After a 30 hours, 5 flights travel, last night I finally made it home from the Java Posse Roundup in lovely Crested Butte, Colorado. After sleeping for 13 hours I'm now feeling quite good.
Although I suffered jet lag, got a cold and had altitude induced headaches and nosebleeds I must say this was an absolutely awesome conference experience.
Day Zero was the alternative languages day. I enjoyed learning about Scala and LINQ, but after lunch I used my two feet and joined the JavaFX dojo. During lunch break I discussed lightning talks with Tor and Joe and we ended up spending the rest of the day creating a lightning talk timer application. Sitting next to Tor trying to keep up with his JavaFX hacking was very fun. I learned more JavaFX in a couple of hours than I probably would on a week on my own.
Tuesday through friday we had open space discussions on a wide variety of Java and software related topics. We had three or four sessions at the same time, so I'm looking forward to hear the ones I missed on the Java Posse podcast. By wednesday I had unfortunately lost my voice due to a cold. This turns out to be a serious handicap on an open space conference. Although I wasn't able to contribute much in the discussion I still had a great experience and I learned a lot.
The evening lightning talks was a great success and we had no trouble filling the slots. The mix of Java and non-technical talks worked out really well. I initially thought five minutes would be too tight, but it allowed for more talks and people really had to stay focused to get their points through. My personal highlight would be James Ward's Flex UI demos and Andrew Harmel Law's talk about zombies.
Crested Butte was a very nice town for this kind of conference. Many of us rented houses around town which turned out to be a great way of getting to know people. Many people went downhill or snowmobiling, but because of my cold I decided cross country skiing would be enough of a challenge. So I had a couple of really nice skiing sessions, here's a picture from one of them with Dave Briccetti, Dianne Marsh, Dick Wall and Joel Neely:
Waiting for my connecting flight in Denver I just had to take this picture:
Seems like the guy is trying to replace the wiper blades of the plane by leaning out the window. Eventually he gave up and a few minutes later a guy with a lift came and finished the job.