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COOLuary 2009 – a real belter of an unconference

I spent an additional day in Cracow to participate in the third edition of COOLuary organized by Grzegorz Duda and his Developer’s World. I was really excited to take part in it, since I have heard that the idea of unconference is gaining popularity nowadays.

The unconference consisted of four panel discussions (50 minutes each). Grails, BPM, Terracotta, JMS, proxying are only some examples of topics mentioned during the sessions. What I enjoyed most was the fact that the discussions were informal and all participants had the possibility to change the topic when the conversation headed toward an unintended direction. I also liked the idea of the conference being a purely face-to-face, developer-to-developer sharing of experience – without a trace of fuzz or evangelism!

The most interesting part, however, was the hands-together session with Mark Richards. It lasted three hours and I enjoyed every single minute of it! Mark spun a yarn about some of his most interesting JEE projects and problems related to them. First of all, we discussed all pros and cons of distributed transactions (JSR-95 and compensation frameworks). It is a topic where I am currently performing R&D, so I really absorbed every aspect of the session. Later we moved onto business locks, JMS byte messaging and Web-Services.
The three hours spent with Mark was the best time I have had during JDD and COOLuary and I would even come to Cracow if it were the only session that I could attend. It was so great that I really hope to be able to take part in No Fluff Just Stuff conferences to see Mark again… If you want to see Mark in action watch this movie on InfoQ .

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