Employees of Synyx are going to Devoxx in Antwerp since three years. I've never been here before but my colleagues have always reportet that they loved the conference. So this is the first time I could also make it and I must say, just right after less than the first half: It rocks!
I am not gonna bore you with the details of the talks I visited because I leave this up to one of the other guys from Synyx that are here with me. 😉 Instead I'll try to explain what I liked most/not/whatever about it from a "Devoxx-Newbie" perspective.
The best thing to mention so far are the University-Talks. These extra-long talks take place (unfortunately) only within the first two days of Devoxx. The special thing about them is that they last 3 hours each. This lets the speakers dig much deeper into their topic as they could do during a 1 or 1.5 hour talk. Additionally most of the sessions I've seen so far have some bigger demos and live-coding included. Another good thing about this is that since you can only visit two a day (one in the morning and one in the afternoon) you won't have to "switch tasks" so often, meaning you can keep concentrating one one topic for a longer period of time. I like this much better than other conferences where you'll have like 6 Sessions in a row without anything in common (ok, you can follow the tracks that should have related topics, but who does that...).
By the way, if someone is interested in what University-Talks I've been visiting: Hadoop Fundamentals, Spring Roo, Wicket, Hibernate / JPA2 (click on the links for details and full names of the talks).
So I am looking forward to the next 3 Days that are hopefully packed with new stuff to learn. So stay tuned for the second part and my resumee of Devoxx 2010.