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.