JavaOne 2017 walks a new path

It always left a bitter taste in my mouth seeing JavaOne relegated to a bunch of hotels by San Francisco's Union Square while OracleWorld filled the Moscone building. It's nice to see JavaOne 2017 and Oracle OpenWorld now sharing the same convention center.

Oracle has decided to lay things out a little bit differently at JavaOne 2017, and if you ask me, it's the right thing to do.

If you've attended 'J1' sometime in the past five or six years, you'll know that the sessions, hands-on labs, birds of a feather chats and all of the meet and greets take place at a scattering of tightly assembled hotels surrounding San Francisco's historic Union Square. As a result, jumping from one session to another always entailed a mad and convoluted dash across streets, down corridors, through parking garages and up escalators. To suggest jumping between the Weston on Post Street to the Hilton on Geary got little confusing is a bit of an understatement, especially for someone both new to the city and new to the conference.

Taking part in the zeitgeist

But JavaOne 2017 has moved away from the cluster of hotels by Union Square and into the 700,000 square foot Moscone Center. This year, you'll find all of the JavaOne 2017 festivities taking place right alongside Oracle OpenWorld. JavaOne 2017 will enjoy a slight buffer from the OpenWorld festivities by taking place in the Moscone West building, as opposed to Moscone's main building, which is probably a good thing. The separation should give the JavaOne 2017 event both the feeling that it's something special and unique, while at the same time feeling like it's part of the greater zeitgeist taking over the city.

Having JavaOne at a cluster of hotels that were separate from the Oracle OpenWorld conference always rubbed me the wrong way. After purchasing Sun Microsystems, there was a great deal of distrust towards Oracle. I always thought that at the very first Oracle sponsored JavaOne, it would have been a great metaphorical statement if Oracle placed the Java exhibitors space smack dab in the middle of the OracleWorld exhibition floor, as though to say “Java is central to our direction going forward.” Pushing everything off to a set of hotels that required attendees to jump on and off a chartered bus in order to move back and forth between JavaOne and OracleWorld sent exactly the opposite message.

JavaOne 2017 at Union Square

For the vast majority of JavaOne attendees who are trying to get the most out of the conference, there won't be any need to leave the Moscone West building other than to attend the Oracle CloudFest at AT&T Park or to venture over to the beer tent at Yerba Buena Gardens. Having said that, the Hilton at Union Square hasn't been completely purged from the JavaOne 2017 schedule. There are still a number of hands-on sessions taking place there, so if you want IBM's Sai Vennman to step you through the process of deploying Java microservices using the new MicroProfile and Kubernetes, or you want Lightbend's Duncan DeVore to show you the ins and out of developing reactive systems, you'll need to either give yourself a good hour to tackle the uphill walk between the Moscone building and Union Square, or you'll have to figure out where to catch one of those charter buses that take you back and forth.

It never felt right relegating JavaOne to a scattering of hotels by Union Square while the rest of Oracle partied at the Moscone Center. Moving JavaOne 2017 closer to the action is definitely a step in the right direction.

You can follow Cameron McKenzie on Twitter: @cameronmcnz

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This was last published in September 2017

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