Java Unconference in Crete. Day One.

The conference takes place in the resort hotel. Even though there are only 60 of us, this unconference can have up to four tracks. This is how the main auditorium looked at 8:45AM.


We sat down, the conference organizers explained the rules and gave each of us markers and a pack of yellow stickers to write down the suggested topics. You don’t have to be the subject matter expert in these topics – you may just want to learn more about them from others. This is what I wrote:


The mike went around the room, and those who wrote something on the stickers had a chance to explain what their proposed topic was about. Some people simply presented their topics as simple as this: “I know nothing about XYZ, and am looking for your help in understanding it.”
Then the stickers were given to the organizers, and I’ve learned something new right away. Mattias Karlsson noticed that most of us don’t know how to peel the stickers off. He was kind enough to share this useful technique:

Peel off the sticker with a left-to-right movement. If you do it as most people do – bottom-up – the sticker will curl-up, and it will be hard to read its message when the sticker is placed on the board.

Thank you, Mattias! WHile people were introducing the possible topics, the organizers were placing them on the left board to group the similar topics together. At 10AM the initial version of the schedule (on the right) was ready:

I participated in two sessions: “Working remotely” and “Application Design wars”. Again, not attended, but participated. Each of them had a dozen participants, and everyone has something to say on the subject. I really enjoyed every moment of these discussions. It’s hard to explain it in the blog – you have to be in the room filled with professionals to appreciate the fact that people know what they are talking about, respect other’s opinions and get everyone a chance to speak up. And let me assure you:

Geeks can speak. Geeks can listen.

Since each session was audio-recorded I can guess that at some point they’ll be published on the Internet. I’d love to hear the conversation that took place in each end every room. At 12:30PM the technical part was over and some people signed up for going to remote beaches while other went to see an archeological cite (we’re in Greece, remember?).

I was one of the drivers of three cars that took a dozen of people to a remote and beautiful beach in the Sooth-West of Crete. There were two couples in our car – my wife and I and Andres Almiray with his wife, who being a resident of the Swizerland did a great job explaining us why Mexico is a great country. On the side note, there is probably a dozen Java Champions here at JCrete, right Heinz? As you can see, the beach was full of nice looking Java developers:


This was a rather long drive mainly in the winding roads in the mountains. Actually there was a part of a highway driving where I learned a new for me style of driving, which I called “Speeding on the shoulder”. The highway had one (or rather one-is) lane in each direction. But slower moving vehicles (Why have I rented that small and weak Fiat?) are supposed to move to the right to let the real drivers drive fast. So for the most part of the highway leg I’ve been driving at the speed from 60 to 90 km per hour on the shoulder. In the USA I’d get a substantial fine and four points on my driver’s license for this. Oh those Greeks!

FInally, I want to give credit to a nice iOS application called CityMaps2Go recommended me by one of the readers of my blog (thank you, Alex!). It’s an offline map app. I’ve downloaded the map of Crete in advance, and while I was driving my wife was watching how a little blue marker was moving on the map. You may ask, how is it possible if this was an offline map and I was not connected to the Internet? Smartphone have GPS. Becides, my iPhone had a phone connection, and most likely the position of the device was quickly calculated based on the distance to the closest cell towers (A-GPS).

Till tomorrow!

One thought on “Java Unconference in Crete. Day One.

  1. Hello Mr Fain,

    Nice blog! I would like to discuss a partnership opportunity between our sites. Is there an email address I can contact you in private?

    Eleftheria Kiourtzoglou

    Head of Editorial Team
    Java Code Geeks
    email: [dot][at]javacodegeeks[dot]com

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