Last week I had the honour of presenting a Java EE 6 masterclass together with Stephan Janssen at OUGN 2012. OUGN is the official Oracle User Group Norway and they organize a yearly conference amongst several other activities. Both Stephan and I ran into OUGN frontman Frank Vikingstad at an EMEA meeting for Oracle and Java User Group Leaders in Prague last year and after that we kept in touch and started talking about expanding the traditional Oracle focused event with a Java track as well.
As this was OUGN’s first time catering for a Java crowd we decided that a dedicated Java Masterclass track would be a great fit and we opted for a number of Java EE 6 related technologies to fill the track with. Both Stephan and I started preparing our content a couple of weeks in advance and we both picked our favorite APIs from the Java EE 6 menu. Amongst them were JAX-RS, JPA, EJB, CDI, and some others. The crowd that attended our sessions consisted mainly of people looking at Java EE for the first time, coming from other programming environments, or were returning to Java EE after being scared away from earlier J2EE releases in the past. In the action packed two days we really served them a deep dive with lots of theory, code examples and demos. As you can tell from the pictures we had a lot of fun teaching the class and the response that we got from the attendees was very positive so apparantly we did a good job.
One of the coolest things about the OUGN 2012 seminar is that it is organized on a boat. Yes, that’s right a real cruise ship to be exact. The folks from OUGN reassured us this had to do with the fact that nobody could run off in between the sessions, but we suspected the Norwegian prizes for alcohol also to be of influence Anyway, the atmosphere aboard was very nice with a really neat conferencing environment. At night we had an opportunity to enjoy the excellent facilities of the ship and some good food as well, all included in the seminar’s entrance fee.
I haven’t spent much time in the Oracle oriented sessions as our masterclass covered the entire schedule of the event, but what I heard from the other attendees is that there were some very good sessions. The list of speakers was also quite international with some well-known Oracle gurus on the list. Not all sessions were in English, which is ok since almost all of the attendees were Norwegians anyway. Most of the people I met spoke excellent English so there is definitely an opportunity to make English the default language and turn it into a truly international event if they want to. A number of presentations from this event has been recorded and will be published on a well known site near you in the next couple of weeks, so you have a chance to check out the conference yourself from a lazy chair.
Coming into Oslo from most European countries is very easy and with the airport express train you are in the centre of the city in no-time. The conference organizers took good care of their speakers with a very nice speakers dinner following a visit to the world’s most modern Ski Jump at the top of Oslo (Holmenkollen). All in all the OUGN 2012 was a very good experience for me. If you are in the neighbourhood next time, make sure you attend. Especially if you’re a Norwegian. The value for money is excellent and you get the facilitites from the cruise ship as a bonus. Hopefully next time we can extend the amount of Java coverage of the conference with a couple of other masterclasses or maybe even a full conference Java track.
On another note, the Oracle EMEA and worldwide summits with Oracle User Groups and Java User Group Leaders have really proven to be useful, resulting in concrete collaboration between both types of user groups at this particular event.