Barry Burd's guide to the best sessions to attend at JavaOne 2015

Going to JavaOne this year? Wondering which sessions to attend? Conference veteran Barry Burd is here to help guide your way through Oracle's big conference in San Francisco.

If you're registered for this year's JavaOne conference, you might be thinking about your day-to-day conference plans. In this article, you'll find some advice, some tips, some of hints for first-time attendees, and some reminders for conference veterans.

In the first section, I present Barry's Picks for must-attend presentations. I divide them into four categories: Java 8, Java 9, Hot Stuff, and Barry's Special Interests. To help organize your schedule, I include a calendar of these recommended sessions. 

(Click the image for a higher resolution.)

You can find a complete list of JavaOne 2015 presentations (being updated regularly) at this website.

Java 8

Sure, Java 8 is last year's news. But it's still important news, and you can never learn too much about these things. Here are my Java 8 session picks:

  • Monday at 4pm (16:00): Programming with Lambdas [CON8366]
  • Wednesday at 1pm (13:00) The Java Date and Time API in Java SE 8: Overview and Tips [CON3151]
  • Thursday at 1pm (13:00): A Few Hidden Treasures in Java 8 [CON8368]

Venkat Subramaniam (President of Agile Developer, Inc.) will host two of these sessions. He's an excellent speaker and a co-author of Practices of an Agile Developer: Working in the Real World, a 2007 Jolt Productivity award winner.

Java 9

Due for release in September 2016, Java 9 promises some exciting new features, including modularization of the JDK and a new interactive Java shell. For the latest info on Java 9, go to these sessions:

  • Monday at 5:30pm (17:30): Project Jigsaw: Under the Hood [CON6823]
  • Tuesday at 8:30am (08:30): Project Jigsaw Hack Session [TUT6825]
  • Tuesday at 4pm (16:00): Ask the Architects [CON6826]
  • Wednesday at 8:30am (08:30): jshell: The New Interactive Java Language Shell for JDK 9 [CON7823]

These presentations are as authoritative as presentations come. The speakers at these sessions include Mark Reinhold (Chief Architect of the Java Platform Group), Brian Goetz (Java Language Architect) and Robert Field (Principle Member of the Technical Staff and leader of the JShell project), all from Oracle.

Hot Topics

If you've lived under a rock for the past few years, then you haven't heard much about the Internet of Things (IoT), Microservices or Docker. But if you've been part of the worldwide conversation, you know how important these topics are. Even if you don't develop for these platforms, you should attend some sessions to help you stay up-to-date. Don't miss these five sessions:

  • Sunday at 12pm (12:00): James Gosling, Robots, the Raspberry Pi, and Small Devices [UGF10301]
  • Sunday, time to be announced: WebSocket Perspectives 2015 - Clouds, Streaming, Microservices and the Web of Things
  • Monday at 8:30am (08:30): Docker and Kubernetes Recipes for Java EE Developers [TUT1708]
  • Monday at 2:30 (14:30): Docker Orchestration for Java Developers: Welcome to the Jungle [CON4536]
  • Tuesday at 11am (11:00): Microservices for the IoT [CON7034]

Speakers in these sessions include Arun Gupta (Director of Technical Marketing and Developer Advocacy at Red Hat), Frank Greco (Senior Technology Strategist at Kaazing Corporation), and James Gosling (Chief Software Architect at Liquid Robotics). Arun Gupta is a Java Champion and a Devoxx4Kids leader. Frank Greco leads the world's second largest Java Special Interest Group. And, as the father of Java, James Gosling needs no introduction.

My Personal Picks

In previous sections, I've tried to pick presentations that are of interest to everyone. But in this section, I yield to my baser instincts and tout a few of my favorite Java topics. I'm an educator, so I gravitate toward sessions about teaching Java. And everyone should learn about pure functional programming. (It's good for the soul.)

  • Sunday at 5:30pm (17:30): Effective Java Teaching [UGF10305]
  • Monday at 12:30pm (12:30): Beyond Text: The Future of IDEs [CON1803]
  • Tuesday at 2:30pm (14:30): Script Bowl 2015: The Emerging Languages Take Over [CON6946]
  • Tuesday at 5:30pm (17:30): Frege: Purely Functional Programming for the JVM [CON4286]
  • Thursday at 2:30pm (14:30): Java Everywhere Again—with DukeScript [HOL3962]

Speakers for these sessions include Dierk Koenig (Fellow at Canoo Engineering AG), Michael Kölling (Professor at the University of Kent), and Charles Nutter (Senior Principal Software Engineer at Red Hat). Dierk Koenig is my Frege language mentor. Michael Kölling, a long-time innovator in computer education, has been a driving force behind BlueJ and Greenfoot. Charles Nutter is known for his work on JRuby (Ruby on the Java Virtual Machine).

Now, once you've got the schedule figured out, you'll be interested in figuring out what to do when you're not in conference mode, which takes us to Part II: Figuring out San Francisco

What are the sessions you're looking forward to the most at JavaOne? Let us know.

Follow Barry Burd: @allmycode

Books penned by Barry Burd:

Java For Dummies 
Android Application Development All-in-One For Dummies 
Beginning Programming with Java For Dummies 
Java Programming for Android Developers For Dummies

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