Back from JAOO Au

June 12th, 2008  |  Published in conferences  |  8 Comments  |  Bookmark on

I recently returned from giving two talks at each of the Brisbane and Sydney JAOO conferences. JAOO has long been my favorite conference, and even though this was the first time JAOO was held in Australia, my understanding is that overall it was quite a success. There were a couple hundred attendees in each city, and I heard a number of attendees echo something along the lines of “we really need developer conferences like this that aren’t marketing and aren’t academic.” That’s precisely why I like JAOO so much — almost all of the JAOO speakers are practitioners themselves, so as a developer you get a lot of well-grounded useful info rather than product pitches or unproven research.

My talks were “Building RESTful Services with Erlang and Yaws” and “Multilanguage Programming.” For first-time talks both went OK, but they could have been better. The biggest problem with both was that I already had too many slides for each one for an hour but when I got there I learned that a scheduling mix-up had reduced the presentation time slots to only 45 minutes, which then meant I had way too many slides for each talk. The first talk tries to cover a lot of ground, for example, and it’s hard to remove any of it and still have it make sense. Oh well. I warned the attendees up front about the problem, and since I got reasonable reviews for both talks I hope that means I left the attendees with some useful info.

There’s talk in the blogosphere of a strong revival in interest in programming languages, and I’d have to say there’s definitely something to that notion because I didn’t expect so many would be interested in the multilanguage programming talk. I guess I expected to encounter some defensive dyed-in-the-wool “X” programmers, where “X” often seems to be Java, who would just argue that multilanguage programming is a bad idea, but there were none. Instead I was encouraged by the number of developers who came to the talk and seemed truly interested in the idea of learning and using multiple languages in order to do their jobs in the best possible way.

Anyway, I strongly recommend that you go to JAOO Aarhus if you can.

Next up: Erlang eXchange in London, which I also strongly recommend. Overall it looks like a very strong program, and I’m really looking forward not only to giving my “Enterprise Integration” keynote there, but better yet getting to meet more folks in the Erlang community in person. I hope I’ll see you there.


  1. Harris says:

    June 12th, 2008 at 2:17 am (#)

    So where is the slide deck?

  2. steve says:

    June 12th, 2008 at 2:22 am (#)

    @Harris: slide decks are available from the JAOO website. Follow that link and look for the “Download slides” links.

  3. Kevo says:

    June 12th, 2008 at 3:15 am (#)

    I attended the conference in Sydney and was also surprised that the attitude from a lot of developers is to get involved with learning new tools which are better suited to solving some problems we face professionally.

    At a technical level with the proliferation of presentations and quality literature on the web and the JVM and CLR being used as multi language platforms rather than single language vm’s, the barriers have come down significantly. It makes learning a new language and deploying artifacts more straightforward than say a decade ago. Coupled with the apathy that Java seems to generate it seems like fertile ground for a growth in multi language development.

    Changing management fear of a heterogeneous technical environment may be the far bigger challenge, but I guess that’s the challenge for us techies :)

  4. Patrick Logan says:

    June 12th, 2008 at 8:28 pm (#)

    Oh my. I’m going to be in Belfast a couple days after Erlang eXchange is in London. Now I have to think about this looking like a great event, so close.

  5. Anthony Tarlano says:

    June 16th, 2008 at 4:20 am (#)


    What were your thoughts on the “PLINQ and Parallel FX” talk from Joseph Albahari?

    In addition to being a great author, I have his “C#3.0 in a Nutshell book”, I can only imagine that he gave an insightful presentation on really one of the next “big things” in .NET namely the Parallel Computing Platform (PCP) team’s work on Microsoft Parallel Extensions to .NET Framework 3.5 .


  6. steve says:

    June 16th, 2008 at 10:45 am (#)

    @Tony: I was able to catch only a few of the other talks, so I didn’t see that one. I was writing my next column at the time, so I was often writing during sessions. Also, these days I do no work whatsoever with Windows, so I tend not to pay too much attention to anything related to .NET.

  7. Anthony Tarlano says:

    June 16th, 2008 at 11:07 am (#)


    That’s cool.. (there’s always mono for your mac ;) I was just thinking since F# (presented by Don Syme) and Pfx were both on the agenda that it would allow you to give a nice intro for a comparison of Erlang (as a functional language) and Erlang+OTP (as a COPL and platform)..



  8. Mohan Radhakrishnan says:

    June 22nd, 2008 at 6:18 am (#)

    There is some argument for a thread-based model at Search for ‘erlang’.