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Disruptive new German conference JavaLand aims to foster a more geeky community


Germany is the largest marketplace in Europe and one of the strongest markets for technology in the world–from a financial perspective, Germany is one of ZeroTurnaround’s best markets for sales and growth. So why don’t we hear about many Java/JVM trade shows in Germany? Except for JAX, which we reviewed here in our Best IT Events 2014 report, we don’t see many events in general–and even few community-based events–in one of the world’s largest markets…

That’s why JavaLand, according to our friend Markus Eisele, content chair of the event, looks very promising, even if the venue is an enormous theme park near Frankfurt. :-D

Because of the nature of this strange event, I asked Markus ( to give us a little preview of what to expect. Disclaimer: our own Simon Maple will be presenting a talk there, so this interview didn’t exactly drop out of the sky.

RebelLabs: Hey Markus, good to chat with you. Congrats on recently becoming a Java Champion! So, what is JavaLand, in your own words?

Markus: Hey guys, thanks! So, JavaLand is a new, very geeky Java/JVM-oriented conference happening March 25-26. It covers Core Java, JVM languages, Enterprise Java, Tools, Software architecture, Security, Front-end technologies and Trends around the complete Java/JVM ecosystem. The conference will be an opportunity for Java beginners and Java experts to experience two days in their own universe (along with roller coasters), getting to spend two days without even having to leave the venue. Accommodation, food, fun and entertainment are all in the same spot.

RebelLabs: How is JavaLand different from all the other trade shows in Germany?

Markus: First of all, it is a new conference on the map. We’ve been thinking about launching this for some time already and the biggest questions to answer are how to provide added value over what is already there.

We’re looking to disrupt the scene in Germany a bit from “business as usual”. Unlike other conferences, we’re not commercial-oriented, but a community-driven conference. The community idea influences everything around and inside the conference from comparably low ticket and hotel prices to the chance to contribute to and experience the potential of Java with a bunch of scheduled external activities. The mandatory Hackergarden is just the beginning here. We also present an “Early Adopters Area”, in which you can help with AdoptOpenJDK or AdoptAJSR projects.

If that’s not enough, you can “Labdafy Your Project”. Just bring your source and the community works with you to upgrade it to latest and greatest. The “Innovation Lab” focuses on the latest devices and integration with Java. And of course you will have a chance to meet representatives from all the German JUGs organized in the iJUG on the venue in a separate User Group Café.

Even the over 400 proposals that came in during the CfP have been reviewed and judged upon by representatives of the iJUG. We still see a lot of areas to improve on but we’re pretty happy with the package for the first JavaLand.

RebelLabs: What makes it similar to our favorite Java community events like Devoxx and JavaOne?

Markus: We have all the big names. Kidding. We have plenty of well-known international but also national speakers on the schedule. It’s going to be a two day conference with a bunch full of interesting sessions going on in parallel and exactly like with JavaOne you’ll always struggle to select the perfect schedule. But beside that, we’re not trying to reach out for anything–just trying to build up something unique which fits into the unique venue we can use.

RebelLabs: What is the audience make up going to be compared to other shows?

Markus: I believe that we have something attractive to offer for every interested Java developer regardless of his skill. Starting with students and beginners onto experienced developers. The first event attracted mostly German attendees, which was kind of expected. But the content will be very mixed and mostly English speaking.

RebelLabs: Regarding exhibitors, did you look for any particular companies to join the ranks, or just whomever has the cash? ;-)

Markus: This is the most frustrating topic during organizing JavaLand. We had a pretty tough and short ramp up phase and hit planning restrictions almost everywhere. This time, it was pretty hard to just go along with the wish-list. But we’re still trying hard to find an attractive and valuable mix ;)

RebelLabs: What should attendees expect?

Markus: Difficult to tell for me. It is a bit of everything. There will be the schedule and whomever wants that kind of format can pretty much expect the same from JavaLand as from any other conference. For those a bit more open to change, it will be a great opportunity to interact with speakers and peers in a more direct way taking advantage out of the many community activities.

And yes .. expect some attractions. It’s a fun park. Work hard – play hard. And a community evening. And very nice hotels and coffee. Plenty of coffee :) And don’t forget to bring your excitement. Registration is still open!

RebelLabs: Thanks Markus, sounds like a fun time, let’s just hope we don’t lose any geeks in a freak, roller-coaster-hot-coffee type of accident. See you there!