Idea of founding official Mumbai’s Java Users Group came to me when I attended Jcrete Unconference in 2017 http://www.jcrete.org/ At Unconference I met with Christos Manios ( @maniosolr ) and Giorgos Gaganis ( @ggaganis ). I was really impressed with activities they carried out under Thessaloniki JUG, they founded. It made me think “do we have official JUG for Mumbai region?”
After years missing it, I finally went to JCrete last year for the first time. I went with my family and we had a great time. This year, I went back again but alone.
For those who never went, it is hard to describe the event. The boring way would be to say that it is a Java unconference.
But it is a really bad way to describe it.
Here is my current explanation.
Close your eyes. Imagine you can gather all the almighty experts in your field and put them in one place. Then imagine this place has multiple beaches, great (cheap!) food and good wine. That everyone is friendly and wants to help each other without judging. And that you will talk will all these experts all day, in formal classrooms and on the beach. You will gather a tremendous amount of knowledge.
This is JCrete.
This was my experience last year. This was my experience this year. It almost feels surreal.
I was at JCrete two weeks ago. For those who don’t know, it is an awesome Java unconference where everyone with their family to talk about Java. It has been created by Heinz Kabutz a.k.a The Java Specialist. I was really happy to see a bunch of heads I haven’t seen since moving back to Montreal.
One of the sessions I’ve led was about data visibility according to the JMM. I didn’t care about lock and synchronization. Just data visibility.
So I went to JCrete and had some really interesting discussions. Then I watched a bunch of the JVM Language Summit recordings. Then I looked at some of the frameworks that are alternatives for implementing concurrent applications. Then I looked through a bunch of libraries which provide new collection classes of all sorts. And after all that I realised that this is now the most dynamic, interesting, innovative time we’ve ever seen for Java! More than 20 years of ever improving Java and, instead of maturing and slowing down, we’re actually accelerating improvements in Java all the way from the very bottom of the stack (Java built in Java) on through every stage – new language features, new bytecodes, new JVM structures, new compiler capabilities, new hardware support, new monitoring and management, new data structures, new frameworks, even new manifestos! This is extraordinary and unexpected and delightful.
Just came back from wonderful JCrete® 2018. This year didn’t disappoint, we had close to 110 people openly sharing ideas and knowledge on both technical and soft skills matters. Here’s a picture of the final schedule, captured by fellow Java Champion Badr Elhouari:
If you are wondering what was the schedule of @JCreteUnconf 2018! Really ? my first #JCrete & #Unconference experience brilliant people with top notch content. Thanks a lot for all the disorganizers @heinzkabutz@javaperftuning@rgransberger@aalmiray@IXSC & others ???pic.twitter.com/iHk0dxSqle
— Badr Elhouari (@badrelhouari) July 26, 2018
A unique, unconventional conference
Can you imagine a conference without a list of featured speakers? Would you attend a conference without an agenda?
I was lucky enough to attend JCrete 2017, a 5-day conference for Java developers that is held in Chania-Greece, and see for myself how such a unique conference (also called unconference) works in practice.
JCrete 2017: A once in a lifetime experience
In late 2016 I was chatting with @GeertjanW about #JCrete and what I have to do to get there: I’m neither a Java Champion nor has my book already been published. For whatever reason however @HeinzKabutz invited me to the special 2017 edition of JCrete with a bigger number of attendees.
I loved every single minute being part of an amazing unconference and even better, part of that community, but honestly: It wasn’t vacation at all. From early morning to late in the night surrounded by people that have something to say and with whom one can have a great discussion is rewarding but also exhausting. Discussions where really high level.
As the conference grew nearer the thought of joining up with so many talented people from the Java community was quite daunting. I believe at least 20% of attendees were Java Champions and many had made very important contributions to the Java ecosystem.
The setting for the conference was the Orthodox Academy of Crete (OAC) located in a small fishing village called Kolymbari on the north coast of the island. Most attendees stayed at the OAC, as well as it hosting the majority of the conference sessions.
I don’t know if JCrete is the best conference in the world, as they say, but for sure is the best conference I ever attended.
This is year it was my third time and I really enjoyed. Friends, Programming and Food!
Thanks to Heinz and the whole team who made this possible: Dimitri, Rabea, Ixchel, Andres and all the others!
I don’t always write conference reviews. But when I do, they are about awesome ones. And JCrete was truly awesome. I got invited by Heinz Kabutz himself and this is pretty much the only way to get there. JCrete is an uncoference with no tickets and no designated speakers. Besides there is no conference fee but also everyone pays for themselves. This feels a lot more like a group of people meeting each other informally rather than a full-blown, very official conference. Read more …