The folks in the NLJUG certainly know how to build a community and run events. JFall 2010 was in a new location this year (rather small Nijkerk, but you can get to pretty much anywhere in The Netherlands by train) and it was sold out at 1000+ attendees. And this is just a couple of weeks before Devoxx, another major Java conference literally miles away.
The conference started off with Danny Coward’s keynote which was really well attended. His content had meat (JavaME, JavaSE, JavaFX, and JavaEE) and the feedback was positive. At diner with Bert and the rest of the NLJUG team the day before, I was told that my Java EE 6 talk had the most registrations and indeed the room which was used for the keynote looked far from empty even with 6 tracks in parallel. My talk focused on Java EE 6, how we got there, and what’s causing the revival of flamewars on some community sites and overall excitement for the new platform. I managed to cram servlet3, ejb31, and cdi10 in a 3-minute closing demo. Reading the tweets after the talk seemed to indicate that people liked the session and learned several things.
Later in the day, I delivered a hands-on lab no less than three time with a total of 60 or so participants getting a feel for Java EE 6. The updated code and instructions for the labs are here. This went well after I realized we’d have no network and moved to non-Maven projects. GlassFish 3.0.1 and NetBeans 6.9.1 proved to be a good simple and sufficient combination for the labs (most people installed them on the spot).
I really enjoyed the discussions there on the night before, after a my talk, over lunch, during the labs and on the train on my way back. Lots of energy. So much for a dying Java community and technology!