Devoxx 2015 - 20 Years of Java

Photo of Mike Croft by Mike Croft

devoxx2015thema_resized.jpgNovember 2015 saw another sold out Devoxx, this year themed around the 20th anniversary of Java. Despite a theme looking to the past, there were a lot of talks around things coming to Java in the future, particularly with Java 9 and project Jigsaw


The big news about the conference itself was delivered, as usual, by Stephan "Mr Devoxx" Janssen. It's been another big year for the Devoxx family, and one you can hear about from the man himself on YouTube! This is the first year when Devoxx talks won't be uploaded to Parleys any more, but are filmed with the slides and speaker in one shot so that they can be uploaded directly to YouTube or Vimeo and - more importantly - they can be made free to view due to the lower cost. So,thanks to that change, I will be able to link to all the highlights I can remember!  
I kicked off the week with a "University" talk (in-depth, 3 hour) from Arun Gupta about Docker and Kubernetes. I've spent some time with Docker before, but only in a way that I find useful, so it was good to hear about how it is being used in production and how tools like Kubernetes or Docker Swarm can work with other tools like etcd from CoreOS Throughout the week, there were a lot of talks about new developments in the JDK, beginning with Mark Reinhold's introductory keynote, "Make Way for Modules". That was followed up by a talk from Alan Bateman about some of the practical changes that may need to be made in preparation for JDK 9 and three talks about modular development from introduction all the way to advanced. 
The "Ask The JDK Architects" wasn't particularly well attended, but there were some interesting answers, particularly around how Stuart Marks is currently thinking to modify the @Deprecated tag to be a little more useful and informative.  Lastly, there was a talk I didn't have time to get to, in which Mark Reinhold went "under the hood" of Project Jigsaw.
Another talk I was sad to miss was Hadi Hariri's talk "The Silver Bullet Syndrome" which was very entertaining when I saw him deliver it at Devoxx Poland earlier this year; it was also one of this year's most highly rated talks! The last talk I went to was also one which has stayed with me - Simone Bordet on the current status of HTTP 2.0 in Java. The key takeaway is that, as we know, time equals money. Faster loading times have a direct correlation to the amount of money you make and HTTP 2.0 has been built from the ground up (and inspired by Google's SPDY) to be fast for today's web.  Lastly, an honourable mention to the only non-technical talk I went to.
Also the least related to anything in the industry in which we all work, a fascinating talk by Professor Lawrence Krauss about the age of the Universe and advances in detecting gravitational waves which allow us to see further back in time than we ever have before.  
This year's Devoxx was another huge success and I certainly hope to be back again next year for the 21st year of Java!