I was delighted when in August my manager got approval for me to attend JavaOne. It had been some time since I’d been to this important conference, and I looked forward to connecting with people I hadn’t seen in years, immersing myself in sessions, perusing the exhibition floor, and just hanging out.
Unfortunately, things went terribly awry. On Sunday, Sept 18, I had just flown into San Francisco and was chatting up my former seatmate as we cruised through the airport to our respective transportation methods. I stopped to check my messages, and that’s when the panic set in: My phone was not in my bag, not in my backpack, not in my suitcase. A feeling of dread started coming over me. I pushed it away, and headed to the Alaska desk, where the rep called down to the desk crew at my gate and printed me a pass to get back through security. I was sure I’d left the phone in my seat-back pocket and with that knowledge I felt the dread lighten a bit as I stepped back into the security line. But back at the gate, I got the bad news: No phone.
I had no idea what to do. The creeping dependency on my mobile device had become full-blown addiction, and I was hopelessly lost. Emotions roiled inside of me, and I became momentarily unhinged. I collected myself, submitted a lost item report with the airline and the airport, and went on my way. I had missed most of the opening keynote by the time I finally got into SF. Day 1 blown.
Day 2 started off equally rough. I had initially thought I’d wing it without my phone until I got back to Portland where there is no sales tax, but it became clear that wouldn’t work: Apparently in my absence from the conference, the hard-copy session catalog was ousted in favor of digital-only. In hindsight, that’s an obvious change, but I wasn’t prepared for it with an empty backpack, and I couldn’t recall which sessions I’d registered for in advance. I almost lost it again. Instead, I asked the info desk where the nearest T-Mobile store was and off I went.
By mid afternoon, I had a new phone, and I was positively giddy. (Although my Con Man game data — 2 weeks and 30 levels of hard work — didn’t make it.) I walked back to the conference and ran (literally) into Java expert Brian Goetz, who then filled in some blanks for me on the previous days while we caught up. (Look for Brian to be writing on new JDK 9 features soon.) He graciously introduced me to his fellow luminaries, some of whom I hope to bring into the developerWorks fold at some point in the coming months.
The remainder of Day 2 day and the rest of the conference was filled with excellent sessions, more impromptu meetings, and a lot less stress. Some key takeaways:
- The spirited outpouring of concern over Java’s future was heard and heeded: JDK 9 and JEE 8 and 9 should see GA in succession over the next 8-24 months.
- Modularization, microservices, containers, and cloud security dominated the sessions and my personal discussions.
- The Java ecosystem is still strong and innovative. I didn’t doubt it, but it was nice to see in action.
- The community is as important as ever to the JCP.
My biggest lesson, however, was unrelated to the conference: Don’t panic. I’ve known this for a long time, courtesy of Douglas Adams, but I temporarily lost my mind this time and it cost me. However, the ability to review presentations at my leisure, not to mention “attending” the excellent virtual JUG mere days later, softened that blow.
I feel energized and excited again to be steeped in Java, and I look forward to bringing that energy and excitement to developerWorks readers in 2017 and beyond!
Learn more about Java on developerWorks
- Java developer center – Tutorials, code and community