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JavaOne: What worked and what didn't

Posted by driscoll on May 19, 2006 at 11:19 AM PDT

So, as I've mentioned too often, I'm on the Program Committee for JavaOne.

One thing we'll do is have a Lessons Learned meeting, and I want to be ready - so I thought I'd throw out my ideas for what worked and what didn't, and ask for a little help in working on my list. Here's your chance to kvetch with me!

First, what worked: I thought the talks pretty much rocked. Now, prehaps I'm a little biased, but really, I didn't hit any clunkers. This is the one thing I DON'T need to worry about for the meeting, since we'll have *very* accurate data on attendance and evaluations. But I'm pretty pleased with this, since the talks *are* mostly why you came to JavaOne, right? Also, I thought that the keynotes were mostly OK, and there were some neat demos.

The food at lunch wasn't bad - for cafeteria food, anyway (ok, it's a low bar). And the lines for lunch moved more quickly than I would have thought possible, given just how many people were filing through there.

I'm going to go out on a limb, but I'm going to say that by the last day, the reserved seating thing was working well. Over and over again, I went to full talks, confident that I'd get in. The lines moved much faster, crowd control was better, and they had more card readers and docents.

Then, there's what didn't work: The stage crew was noticably incompetant. I watched a speaker beg for his slides to be shown for about 4 minutes - and this was the third time that that had happened to him that talk. And it happened to him in a previous talk that day. And he wasn't alone. Demo screens only on the left side of the room? Excuse me? There were lots of problems with audio in 307. And ask any keynote demo person about the sysadmins... and you'll get an earful. The WiFi was up and down like a yoyo. But at least the cardreaders worked better than last year - in fact, I think those worked well.

A loud audible alarm went off at the end of a speaker's talk - several commented that they would have liked a more subtle 1 minute warning, though other speakers seemed to have no trouble - by watching the clock up on stage.

I think that covers it - did I miss anything? Tell me below. Both bad and good (so we don't forget to do it next time :-)

See you next year!

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