http://pilhuhn.blogspot.com/2010/10/judcon-berlin-review-with-pictures.htmlIt's almost 2 weeks since JUDCon Berlin started and I wanted to give a retrospective on how it went and what lessons we have learnt.
The venue itself was incredible and many thanks to all those involved in organising things. And although we were late to putting out a call for papers and then the subsequent agenda (note to ourselves, we need to do both of these well in advance of the actual date for the event), the attendance was terrific. We've had several people blog about their perceptions of the event, but I can say that every one of the sessions I attended was packed, often with between 40 and 60 people. As you can see from the agenda, we also had a good mix of JBoss people presenting as well as community participation. All of the talks were good technically and many of them were pretty entertaining as well; for instance, Steve Ross-Talbot's on Testable Architecture and the Savara project.
The hackfest and lightning talk events on the first evening went well into the night, with several good sessions. Where we probably need to improve things is in this area: it was slightly too free-form, so in the future we're likely to have a lightweight process in place that helps identify which hackfests are going on and where. However, even saying that, the feedback I received on the night and the next day was that the hackfest went well and those who attended got a lot out of it.
Compared to the first JUDCon in Boston, I think this one went better. Not because the quality of the presentations was better, or that we had better attendees, but purely because we had two days over which to schedule things. Trying to push 2 days worth of sessions into 1 day, which is what we did in Boston, made things more complicated for those attending and impacted the feeling of community that we wanted to achieve. So in the future we will definitely try to have 2 days or limit the amount we try to achieve in the time we have available.
So in conclusion, I thought that Berlin was a great venue for the event and that, in the main, we did a great job of hosting it and scheduling a series of presentations. We may even make Berlin the home for JUDCon Europe for the next few years if there's enough positive feedback ;-)
My thanks again to all those who attended as well as all of those who helped to create and organise JUDCon Berlin (not all of whom could attend). It rocked!