It has finally arrived. SpringOne which I have been anticipating for over a month is finally here and it couldn’t have come sooner. I need one more blast of warm sunny weather before the hibernation months of winter. My day started at 3:30 am, well actually 4:00 am as I managed to roll out of bed. But before long I was sitting on the plane to St. Louis going over the conference schedule doing my first round of eliminations. This is the easy one. I knock out all the sessions that I have absolutely no interest in going. The ones that even the temptation of free beer cannot get me to go to. You get the idea. Even with an 8 track schedule there wasn’t a lot I could eliminate. But I had started the process. Once in St. Louis I had a 4 hour stop-over.
This is my first trip through St. Louis and I kept thinking that I need to visit this place. It’s only 40 mins flying time from Des Moines. So it can’t be a very long drive. A quick tour of the airport and a quick survey of the eateries led me to the Wolfgang Puck Express restaurant. A big ‘ole breakfast sandwich and coffee later I was back on the schedule working my way through the second round of eliminations. The session descriptions on the conference schedule are usually indicative of the content. But sometimes you never know. Fortunately I’d been to NFJS couple months earlier. So that helped me eliminate some of the similar talks and sometimes the same talk from NFJS. I knew I still had at least three or four rounds before I could narrow my schedule down. A lot of the sessions sound very interesting and it’s going to be difficult to choose between them but it has to be done and I decided to go over it again on my way to New Orleans. For now I’m going to work on a OSGi blog posting.
St. Louis to New Orleans is a little under 2 hours flying time. Enough time to read the in-flight magazine cover to cover…ok I skipped the inflight entertainment section. I went down the conference schedule one more time to weed out the “not useful to me right now” sessions. I’ve found that while hands-on practical sessions are great, if you do not have immediate applications for them you don’t derive their full benefit. Instead I’m trying to assemble a mix of immediately applicable hands-on sessions, sessions that build upon my existing skills, overview type sessions and sessions which I think may have some potential near future applications. I still ended with some time-slots where as many as 5 of the 8 sessions made it to my 3 round. So yeah still plenty of work to do. I’m sure we’ll be getting the slides to all the sessions. I wonder if we will get the videos though.
So New Orleans is my new favorite airport to transit through. Guess why!? Free wireless internet baby! It’s not the world’s fastest but it’s free. In all the major US airports I’ve transited through not one has had free wireless..not O’Hare, not JFK, not LAX. Somebody should start a website tracking airports with free wireless. It may influence a lot of travel plans 🙂
Met up with Matt at the New Orleans airport and took a cab ride to our hotel in downtown. On the way I was reminded a couple times about big city driving. After check-in we headed out to the conference hotel which, the newly reopened Roosevelt which is right across the street from the hotel we are staying in. Thanks to Mandy for booking us into our very convenient hotel. I won’t have an excuse to miss the morning sessions :). I was a little surprised to see a handful of vendor stalls. We got to talk to the VMware guys about Spring and VMware and from the sounds of it looks like they are trying to sell a cloud provider solution for those who want to get into business of providing cloud service solutions a la google, amazon etc. Apparently this will give the consumer the benefit of switching between different providers as opposed to currently being locked-in. Also got the chance to talk to the BIRT guys and catch up how BIRT has matured over the last couple years since I used it. I’d be interested to hear if anyone else has any experience using BIRT over JasperReports or other open-source reporting solutions. Dinner was pretty awesome — New Orleans cuisine for the most part including my first taste of bread pudding…yumm.
Rod Johnson’s keynote followed. He covered what Spring 3.0 was about and some of the new stuff, pointing out sessions that would follow during the next two days. There was a demo on Spring – Flex Blaze DS integration. It looked pretty cool though a lot went over my head. I think it was building on top of Spring JMS. The big announcement was the Spring tc Developer server which gives the developer a pretty powerful tool to look into the guts of an application. The demo showed where you can make a request on slow loading page and you then drill down through the Insight tool to the specific slow running query. Just scraping what was demoed. Apparently the first release is not due until later this year. I’ll probably pull down the Milestone and take a more closer look at this.
Time to go to bed and rest up. Day 2 will be another long day. But before that I need to pick out at least the first two sessions for the day. The conference slides were distributed on thumb drives. So I did a quick scan and was able to pick out a couple sessions before calling it a night.