This past Saturday, 24 November 2018, I woke up at an ungodly hour, silly o’clock as someone would put it, drove to a nearby town because of an industrial action going on, and took a train to London. You might ask yourself, “Why dude? It’s Saturday!”, and I would agree with you 99.999% of the time except this was not regular Saturday. It was the LJC Unconference 2018 and it was fantastic.
The London Java Community, LJC for short, organises many events throughout London every year and the Unconference is its yearly event. Hosted at IBM’s Southbank office (a great office by the way) and organized in conjunction with RecWorks and others (a shoutout to Dominique and Simon, impeccable execution!) is one of those events that you have to be there to fully grasp how incredible it is. It is not flashy nor it is almost prohibitively expensive and still provides great talks, networking and food (the breakfast bacon rolls and the lunch halloumi were simply delicious).
I first went to the Unconference in 2016, couldn’t go in 2017 and made 2018 a must and it was worth it. Met some incredible people, caught up with others after quite a while and participated in some interesting discussions around Java, the JDK and their future, learned more about the state of Project Loom and Truffle and GraalVM, how developers are dealing with migrating to Java 11 and an AMA with some of the LJC’s Java Champions, Martijn Verburg, Daniel Bryant, Mani Sarkar and Richard Warburton.
I had such a grand time that I cannot recommend it enough to any Java developer from all walks of life, to attend such an event. If you are not a member of the LJC, do yourself a favour and join. You’ll meet great people and will learn quite a lot from some of the best out there.