I got back from my first ever JavaOne, and I'd have to say it was a success.
First the obligatory "look how cool I am" section...
Drank too much with Hani of the BileBlog. Congratulated Cameron John Purdy at the Tangosol party. Finally met Phil Dodds and Brett Porter, from DevZuz. Dan Diephouse and Paul R. Brown ("Yes, we're the XFire guys") had candy at their booth. Jason Hunter handed me an invite to the Google party, where I finally met Crazy Bob Lee (one of the damn nicest people ever). There I chatted with Ola Bini who is a man who makes me feel short. Re-met Jon Tirsen after a 3-year hiatus (the first hausparty in Amsterdam). Paul Hammant expounded on Mingle and other things over bowls of curry. Chatted with Matt Quail and Pete Moore of Cenqua a bit while absconding with Google t-shirts. Chatted with Matthew Porter of Contegix, the hosting providers of the Codehaus. Stood around (in my JBoss shirt) in front of the IBM booth chatting with Lauren Cooney. Met Guillaume LaForge and Graeme Rocher finally. Put some faces with the Exadel guys I'd worked with during the opensourcing of their products. Greg Wilkins reminded me the Codehaus SSL cert was expired (fixed now). Geert Bevin was as enthusiastic as ever at the TerraCotta booth. Ran into Jeremy Boynes in the lobby of the W on my way out of town. Jason van Zyl wandered the streets of San Francisco with me in search of a 7-11 and an ATM. Alex Vasseur dropped by the JBoss party to discuss event stream processing. James Strachan and Rob Davis were everywhere, of course.
Did some podcast recording with Tom Baeyens, Emmanuel Bernard, Bill Burke and Gavin King. Chatted with Thomas Diesler, Michael Yuan, Matt Quinlan, and Sacha Labourey. Enjoyed dinner with James Cobb, Mark Newton and Bela Ban. Damon Sicore, my predecessor, dropped by the JBoss party. Met innumerable coworkers whos names all fail me during my stints in or near the JBoss booth.
The fabulous Cindy Scheneck, Rebecca Goldstein and Chantal Yang arranged the booth, the party, the printing of the t-shirts and everything else that made it all awesome. Mad props to that trio, Burr Sutter, and the gaggle of sales-engineers who did an awesome job with the attendees.
With the large investment announced by Interface21, a lot of side-line analysis of business models was happening. Exactly where is the sweet spot of professional opensource? Is it training? Certifying a stack that you control? Supporting a stack that you don't? Purely professional services?
At the booth, technical demos seemed well received. A large screen and a good sound-system were definitely a wise investment. Every demo drew a large crowd around the booth. A lucky few got to see Gavin debug a demo live on stage. Seam is definitely hot this year.
Luckier still are those who "received" a "free" copy of Michael Yuan's book about Seam. Did I mention Seam is apparently hot?
We all need to realize that parties can occur on nights other than Wednesday. Luckily the JBoss->Eclipse->Google triathlon worked out, but many parties were concurrently scheduled.
I heard a lot of positive feedback from people I met about liking what we're doing at JBoss.org. They like the new look and layout. When it's common for people to throw around criticism and negativity, it's really nice to hear kind words. Sure, we've still got a long way to go, I'll readily admit, but I think we're doing a-okay.
In general, conferences like these are somewhat educational, definition inspirational, and help cement human-to-human relationships. While we all might be competitors, we're not enemies. In the world of opensource, we share the same community, so we all might as well get along and order another round of beers. Conferences demonstrate these cross-cutting commonalities that crosses P statements.