29. March 2022
Welcome to JavaLand 2022
Here I am, sitting in a cinema-style seat inside a huge auditorium, in front of a stage styled like an ancient library. Around me are almost a thousand enthusiastic people from all over the world. I'm nervous, but excited: I have not been around this many people in a long, long time. But it feels good. The lights dim and the conference begins.
The JavaLand conference is one of the largest Java conferences in Europe. Here, over a thousand professionals from all over the world come together to talk about all kinds of Java topcis.
We at QFS were very excited to attend a JavaLand conference in person again this March, since that had not been possible since 2019 because of – well, you know why. Up until the last minute it was unclear if the conference would be allowed to happen as an in-person event, but in the end, a couple of developer colleagues and me took the wonky German train system across the country all the way to Cologne to learn about the latest trends in Java development and spend some quality time together and with other like-minded people. Also, there was the promise of riding roller-coasters… But more on that later.
For us, the biggest win of the conference was the social aspect: Colleagues from Geretsried and Leipzig finally got to meet live and in color, some even for the first time. Together, we had a ton of fun, but also learned a thing or the other about topics relevant to our daily work.
In terms of speaker sessions, there was a lot of talk about Microservice architectures and the no-longer-quite-new Java 17, also some talks about applications for the buzzword technologies AI and deep learning.
Most interesting for our daily work at QFS were talks about Green Coding (assessing the environmental impact of our software) and a talk about the "State of the Java Metrics Libraries" (because we're all about making sure code works well).
However, there were also some interesting talks about non-technical topics, such as a primer on the history of feminism, about balancing mental load in teams, and about the things we don't talk about at work but maybe should.
In case of JavaLand, having the conference in person is especially important because (besides the fact that it was nice to be able to interact with speakers directly) the whole conference takes place in a huge theme park. So when strolling from one session to the next, you walk through a lovely recreation of Belle Époque France, or a Mexican canyon, or you are surrounded by a huge western-themed rollercoaster. There is also a Chinese garden. And a huge medieval castle tower permantently looms in the distance.
This makes just moving from talk to talk very entertaining.
And almost all the restaurants and cafés were filled with free snacks, drinks, and food (which was pretty great by conference food standards).
And of course, the cherry on top of the conference was the evening when many of the rides all around the park opened their gates. All attendees were free to ride rollercoasters, explore fun houses, go on the merry-go-round, or have a beer at the open bar. The technically impressive "Crazy Bats" VR rollercoaster and the dizzyingly fast spinning coaster "Winja's Fear" were some favorites among colleagues.
Personally, this was my first time attending a Java conference. I was impressed by the generally high quality of the talks and the absolutely seamless, professional organization of the event. Also, despite COVID-19 being on everyone's mind, the conference felt pretty safe, with lots of opportunities for fresh air and a laudable mask discipline among the attendees.
It really was a great mix of social get-together, learning new things, and getting a feeling for what's "hot" and "cool" right now in the Java community. I think I speak for all of us when I say that I'm looking forward to being back at JavaLand next year, when it's time for another round of "JATUMBA"!