dinsdag 13 maart 2012

Code Like an Egyptian

Last week I went to Cairo in Egypt to present at the JDC 2012 conference.

What a Country

It was my first time in Egypt as well as my first time on the African continent and I have to say that it was a very good experience. My parents are both Egypt enthusiast and they had already told me many good things about this country but the reality beat my expectations by far. Egyptians are truly optimistic and very friendly and helpful people. Also they are rightfully very proud about their magnificent culture and their rich history. Even though I was only there for two full days, I escaped for 4 hours to go and see the pyramid complex of Giza. Pictures don't do this any good, in reality the site is even more mind-blowing!

Open Source to the Rescue

Of course, because of the recent political events, the economical situation is not that great at this time as a lot of tourists avoid Egypt. Nevertheless everybody that I spoke to was confident that things would be turned around. Also it turns out that open source can play an important role in this evolution. A lot of Egyptian startups start off using open source projects with minimal investments. When their business takes off and becomes profitable, they can then proceed to buy subscriptions for the corresponding products. Consequently a lot of developers I spoke with were very happy with the JBoss presence at the JDC conference as many of them use JBoss technology.

What a Conference

As for the conference itself, it was an example of how all conferences should be organized: great venue, motivated volunteers, good food and of course exciting presentations and a very interested crowd. Myself, I had three presentations:
Except for the last session, which was scheduled in the last slot of the last day, the talks were very well attended with lots of interesting questions afterwards. There was also professional media coverage from TechEgypt who recorded the sessions. I was told the recordings would be published by the end of March. In the meantime you will have to do with an interview TechEgypt did with me. They already published that one yesterday as you can see below.

It is nice to see how the Java community is growing strong in Egypt. I was told that so far JDC is the only Java conference in the Middle East and Africa combined. But I am sure that its success will lead to a better presence of this side of the world on the Java map.

I want to thank the organizers and the attendees of the conference once again for this great event. Way to go guys!