I had the good fortune to visit Paris last week for Devoxx France. When traveling to conferences in exotic locations, I like to bring a travel partner. This time, I asked my daughter, Abbie, to join me. She gladly accepted. Springtime in Paris can be a beautiful event. The grass is green, the flowers are blooming and the sun's rays blanket the city.
We arrived in Paris on Tuesday, April 19 and quickly found our way to our hotel. Its location was ideal: across the street from Le Palais des Congrès de Paris convention center and mall. Since the conference was at the convention center, it made logistics for my talks very convenient. We grabbed a quick bite after settling in, then took a 15-minute stroll to the Arc de Triomphe.
That evening, we joined Ippon developers and friends at a special event for Java Hipsters. Their rooftop location had great views, cold "Java" beer and I met a lot of enthusiastic developers. I especially enjoyed talking with the original Java Hipster and founder of JHipster, Julien Dubois.
The sunset over Paris provided a splendid backdrop for the festivities.
On Wednesday, Abbie and I got up early and headed to Versailles. We toured Château de Versailles, the Gardens and Marie-Antoinette's estate. I'd never visited this area of Versailles and never realized what I was missing. We rented a boat and practiced rowing on the Grand Canal to get ready for rafting season.
That evening, we stopped by the Restaurant Le Sud for the speaker's dinner. It was fun seeing familiar faces and meeting new folks.
Thursday was my first talk, but we had the morning free to explore. We headed for the Eiffel Tower and rode its north elevator straight to the top. The views where spectacular and Abbie got goosebumps from the gentle sway.
We wanted to see the Catacombs of Paris that night, and made it just minutes before it closed. Seeing the remains of millions of people's bones stacked on top of each other frightened Abbie more than standing on the glass floor in the Eiffel Tower. I experienced more heebie jeebies from the floor. We popped out of the Catacombs near the excellent Thai Paragon and stopped for a delicious meal. Abbie tried duck for the first time and loved it.
I had two talks on Friday, a quickie on how to write an InfoQ Mini-Book with Asciidoctor and a 45-minute session on The Art of Angular in 2016. I wrote the InfoQ Mini-Book presentation using Asciidoctor's Bespoke support and really enjoyed the experience. Thanks to Dan Allen for assembling this easy to use starter template! Dan was also a great help in getting the JHipster Book printed for the first time and I was pumped to have a copy with me to show off.
For my Angular presentation, I invited Abbie to kick things off, so she could experience what it's like to speak at a conference.
She did great and I followed her intro with my presentation on working with Angular 2. You can see my presentation below or check it out on SlideShare.
At the end of the conference, we attended the Les Cast Codeurs Podcast. It was all in French, but you could tell everyone was having a good time from the smiles and laughter in the audience. During the session, the Devoxx Crew surprised me with a Java Champion award. I was very surprised and humbled to receive this recognition. It was pretty cool having Abbie with me for such an honor.
Thanks to Devoxx France and Ippon Technologies for providing us with the opportunity for such a fun adventure. We had a blast!