Wednesday night, after a very tiresome trip we were finally in Antwerp. Our flight had arrived an hour late to Brussels and the highway being on maintenance, our arrival had been delayed more than two hours. By the time I checked in it was 22:30 and I was starving. Rob Harrop, as friendly as always, saw me at the lobby and introduced me to the rest of the speakers, most of them Spring committers. Almost everybody was working on their presentations while a few were crying out their disappointments as Germany was wasting opportunities against Poland in a World Cup game. Later during the night at the lobby, I got the wrong delivery and I accidentally ate the pizza that Christian Dupuis had ordered (later he got mine). (Christian! I owe you a pizza next year 🙂 or I’ll give you good feedbacks on [tag]Spring IDE[/tag] throughout the year 🙂 ).
At this point I must thank Rick Evans and Rob Harrop as they kindly lent us their clicker (or the pickle as it is called in the jargon) to use during the presentation. Thanks again! It was a life saver! 🙂
Thursday morning, Brendan and I worked on our presentation. At lunch time, we were finally at Metropolis, the cinema where the event was held. This first instance of SpringOne was organized by [tag]Interface21[/tag] and BeJUG. So I finally met the [tag]BeJUG[/tag] members that I was in contact with: Valerie and Stephan (the founder). They gave us a warm welcome and they were impeccable hosts. Thank you guys!
Just before our session, I attended Data Access with Spring.NET, the presentation that won the award of least number of attendees by attracting only 9 people. I felt ashamed to leave 10 minutes before the end but I had to get ready for our presentation. It almost felt normal not to have too much interest in Spring.NET as the general attendee profile was clearly Java orientated. During a discussion with Stephan, we suggested that they do more advertisement within .NET communities as well, such as [tag]TheServerSide.net[/tag]. We started to use [tag]Spring.NET[/tag] in one our .NET projects and I’d like to see more interest and better coverage on it next year.
We had the biggest of the four theatres booked for [tag]SpringOne[/tag]: room 3. The speaker who presented before us ate up 5 minutes of our time, which I found very rude. He should have been better prepared or cut it shorter. Anyway… We had 50 attendees and it all went well, except towards the end PowerPoint went crazy and started to loop through all the slides in a flashing speed. The presentation demons were welcoming us. Because we didn’t have a demo, they could only play tricks on us by obliging us not to use the clicker.
By the way, SpringOne presentation slides will be available online in a few weeks. Later, I think around September timeframe, the videos will be available too. So you’ll be able to judge our performance personally. Unfortunately we learnt too late that there was an online feedback form to fill in. If I had known I would have reminded the attendees of its existence.
It was a very good idea to keep all the speakers in the same hotel as we had more opportunities to meet the others. We went to dinner with Uri Boness from JTeam and Ben Alex, the founder and lead developer of the [tag]Acegi Security[/tag]. Of course, we talked about work most of the night.
The second day, after the keynote speech, I attended Rob and Juergen‘s university session about the new features of Spring 2.0. After a sunny lunch on a restaurant terrace, the conferences ended with two more presentations: Spring Patterns and Spring Web Services.
Most of the people were leaving Antwerp that day so we talked to the Interface21 guys for a last time. We thanked Rod Johnson for DSI’s being mentioned during the keynote speech. I spent the rest of the night at the hotel lobby watching two World Cup games and talking work with Roland Nelson and his colleague Sasha. Roland have architected various solutions used in the [tag]European Patent Office[/tag].
We caught the airport shuttle very early in the morning to be at the Brussels airport on time. Just when we thought the SpringOne was over, we met Ramnivas Laddad, the new Interface21 employee and the author of the excellent “[tag]AspectJ in Action[/tag]” book. I really enjoyed talking to him. Despite his expert position in the industry, he is a very humble and very approachable person. We hope to see him again, this time here in Cork, for an [tag]IT@Cork[/tag] talk hopefully. It was definitely a pleasure to make his acquaintance.
All in all, it was excellent to be there. To present in one of the major European IT conferences, to represent DSI there, to meet most of the [tag]Spring Framework[/tag] committers and fellow developers and architect was, personally and professionally, a great experience. What next? Maybe we can present in [tag]JavaPolis[/tag] or in next year’s SpringOne :).
– Yagiz Erkan –