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Over 10 years ago, I wrote my first blog post. Since then, I've authored books, had kids, traveled the world, found Trish and blogged about it all.

JavaOne - do you have a plan?

I've never been to JavaOne before, but this year I'm attending thanks to SourceBeat. I was planning on attending this conference as I do most - show up, look at the sessions and attend the ones that sound interesting. If it's anything like the MySQL Conference I attended in April, I won't be attending many. There were a lot of PHP and clustering sessions that just didn't interest me, so I only attended a few sessions each day. Compare that to NFJS, where there were many interesting sessions that same time and I hated choosing one over the other.

JavaOne is approaching fast and we'll all be there in 10 days. There seems to be a lot of folks planning what they're going to see each day. Is this a good idea, or can I get away with wingin' it? What about the parties - I've heard about them, but I have no idea what they entail? Are they corporate sponsored - or just a bunch of guys going out drinking together?

Posted in Java at Jun 18 2004, 05:00:00 PM MDT 9 Comments

I've been three times so far, and I very rarely have free time, except maybe towards the end of the conference. With the BOF's at night, there isn't much sleep to be had, although I almost always skip the keynotes. Anyway, I typically plan a day in advance. I generally *think* I can wing it and try, which means I have a few very hectic days early on as I miss sessions I want to see or whatever, and then I get my act together a bit more by the end. So, I'd encourage you to, when you get there and pick up your schedule book, at least try to find the sessions you want to see the next day. Also remember to find time to pick up lunch! My first time I didn't even realize they gave you lunch until Thursday or something.

Posted by Paul Mclachlan on June 18, 2004 at 07:30 PM MDT #

Heh, yeah I had the same issue with lunch. Last year was the first time going for me and I planned like crazy. But for all of the planning it did not matter much unless you are somehow able to get to each session very early. Otherwise you will need to have a lot of patience with the llooonngg lines and have a lot of faith that the session would not fill up. Generally, I tried to attend the BOF's and never missed the corporate sponsored parties. And honestly, after the first couple of days just pretty much gave up on the day sessions and spent times discussing matters with those I met during the BOF's and the like. First you meet interesting people with interesting ideas and second you also make some good friends/contacts doing so.

Posted by Harold Neiper on June 18, 2004 at 08:06 PM MDT #

This will be my fourth JavaOne (attending as a speaker each time, including this one) ... and likely to be my most hectic yet. My concern about just winging it onsite with the schedule book is the sheer scale of the thing ... there's at least ten simultaneous sessions all day, and even more simultaneous BOFs at night. I would recommend setting up a login for your personal schedule ahead of time (, and at least planning out your "must see" sessions and BOFs ahead of time, without the crunch time experience of trying to do it on site. The calendar planning tool makes this easy ... click a time slot and choose one of the available slots. At least in past years, the catalog isn't sorted by time (there's an insert for that), so doing this manually is a huge exercise in paper shuffling.

Posted by Craig McClanahan on June 18, 2004 at 10:32 PM MDT #

Last year was my first, and I'm not going this year... What I learned was that there's a lot of fluff in the sessions and BOFs and I wished I'd spent more time at the parties and just meeting people. Don't fall into the trap of going to sessions just for the sake of filling up time, either... I can't count the number of Web Services presentations I went to last year that all basically covered the same stuff... Wish I'd been drinking instead :-)

Posted by Jason Carreira on June 19, 2004 at 11:16 AM MDT #

Whatever you do, don't forget about the java.blogs meetup! :) m

Posted by Mike Cannon-Brookes on June 20, 2004 at 12:20 AM MDT #

Never been, either, and finally had a manager step up and agree to send some people. Already have my schedule fiilled up 8am-11pm every day and still have 2 dozen sessions on the "interest list" in case any sessions are lame. I'll never make it to all of them, but at least I know if I have time which ones to go to.

If you've registered, go to, click 'sessions', then on the upper-right clikc 'Login to My Schedule'. If you then add sessions to your interest list and go back through and set priorities (separate page), you can click something like 'Auto Schedule' and it will come up with your itinerary for the sessions (other stuff is available but not scheduleable). Looks like a lot of good sessions.

I'd suggest not just winging it, because based on the sessions descriptions there's definitely some that you would not want to end up at, even for a few minutes. And if there was a really good one at the same time, it would be a shame to have missed any of it. Like Jason said, it appears that some sessions are a rehash of others and should be skipped. Take an hour and do the scheduler and you'll thank yourself for it later. If you add stuff to your interest list and prioritize it, you can also print your "leftovers" interest list as backup to the schedule if you find the session you schedule is really lame. Oh, don't forget to check out the evening BOFs -- there's a TON of them, and there's some really cool ones, too. Like, Paul, I don't intened to visit the keynotes except the ones for McNeely and Gosling (I want to see the t-shirt tossing contest contraptions and hear what he's been up to).

Mike, don't forget to post the time/place when you decide on the meetup. Should be a good one!

Posted by gerryg on June 21, 2004 at 10:23 AM MDT #

Additional note:

And I quote:

"JavaOne has many things to offer. Even with the 8:30 a - midnight schedule, there just doesn't seem like enough time. Planning ahead can help. You can start at the JavaOne Catalog, or create a personalized schedule. There is also a JavaOne wiki. Hint: when trying to decide technical sessions, look at the speaker. The good sessions get locked out early. I showed up to a session 5 minutes early and the doors were already closed."

Posted by gerryg on June 21, 2004 at 10:49 AM MDT #


With so many technical sessions and BOFs to choose from, how do you decide which ones to go to?

Posted by Simon Brown's weblog on June 22, 2004 at 06:41 AM MDT #

Well, I was hoping to have my new java/technology blog up by now and I was hoping to meet everyone at the java blogger meetup on Monday, but it looks like both are going to come up a day short ;) I'm sure we all know how quickly time gets away from us. Perhaps that is one reason I am going to JavaOne, to learn how to get stuff done faster... there a second meetup day happening on Tuesday or later????? I will arriving at the conference at around noon on Tuesday and besides seeing all the great sessions, I really want to meet everyone I can in the community. Email and blog comments are great, but nothing beats a face-to-face. Unfortunately, I just couldn't hop a plane sooner than Tuesday morning :(

Posted by Dan Allen on June 27, 2004 at 07:57 AM MDT #

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