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UberConf – be ready to have your mind blown!

I hate blogging about conferences. I find it dull, unentertaining and worthless. Yet another blog entry about a few sessions that the person attended and some comments whether it was good or bad. I did it once following the “common” pattern and I still feel bad about it. I don not particularly like these posts since they rarely judge the conference as a whole and concentrate on that year’s events that, guess what, will not be there the following year. IMHO, the only noble purpose that they serve is to broadcast the message that this particular person attended that specific conference. Fair enough.

This post is supposed to be different (I hope at least) because what I would like to do is to basically focus on the fact why UberConf rocks. That being said I will give you 5 reasons to prove my point.

  • First of all, there are no sponsors (literally NULL). That is really fair since you have to pay for the ticket and there is nothing worse in the schedule than the sessions presented by sponsors. They are pretty often boring, unobjective and tiresome.
  • Next, sessions are 90 minutes long. It is the biggest advantages in comparison to other conferences (JavaZone 60 min., Devoxx 60 min., Geecon 60 min., JAX 50 min., Jazoon 50 min). 90 minutes is enough to give a proper introduction, develop the topic, present decent code samples, and wrap up in a thorough Q&A section. From now on, anything shorter than that seems just too short.
  • In addition to that, a full-day workshop preceding the conference is a brilliant idea. I am aware of the fact that many conferences offer university days, but the sessions are maximally 3 hours long which, in my opinion, is not enough to fully cover the topic on a reasonable level of abstraction.
  • Do not be suprised if it is 21.30 in the evening and you are still at a lecture, a session or a workshop. The wide variety and amount of sessions is just mind-blowing.
  • Over many years UberConf and NFJS have proven to invite the most influential java rock star speakers, like Ted Neward, Venkat Subramaniam, Mark Richards, Ken Sipe, Tim Berglund, Matthew McCullough, Neal Ford, etc.. .You cannot discuss with that.
  • Finally, the atmosphere rocks at UberConf. People are so friendly and open that you immediately have the impression that you know each other for a long time. That enthusiasm and dynamism is also so tangible that you almost feel it in the air.

Personally, I extremely enjoyed the conference and all the fun that was around it. Ken Sipe offered once 20 USD to the person that implements a cross-tab scripting example on his web-security workshop. I am neither a javascript expert nor a web-development geek, but this task was pretty enjoyable to me. You can see the full script below (works on Firefox only). The “showAllURLs” function displays all URLs opened in all browser’s windows/tabs. I enjoyed this 20 bucks as well – Long Island ice tea with Szczepan Faber and some other guys was great!

I was also happy to discuss the issues around JmsTemplate with Mark Richards, who claimed that JmsTemplate was 10 times slower than the native JMS code on sending 1000 consecutive messages. He even presented some examples and performance charts to prove this fact. That was pretty confusing to me since my internal tests performed a few years ago have proven something completely different. After a while I noticed that he simply had not compared apples with apples. In the code using the native JMS API Mark reused one JMS connection and one JMS session whereas in the code using JmsTemplate he did not use caching at all (be default JmsTemplate opens a new conncetion and a new session on every operation – it is well documented though). I sent him the following XML snippet with CachingConnectionFactory setup and he rerun the test. The result was very different – JmsTemplate was only about 2 times slower – and this could be fine-tuned as well. It was a reasonable result, though, since JmsTemplate offers you a lot of convenience stuff and eliminates boilerplate code from your app.

That is pretty much it. I hope I convinced you that UberConf is really a great show that is a bit different from the ones that we have in Europe. I have never regretted going there twice – even when I suffered from a jet lag at 4am in the morning. I hope you will not regret either. See you at UberConf!


  1. Ken Sipe says:

    Nice write up… and the $20 was well worth watching you and Faber dance :) One of things I like about UberConf is that it brings together technically strong people from around the world (as you point out… more tech and no sales). It was great to meet you there! Hope to see you again… perhaps on your side of the planet.

    • Tom Bujok says:

      Hi Ken! Thanks a lot for posting a comment – I really appreciate it. Exactly, let’s meet in Europe now, so that you are jet-lagged :) Devoxx is the next event that I am going to attend; Antwerp is a really beautiful city…

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