I had the privilege, last week, of attending the Sun Tech Days. It was the first time tech days were held in South Africa, and it was worth the wait. It was two days jam packed with great ideas, great collaboration, lots of learning, lots of sharing, lots of excitement, lots of great food (The food was particularly good) and lots of free stuff (managed to score 2 t-shirts, a bouncy ball, a java mascot as well as a sun tog bag and id tag in addition to the netbeans book I won for answering a question!).
Over the next few days I shall be blogging on some of the details on the conference. For now I'll provide short synopsis.
The first day opened with a keynote from James Gosling. I must admit, it was great to see the so called "Father of Java" in the flesh! Nice to know these people are actually flesh and blood like you and me. His opening key note was not amazing but did provide a number of pointers as to Sun's thinking on java.
The day continued with tech sessions on various technologies and infrastructures, some of the key technologies touted at the convention were AJAX, BPEL (business process execution language), Netbeans - a world class IDE and EJB3.
Sun has a lot of experience running these days and I must admit, it showed. The days were well organised and ran smoothly, the speakers were interesting and for the most part excited about what they were talking about. There were exceptions to this, though these speakers were without exception, non sun people.
The sessions were generally, very tech oriented - one techie talking to another techie - (no marketing blurb) and though they were at times a little basic, necessarily so, they had enough content to keep the familiar parties, such as myself, happy. I'm sure if I was totally unfamiliar with the technology I would have found the basics to be very interesting.
Johannesburg is an amazing place - Sandton must have the largest concentration of head offices anywhere in the country.
All in all, the conference was a success. I'm very glad that I was able to go, thanks to my company for sponsoring the trip. Though the value they gained out of it was far more than the money they put in.