There are a lot of interesting tech conferences in 2016. If you want to stay up-to-date with the technology you are developing with (and you have available time and budget), there is some conference out there for you. Just do a simple google search to explore the possibilities. If you are quick enough in making up your mind and registering for a particular conference, you will most probably be able to get an early bird discounts. Last year I’ve visited Devoxx Poland in Krakow. Devoxx is an annual European Java, agile, mobile and web conference. It was originally created by Belgian Java User Group. Last year the conference took place in Belgium, UK, France, Poland and Morocco. Many top industry speakers were talking about interesting topics. More than 10.000 developers visit those conferences annually.
Although it’s usually possible to watch all the presentations online (even for free), visiting a conference gives you some additional perspectives. One example: every day we got used to work in a team with some 5-10 other good Java developers. Just imagine how you would feel when you are at the same place with e.g. 2000+ other Java guys. And many smart people who present out there at the stage. It’s something you need to experience.
Devoxx Poland is my top choice for 2016 as well. For many reasons. Very well organized conference, great topics, great speakers, affordable price, to mention a few. Visiting Krakow in June is a nice experience, too.
In this post I will write a short review of the conference last year (2015).
Devoxx Poland 2015
Although last year Devoxx was organized for the first time in Poland, the team who realized it had a 4 year experience in organizing “33rd Degree”, a Java conference with a very similar concept. That’s why it was no surprise Devoxx Poland 2015 went very smoothly. At least from the eye of the attendees. While on the other side, I guess, the organizes did not catch much sleep during the conference days. Nevertheless, it was worth it. They did a great job.
The two topic that took my attention the most are functional programming and microservices. There were many talks regarding those topics. Apart from that, you could also hear many things about software architecture, reactive programming, real life stories about using Scala in a Java team, continuous integration, outlook of the next Spring framework version, coding culture, agile etc.
One of the biggest values of this conference is that you can hear and learn from top authorities, speakers and influencers from the industry, who come from all over the world. Let’s name a few:
- Hadi Hariri from JetBrains, guys who created InteliJ IDEA
- Dr. Venkat Subramaniam, an award-winning author, great speaker, an academic and technical authority
- Sam Newman, a technical consultant from ThoughtWorks, author of Building Microservices from O’Reilly
- Sven Peters, an Evangelist for Atlassian and a seasonal speaker
- Simon Brown, technical consultant from UK, author of “C4 model” for describing, visualizing and communicating software architecture
- Jurgen Appelo, a creative networker, speaker, author of Management 3.0
- Adam Bien, author, speaker, Java champion
- Josh Long, Spring Developer Advocate from Pivotal, speaker, author, Java champion
- Nathaniel Schutta, author, speaker, software architect
- and other more or less famous people, who took very interesting and good prepared presentations.
Devoxx Poland takes place in the ICE Krakow Congress Centre. This congress center is huge, new, modern building and is really great. It can easily host few thousand people. It is situated near Vistula river and has a great view to the old Krakow fortress and the city.
During the conference, at the venue you can check many companies’ booths and talk with them about their business, job vacancies etc. Though, all open positions are mainly for Polish guys or those who live there. For the rest of us, there are nice souvenirs, t-shirts or the possibility to grab a good coffee or cocktail. There were also O’Reilly booth with many books you were able to buy with a significant discounts. There is enough place in the venue to socialize and talk to other people during breaks.
One conference room was in a Best Western hotel, which is literally next door to the congress center.
Note: When you register at the conference, you get an NFC band, you use to authorize yourself when entering the building. Usually, they checked this in the morning only.
What You Get for the Conference Fee
For the price of a bit more than 200 €, you get an access to the conference and all talks, some small presents, a conference t-shirt, buffet lunch each day of the conference (though you have to be fast to get to the lunch queue), snacks, coffee, juice during breaks. You are also invited to a party organized in a club downtown. One evening there were also some nice beers served and we were invited to a chill out evening to the bar by the river.
In 2015, you also got a free O’Reilly e-book by your choice (from a long list of titles) as well as Parleys account with the exclusive access to all conference videos. Later, Devoxx guys decided to publish all conference video recordings freely on youtube. It’s kind of a trend these days, I guess. Seems also to be easier for the organizers. They will sold out all the conference tickets, anyway. 🙂
Travel and Accommodation
As of accommodations, there are many options. Last year, we have booked an apartment near the congress center, which was very good, with an affordable price. Just do the search on booking.com or google and you’ll be able to find what you like.
Krakow is a nice city, with a rich history. There are many historical places to visit. On the other hand, being one of the biggest university cities in Poland, you can see many young people and feel a modern atmosphere, too. Definitely, once you’re there, spare some time to explore and enjoy the city.
Devoxx Poland 2015 Videos
All recordings of the 2015 conference are available on youtube if you like to check them. Enjoy! 🙂