The Gr8 Conference: Overview
I’m just back in New York from the Gr8 Groovy/Grails conference in Copenhagen, Denmark organized by Soren Berg Glasius and Guillaume LaForge. There were seven speakers, two full days of content and just under a hundred attendees. I’ll be blogging about a number of the sessions in more detail, but I just wanted to blog some general thoughts about the conference.
Perhaps the first is that I’m still surprised that the only pure Groovy/Grails conference scheduled so far for this year is in Europe. I’ve seen a lot of interest in Groovy and Grails at most of the conferences I’ve attended this year – from the BCS SPA conference in London to No Fluff Just Stuff in Boston the other month. Even in the current economic times i’d expect there would be strong demand for a Groovy/Grails conference in the US. I was also surprised by the relatively modest size of the conference. I would have expected more than 100 attendees, so clearly we’re a little earlier on the adoption curve than I’d realized for Groovy and Grails development.
I think it’s going to be very interesting to see how Groovy and Grails evolve over the next couple of years. Given the number of Java developers, the benefits of dynamic languages and RAD web frameworks and the very shallow learning curve for Java devs wanting to get started with Groovy and/or Grails, I think there’s going to be a huge uptick in the adoption of and interest in the technologies over the next couple of years.
The conference itself was great. It provided a really good introduction to the core technologies and (more importantly) a chance to meet and network with a number of the key developers in the community – including Guillaume LaForge and Graeme Rocher – the project leads for Groovy and Grails respectively. I’m still fairly new to Groovy and Grails so I found the content valuable. I’d imagine that to keep it relevant to experienced Groovy and Grails developers, the next event would have to have at least two separate tracks to provide some more advanced material while still allowing for true “hands on” sessions to get beginners up to speed with Groovy and Grails.
Overall the conference was great – very well organized, so congratulations to the organizers for doing a great job and I look forwards to attending again next year! Now on with some more detailed reviews of specific sessions . . .