Recently three of us from the developer advocacy team in Berlin attended JavaLand. JavaLand is a developer conference at Phantasialand, a theme park located just outside of Cologne, Germany. Scheduled a week before the park opens for the public, after each day’s Java knowledge exchange, the rides are opened to the conference visitors. I haven’t heard or seen anything like it. It was fantastic.

Already in its 5th year, JavaLand has grown to expect over 1,900 developers from 20 different countries. JavaLand’s recipe for success: plenty of great sessions. It’s true. The programme was packed full with talks, panels, and workshops. In fact, at any one point in time, there were up to 8 simultaneous sessions. Holly Cummins from IBM UK opened the conference and gave the inspiring keynote, playfully titled: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs: Cloud Surprises for the Java Developer.

We shared the priorities of IBM’s cloud platform with developers focusing mainly on three key points: IBM’s emphasis on open source, the wide range of compute options and services (both in public and private cloud), and IBM’s focus on data and AI. Security and privacy are especially important topics in Europe, with new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) being introduced in May. In Germany, IBM has data centres in Frankfurt, so rest assured, data stays in Europe.

Check out our eye-catching demo with supercars zooming around on a race track, coded to easily control and ensure there are no car collisions:

You can control the cars on the IBM Cloud Platform using MQTT Node.js Controller and Bluetooth, for example. Take a look under the hood and fork the code.

Niklas: It’s always a lot of fun at JavaLand; this was the third time I attended. This year we had even more developers visiting our booth than in previous years. Those who I talked to particularly appreciated IBM’s emphasis on open source and the huge progress that’s been made over the last few years in cloud-related technologies.
Fernando: There’s still a lot to say in the Java community and we had a very busy booth. The friendly crowd was interested in different areas of IBM: cloud development, open source, and leveraging the latest technologies. It was great for us to participate and a good opportunity to share what IBM is doing. Sharing our knowledge is important, but it was also a great opportunity to learn from other companies and how they approach technical problem solving.
Miriam: This was my first developer conference. As a Youth Ambassador I’ve represented our IBM Watson IoT Center in Munich at international fairs, but this was a completely different experience. Our team arrived in Cologne on Monday to prepare our stand and demo; throughout Tuesday and Wednesday we were attending sessions, showcasing our demo, and mixing with the Java crowd. I also really valued the time we spent together as a team, out of the office and improvising in a new environment was great fun.

I am already looking forward to our next conference, check out our schedule.

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