Monday, October 30, 2006

No Fluff Just Stuff 2006 - Dallas

I attended No Fluff Just Stuff last weekend in Dallas. To give you an idea of where I'm coming from.... though I've been doing JAVA related goodness for 10 years, this was the first JAVA conference I've ever attended. I live in the area where the conference was held, so there was very little travel necessary.

Sessions I attended ...

  • Working with Rules Engines - Venkat Subramaniam
  • Effective Teams (the dirty little secret) - Bruce Tate

  • Automating Business Value with FIT and FITness - David Hussman

  • Eclipse RCP - Scott Delap

  • NetKernel : XML Processing for the 21st Century - Brian Sletten

  • Google Web Toolkit - David Geary

  • Spring Web Flow - Ben Hale

  • Greasing the wheels of JAVA with Groovy - Scott Davis

  • Eclipse projects you might not know about - Derek Lane

The Good stuff ...

  • Attendees - a good mix of beginners and veterans

  • Speakers - a good mix of presentation styles across presenters. I was able to refine my list of what I consider to be an engaging, valuable, presentation style.

  • Full Electronic copies of the slides were provided in advance to help attendees decide which sessions to attend.

The Surprising stuff ...

  • A majority of the presenters had powerbooks/macbooks.
  • Ipods and an Xbox 360 were raffled off.

  • Food was provided.

The Buzz

  • Learning other programming languages (Ruby/Groovy/etc), ala the Pragmmmers' Knowledge Portfolio advice.
  • Finding ways to deliver value beyond heads-down programming (customer interaction, business knowledge/value)

As a conference focused entirely on technical sessions, I found NFJS to be a superb value. I got quite a bit out of it, and the fact that it was available locally was a bonus (saving travel expenses).

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