The conference officially begins!
The Java Posse Roundup officially started today. About 25-30 people have gathered here in Crested Butte, Colorado. Bruce Eckel and the Java Posse together organized this open spaces event, and I’m really enjoying myself so far. I won’t try to transcribe the sessions here, since the Java Posse will be putting them out in podcast format, assuming the audio is all fine. It’s a great experiment, and I hope that it comes out great.
The day started out at the event location, with Bruce describing the structure of Open Spaces. I’ve blogged about that before, and I’m a total convert. The ability to be able to put up ideas for discussion while at the event, thereby shaping your own experience, has totally ruined me for the eyes-forward (eyelids dropping) conferences.
It always seems a bit strange to newcomers, but those of us who have done this before eagerly rushed over to the board to grab post-it notes and write down ideas for discussions. We egged on the others, and soon the boards for all 4 days were pretty full, with 4 concurrent sessions.
The first session of the day offered many choices, all difficult to choose from. I went to a talk on Dynamic Languages on the JVM. It started out with a discussion about dynamic languages, but quickly headed toward Domain Specific Languages (easy to build with dynamic languages). At one point, we realized we had diverged, but everyone voted to keep going. We had a great 1 hour talk that included mention of Jython, Groovy, Spring, Scala, CLOS, LISP, Ruby, tuples in Java, Domain Driven Design, performance of exceptions, and many many more topics.
And, as always a huge number of book references came out of the discussion. Some were technical, others fun but also offering some perspective to technical things. I’ll list them here, just for fun (and so that I have a place to look when I want to read a new book):
Poignant Guide to Ruby (online book)
Innovation Games (by Luke Hohmann)
The Design of Everyday Things (by Donald A. Norman)
That was it for the first part of the first day. We all headed off to ski, and planned to meet up later at Bruce’s house for a BBQ. While most people downhill ski at these events, I had a hard time ignoring the Nordic trails, so off I went with another attendee and we skied the “Town Loop” (a free, flat loop in town). It was great, just what I needed while I was adjusting to the altitude.
And yes, after skiing, everyone headed over to Bruce’s, where geek talk went on well into the night. I finally left around 9:30 pm or so … it had been a long day.