Friday, March 7, 2008

Notes from NFJS: Day 1

Briefly, day 1 of NFJS St Louis was good. Great to see some old faces but I was surprised by the number of new faces in the crowd.

My favourite part of the conference is the inspiration: in each talk, I come out with some ideas for the blog, both serious and spoofs. Often, I also emerge with a hunger to study up on some topic.

Highlights of the day included:

  • Another great keynote by Scott Davis (theme: applying the book "How to Lie With Statistics" to open source and IT)
  • A good, solid "meat and potatoes" comp sci talk -- replete with the big-O notation! -- on Collections/Data structures by Alex. Java 5 and 6 have added some interesting new stuff to Collections. If you blithely type List list = new ArrayList(); without much thought, this is a must-see.
  • An interesting session on open-source licensing. I wonder if they cover licenses in schools these days. They should. (Trivia: did you know that Bill Joy innovated the BSD License circa 1977? That guy was destined to be a major influence.)
The absolute highlight was during dinner: conference organizer Jay Zimmerman announced that a couple of Java geeks were celebrating their 15th wedding anniversary this very evening: at a Java conference!

It was a delightful moment. I'll offer to take their pic if I can find them again during the weekend.

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