Thursday, April 11, 2013

Devoxx UK 2013 Trip Report

Devoxx UK 2013 conference was my first Devoxx experience and my first trip to London.  Alright, I have been to London before but I don't count the inside of Heathrow airport a London experience.

The weather was super cold, compared to California.  I thought to check the weather before departing but it's tough to consider how cold 34 degrees fahrenheit really is until you experience it.  Lesson to me, bring some gloves and a hat.  My ears wanted to fold inside themselves, brr!  Enough about my ears.

The conference was great!  There was a lot of ground covered.  I enjoyed "Accelerated Lambda Expressions" by Stuart Marks.  I was thinking the discussion may be a little deep for me since I was really interested in an introduction but it was very informative.  If your experienced with Java but perhaps not Lambdas don't be intimidated.  Incidentally, Devoxx posts their conference sessions free on parleys.com.  Even if you attended Devoxx the videos are great because often there are some overlap between sessions so it's difficult to choose which to attend.

The Devoxx media team was busy interviewing presenters throughout the conference.  I notice my security presentation is not up on Parleys yet but the interviews have been posted to Youtube by the media team(my interview shown right).  It's a short interview and I touch on some key points around Java security and discuss my presentation.

Most valuable experience of all was speaking with all the leaders.  I have been programming for many years but I never feel too old to learn something new.  There's a lot of people, experts in their areas, and it's great have access to them and to knowledge share.  I had some really great discussions with Martijn Verburg(Twitter: @karianna ) from JClarity.  Martijn provided a presentation, "Java and the Machine".  The room was standing room only and I arrived late as usual.  Also big apology Martijn, I was the jackass who's phone rang in your presentation and excused myself fast -- duty calls. ;o)  I did get to listen to a better part of your presentation and it was great.  Thanks for the invite to present and attend!  I also had an opportunity to speak with Markus Eisele (Twitter: @myfear).  Thanks your time, the good conversation, and for your thoughtful advice!  And thanks to everyone at Devoxx.

Finally, some parting travel advice.  Don't travel with your lock picks.  Interesting enough, lock picks are not on the Banned Items list in the UK but they still raise questions passing through airport security check points.  I was detained for awhile, bag searched carefully, every item removed.  Even my box of Altoids (breath mints) was opened.  Airport security really does not have a sense of humor these days.  I guess we can't blame them.

When ask why I was traveling with lock picks I responded, "are lock picks on the Banned Items list"?  The agent replied, "No".  I said, "Any concerns"?  The agent said, "No".  And with that I was on my way.  I'm surprised that worked actually.  Anyway, better off leaving the lock picks at home next time.








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