One more year and another JavaOne conference, the 20th, has closed its doors. This time, more than ever, what I’ve seen is a truly community success. Yes, Oracle presence is big but not overwhelming, giving plenty of space to others to showcase their platforms and tools, even when they are competing with those from Oracle.
The exhibition hall, to me the central hub of the conference, vibrated this year with a perfect mix of vendor exhibitors, dynamic demos, competitions and the community hub with diverse activities. In a few meters you could pass from a demo on the latest and greatest of cloud PaaS offerings to an eye-opening prototype of an intelligent clean energy power plant. Red Hat, IBM, Pivotal, Couchbase, Tomitribe, Payara, Eclipse, JetBrains, Vaadin, ZeroTurnaround, New Relic, Riverbed… just to name a few. What surprised me the most, and very positively, was the strong message from Microsoft: their commitment to Linux and Docker development, their cross-platform mobile development framework Xamarin, and the rock solid support for Java technologies on their Visual Studio Team Services offering.
Left: intelligent clean energy power plant – Right: Java EE roadmap
The conference started the Sunday with the keynote and a mix of feelings. A bland introduction by Oracle and Intel executives, followed by a very interesting (but completely off topic) talk by Dr. Anita Sengupta about NASA missions to Mars, and finally closed by a disappointing talk on Oracle plans for Java EE 8 and 9.
Disappointment comes from the fact that the content looked a bit improvised, quickly put together. Yes, it was consolidating some of the views that groups like Java EE Guardians and Microprofile.io have been sharing during the last few months, but it sounded like too late and too ethereal. Let’s do hope for the better, however, and expect that a useful and widely supported EE specification is the result of the long time waiting for it.
On Monday, our very own Julio Palma and Kevin Hooke took the stage to speak about the foundations of Java ME developments with Raspberry Pis. Great attendance, questions from the audience, and a live demo of a Simon game fully functional.
Left: Kevin and Julio – Right: Julio and Jorge
On Tuesday, I paired with Julio Palma to speak about Java-powered middleware in the context of industrial robotics. No matter the complexity and diversity kind of machines used in industrial environments, may they be mechanical arms or any other kind of robots, Java enables architectures capable of integrating hundreds to millions of data streams with the combination of Java ME, Java SE, Docker, MQTT and cloud platforms. And again a great audience, interactive questions and a live demo showcasing how information produced by these industrial machines can be gathered, aggregated, processed and distributed to the cloud where it can be further analysed.
On Wednesday we did two sessions. First, Vicente Gonzalez and yours truly spoke about automated testing of web applications with Selenium. It was a very good session, with plenty of code examples and live demos. Standing-room only, with people awaiting outside for vacancies, and as expected lots of questions about real-world usage of Selenium.
Left: Vicente and Jorge – Right: Jorge and Mariano
For second session, I joined forces with Mariano Rodriguez, who presented his works on an open source face detection platform, based on Java, OpenCV and Raspberry Pi computers. This solution was awarded recently on the J-Prize 4 coding contest. I guess Mariano never imagined that this award would make him fly to San Francisco and present it in JavaOne!
The last day of the conference started with the Community Keynote. Opened by IBM’s Java CTO and followed by the community show, it was really fun, provoking loud laughs and tons of applauses.
Left: Java, Watson and Alexa – Right: Nao taking some rest
And between all of that, hundreds of sessions on a wide range of topics, some of them presented by the very best of the developer scene and from the key companies. We felt humbled, and honoured, to share the conference agenda with them.
Accenture speaker badges
As final words, and also my personal takeaway: Java is more alive than ever. The ecosystem of platforms and tools is huge, and grows every day. Java is at the core, or is a first class citizen, of all the major trends in software: IoT, robotics, AI & cognitive, big data, mobile, highly interactive user interfaces, lightweight architectures, reactive and microservices design approaches, just to name the most colourful of them. Java continues to represent a full-stack technology platform, diverse, polyglot, that embraces the new but is mature, stable and rock solid for enterprise development.
If you ever thought that Java was a near-dead technology, rest assured that the only limit in what we can achieve with this technology is what we can imagine. Long live Java, may you live for 20 years more.