scala.
  • The evolution of Java: past, present and future, by Joshua Bloch. Fast-paced critique of each and every language change since Java 1.0.
  • What Shazam doesn’t want you to know, by Roy van Rijn. After watching this, you will be able to implement Shazam yourself. Seriously. Also, you will have learned something about the dark side of the software patent system.

I’ve also heard good things about the following talks, from people who have attended them:

  • The well-grounded Java developer, by Martijn Verburg and Ben Evans.
  • Fireside chat with Tim Bray, Cameron Purdy, Mark Reinhold and Henrik Ståhl.
  • Java: the good, the bad and the ugly parts, by Joshua Bloch.
  • Language / library co-evolution in Java SE 8, by Brian Goetz.
  • Rules for good UI design, by Joe Nuxoll.
  • Courage in software development, by Dick Wall.

Have you attended a great talk that I didn’t list here? Please tell me in the comments what made it great!