One fun JavaOne in the sun

My sixth time attending JavaOne, which was held in Las Vegas this year.

JavaOne Keynote: Java First, Java Always

Viva Las Vegas

This was my sixth time attending JavaOne. The first time I attended was in 2010, after Oracle had acquired Sun Microsystems. The first time I presented at JavaOne was in 2014. All of the previous JavaOnes I attended were held in San Francisco. I’m used to wearing layers of clothing and expecting cool evenings. This was the first time the conference was held in Las Vegas. The days were dry, hot and sunny. I found the city somewhat confusing and disorienting at first.

I got lost the day I was registering for the conference. It turns out that Caesar’s Palace and Caesar’s Forum are two different places on opposite sides of Las Vegas Blvd. Pro tip: Do a little research on the venue location before you start wandering around. I felt a little better when I found out I wasn’t the only one who was confused by the venue location and got lost. On the plus side, I walked three and a half miles the day of registration.

I have to admit to not liking Las Vegas as a conference venue much at first. After couple of days, it started to grow on me. I think next year, if I am able to attend, I will have a much better idea of what to expect and how to pack more efficiently. I will also drink A LOT more water, to go along with my daily intake of three cups of coffee. My lips were chapped after the second day. Luckily, my wife always packs chapstick in our luggage.

JavaOne in Tweets

As a JavaOne alumni and Java Champion, I knew that there would be two perspectives of JavaOne. There is the in-person perspective where you attend sessions and visit booths and network with Java speakers, attendees and industry experts in the corridors and exhibit halls of the conference center.

Then there is the virtual part of the conference which happens on Twitter. As someone who makes it a point to try and capture his JavaOne experience live via tweets so folks can see what I am seeing as I see it, I figured I might as well tell my JavaOne story via a series of tweets.

Pre-Trip Preparation

When JavaOne is the first tech conference your wife and daughter have ever attended, a lot of thought and care needs to go into making the experience next level. My wife outdid herself I think.

Duke on Nails

Day -1

I arrived in Las Vegas with my wife on Saturday afternoon, and we decided to take a trip to see the Hoover Dam on Sunday. Sunday was a beautiful day to prepare for a whirlwind week at a tech conference with some self-care.

Bridge opposite the Hoover Dam

I got to eat a lovely dinner Sunday night with my wife, daughter, and fellow Java Champion Rustam Mehmandarov. Networking is the biggest benefit of the JavaOne conference in my opinion. It was wonderful being able to finally spend some time with Rustam chatting in person and having more than a casual “hello” conversation in a hallway of the conference.

Dinner Sunday night with Rustam and my family

Day 0

I registered for the conference, after getting lost in Caesar’s Palace and finally finding Caesar’s Forum. Then I got to inspect the booth my company had sponsored and meet up with my colleagues Gordon and Matt.

BNY Mellon Tech booth with Gordon and Matt

I then spent some quality time with my daughter who was attending her first JavaOne conference. We drove out to the Hoover Dam in the late afternoon. More self-care and a fun tweet with a cool view of the Hoover Dam at sunset.

Bar Harbor, ME, BatMoose on Hoover Dam

Day 1

Day one of the conference would start with a classic game of “Who can spot Chandra?” at the conference. Unfortunately, my good friend Chandra was unable to attend JavaOne this year in person, but his spirit, and virtual representation was alive, well and very active at the conference. Click on the hashtag in the tweet below if you’d like to see some of the other sightings of this amazing Java Champion at JavaOne and other conferences. Definitely give Chandra a follow on Twitter!

Matt, Stuart, me and Chris finding Chandra at JavaOne

Java First, Java Always

The first of the JavaOne keynotes was on Day one and Georges Saab was talking about the 27 years of innovation of the Java Platform and the availability of Java 19.

Georges Saab in Java First, Java Always keynote

Emilie tweeted a nice picture of the slide that had the 50 Java Champions that were selected over the past two years.

50 Java Champions in past two years

Java After Eleven

The first session I would attend at JavaOne was presented by Nicolai Parlog who is a Developer Advocate at Oracle. Nicolai did a great job covering new features included from Java 11–19. It was a lot of material to cover in 45 minutes, and he did it clearly and efficiently.

Sequenced Collections

I was very excited to hear about Sequenced Collections from Stuart Marks. These new interfaces and methods they add will be a much needed addition to the Java Collection hierarchy when it hopefully arrives in preview in an upcoming version of Java. It’s also helpful to understand any challenges we may have with adapting Eclipse Collections to the new interfaces, since we have had OrderedIterable interfaces in EC for a few years.

Stuart Marks presenting Sequenced Collections

BNY Mellon Booth

Several of my co-workers were representing our company in a booth at JavaOne. BNY Mellon was a Gold Sponsor at JavaOne this year and had two speakers (myself and Rodrigo Graciano) with talks at the conference.

BNY Mellon Gold Sponsor at JavaOne
Matt’s tweet showing BNY Mellon Booth at JavaOne

Networking on Day 1

My daughter and I got to meet and catch up with Java Champion Alumni and Oracle Developer Advocates, Ana and José. I’ve met José many times at previous conferences, but it was my first time meeting Ana in person. Ana did an outstanding job on stage in the community keynote on day three.

Me, Ana-Maria, my daughter and José

I also got to see Oracle Developer Advocate Billy Korando and introduce him to my colleagues Emilie and Aqsa. It’s great when your colleagues get to meet someone in person when they’ve only previously seen them on Twitter or a livestream.

Billy, myself, Emilie and Aqsa

Lunch time at JavaOne is a great place to have a nice relaxing meal and conversation with industry experts you might run into. On day one, I got to have a great lunch with several Java Champions and my daughter.

Myself, Rustam, Brian, Sander, Mads and my daughter

Day 2

The only way to start the second day of JavaOne is with coffee, Java friends and your favorite hashtag.

Me, Chandra and Billy

Sometimes the hashtag listens and starts to generate images on its own, like the one shown in this tweet.

Chandra and Jim in some recorded video

Surviving Open Source

I gave a talk the morning of Day 2 on lessons I have learned on how to Survive working on an open source project for 18 years.

Surviving Open Source

You can see a virtual version of the same talk I gave as the keynote of IntelliJ IDEA Conf a few weeks prior to JavaOne.

Surviving Open Source keynote at IntelliJ IDEA Conf 2022

The Coffee Club

JavaOne requires coffee to be plentiful and readily available, otherwise speakers like myself would be far less coherent and intelligible. As far as I know, coffee did not run out at the conference, but this might be because I was almost always first in line. I do wish there was a coffee shop (Starbucks or Dunkin’ would have been acceptable) closer to or inside the venue to walk to, but the coffee that was put out in the morning and afternoon was ok for caffeine accumulation purposes.

Me getting some coffee before my talk.

Learn Java 19 with IntelliJ IDEA

I was extremely happy to see Mala Gupta give a talk on Java 19 with IntelliJ. I learned a few things about Pattern Matching for Switch that I did not know before the talk, which is great! My wife and daughter also thought this was the best talk at the conference. I’m curious why my talk wasn’t their favorite, especially since they’ve never seen me speak before. I consider it a great honor to come in second after Mala, even if it is with my own family. 😂

I also learned a few things about IntelliJ IDEA. I am always happy to learn new tricks and techniques that I can use with my favorite Java IDE.

Mala presenting Java 19 with IntelliJ IDEA

Hackergarten

I hosted a two hour session in the JavaOne Hackergarten along with my colleagues Emilie and Aqsa, who have been active contributors on the open source library, Eclipse Collections. (To answer your immediate question, Eclipse Collections is not related to the Eclipse IDE, but is one of many projects hosted at the Eclipse Foundation.) The session was focused on helping folks learn how to contribute to open source. As an added bonus I got to meet fellow Java Champions Tatu (creator of the Jackson serialization library) and Mala in the Hackergarten during my session.

My session in the JavaOne Hackergarten

It was a lot of fun showing Mala the new friendly additions to the Eclipse Collections Pet Kata, which looked amazing in the code assist of list box of IntelliJ. The emojis were added to the Pet Kata by Emilie. 🙏

PetType with Emojis in IntelliJ code assist

The emojis even look good in the GitHub browser (see code for PetType class below).

Java Leaders Reception

I got to see and say hello many Java Champions and Java industry leaders Wednesday evening at the Java Leaders Reception. A highlight for me was catching up with Georges Saab, and recounting our time in a Q&A about Lambdas in Java during the Strategy Keynote at JavaOne 2014.

Saab and Raab

Day 3

Day three started off with meeting someone I had only interacted with on Twitter previously. I got to meet Kaya Weers who is from the Netherlands and has a great talk she has given at a few conferences comparing Pair Programming tools. I didn’t get to see her session at JavaOne this year, but have seen it previously online.

Me, Kaya, my daughter

You can see her talk from September at JavaZone below:

Kaya presenting at JavaZone

OpenJDK Quality Outreach Program

I was excited to meet David Delabassée who leads the OpenJDK Quality Outreach Program.

Me, Emilie, David and Aqsa

I was also happy to introduce David to Emilie and Aqsa who both represent an open source project that participates in the program.

BNY Mellon Code Katas tested on OpenJDK 20 EA

The Future of Java is You

I enjoyed the Java Community Keynote and all of the speakers they invited on stage for Q&A. I captured the moment and its importance to me and my daughter in a tweet.

The Future of Java is You Community Keynote at JavaOne

One of the nicest surprises of the conference was when Sharat gave a shout out in the community keynote to Chandra who could not be at JavaOne this year. Chandra made many surprise appearances on Twitter during JavaOne, but making a surprise appearance in the community keynote is next level awesome. Thank you, and well done!

Chandra with Sharat in the community keynote at JavaOne

Modern Java App Development in the Cloud

I was excited to see Mads Opheim and Rustam Mehmandarov speak at JavaOne this year. The both did an excellent job presenting. It can be difficult to co-present with someone else on a topic, but they both had a relaxed, fluid and natural style that worked very well together.

More Networking

I got to meet Jorge Cajas for the first time after the community keynote, and have brought back some amazing looking coffee for my good friend Chandra.

Don and Jorge after the community keynote at JavaOne

A fun JavaOne tweet monitor

This monitor in the JavaOne exhibit hall was good fun. You could see your tweets show up during the conference. I had two tweets up at once here. If you made it this far in the blog, you can probably tell I shared a few tweets. Can you spot the typo? We’re all human, and it still feels like we haven’t finished 2020 some days.

JavaOne Tweet monitor in the exhibit hall. What year is this again?

Batch Processing Cloud Apps with Java

It was great seeing Rodrigo Graciano and Elder Moraes give a talk in the last spot of the last day. Their talk was very well attended and they did an excellent job presenting together.

Rodrigo and Elder presenting in last spot of JavaOne

Closing with some networking

JavaOne this year was a great conference. It was not like previous JavaOne’s which typically had ~10K attendees. Sure, it could have been bigger and better, but I think for the first time in five years, it was a good rekindling of something many of us were missing. JavaOne this year was smaller, and in some ways, this made it better in that it felt more like a gathering of family and friends. I got to hang out for a little while with a few of my fellow Java Champions on the last day of the conference in the JavaOne exhibit hall. There were even a couple of other Java Champions in the background I hadn’t noticed when I first posted the tweet.

Me, Erin, Andres, Tatu and Justin in the JavaOne exhibit hall

One JavaOne well done

There are a lot of great Java conferences, but there is only one JavaOne. This JavaOne was special for me, because it is the first time my wife and daughter attended a technical conference with me, and got to see me give a talk. They also got to experience and actively participate in the joy that Chandra brings to technical conferences, even when he can’t be there in person.

Me, Chandra and my daughter

I hope next year that I will see Chandra and all of my other Java friends at JavaOne. Hopefully after this year, JavaOne will only get better. If it does get bigger again, I hope it is able to retain the feeling of family and friends I got to experience this year.

I hope you enjoyed my JavaOne 2022 experience report. Thank you for reading!

I am the creator of and a Committer for the Eclipse Collections OSS project which is managed at the Eclipse Foundation. Eclipse Collections is open for contributions.

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Donald Raab

Java Champion. Creator of the Eclipse Collections OSS Java library (http://www.eclipse.org/collections/). Inspired by Smalltalk. Opinions are my own.