Java Unconference in Crete. Day 2.

The second day of the JCrete unconference started as usual – after the breakfast we’ve entered the main room, where Heinz and Dmitry made announcements about four tracks of having the afternoon fun. I picked visiting of a “secret beach”. Then people expressed their interest in attending one of the four technical sessions. This is when the final rooms assignment was made. The session conveners are where standing in the corners of the room, the topics were announced topic and people where gathering in the corner of their choice.
Interestingly enough the main room has the same number of the corners as the number of tracks. The final actual room/session assignment was done when people are gathered at a particular corner. “It seems that we have the largest crowd in this corner – they’ll get the main room.” Is this simple or what? The KISS principle in action!

The first session was about making software simpler. The consensus was that in Java installing the required for the project is more complicated than it should be. The npm installer was used as an example of the proper way to do it.

I was running a session “Living and running in a virtual startup”. I’ve shared my own experience, and then we’ve discussed the issues that every startup is facing: where to get the money, where to find the right people, why people even create startups, and if the country laws are favorable for the entrepreneurship. It seems that Greece is the most tough place for startups from the laws perspective.

One person expressed a typical concern: “I have a nice job, but want to create startup. Should I just quit and take a risk?” One capitalist from South Africa answered that this is exactly what he did.

Never use your house as a loan collateral to fund your next great idea.
Try to sell the idea of you startup to your wife before quitting a well paid day job.

Then I said that we work with contractors from Eastern Europe – this is where we can find good developers willing to work at lower rates. One socialist from South Africa said, “Arn’t you exploiting these people using the fact that the salaries in their countries are low?” This reminds me of a great Indian tale about seven blinds and the elephant. I looked at it differently – we help these great developers and their families substantially improve their lifestyles without the need to leave their countries.

BTW, there are three people from Italy in the conference none of which lives in Italy – the IT market is weak there. Belgium is the money cow now!

Here is another comment from the same session, “I’m and idealist and like startups where people would work without pay just because they are passionate about the software and the idea.” IMO, there should be at least one pragmatic person in the startup otherwise either the time will be lost on developing of an unneeded product or capitalist sharks will eat these idealists for breakfast.

Then I’ve attended participated in a session about lying profilers. It was good to have a reassurance that even though the tools helps, the humans is still da man in the software optimization field.

In the afternoon my wife and I has joined the group of people who went to a secret beach. Another winding road and a pretty steep descent (ok, ok, Heinz’s mom did it last year) lead us to a beautiful blue lagoon. To see the picture of this place, click on the third letter “e” the first mentioning of the word “beach” in this blog.

Another group went to the Pirate Bay, which increased the budget of one of the local hospital by 560 euros. Manik is back in business in no time. Special credits to Kirk for knowing what to do in extreme situations!

In the evening, most of the conference had a dinner in a beach taverna. After 10PM a large crows has gathered by the pool. We had some beer and wine talking about women software. In particular, I had a chat with a geek who makes a living by improving performance of the software systems. When I asked about some numbers he said “It’ll be at least 10 times more responsive”. I trust this guy.


3 thoughts on “Java Unconference in Crete. Day 2.

  1. Yakov, thanks for another interesting post.
    Tell me, are there some tecnical equipment on this conference? Do you need it? Do you talk without presentations etc? Just sitting at chair between others?

    1. There is an audio recorder in every room. One room has a projector and two others have TV monitors that you can connect to your computers. But most of the sessions run as conversations, and only about 20% of them have slides.

  2. Thanks for answer. What about level of knowledge? Is there most people who wants to learn some new technologies or tutors like you? ). Can you (you, Yakov) learn some new for yurself or those are just pleasant conversations?

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