This has been a power weekend for me. First the NEJUG presentation on Cloud Computing on Thursday followed by three days of NoFluffJustStuff.OK ! I will admit , on Thursday , I wasn’t sure , if the idea of sacrificing my weekend for a geek tech orgy was the smart thing to do….Anyways…It was too late to do anything about it. So off I went.
Now that its over- so how did I feel about it ?

It’s one of the best things I have done for my professional development in a long time

I am lucky to work for a company where attending such conferences is encouraged and financially supported. I can also say that if I were to loose that backing, I would still probably attend on my own dime.
Why ? Here’s why…

When I signed up, the foremost thing in my mind was to get a whiff of all the interesting topic lineup they had,

But I soon realized that it’s not the content. It was being part of that geek fest which gave me the adrenaline rush !

Don’t take me wrong. The content was amazing. There were excellent speakers talking on very interesting subjects. But the content wasn’t something you will not find elsewhere.
With a few easy Google searches – you can probably find it on host of other places.
To me- it was all about the company. Being in the company of the Tech gurus who had come to .give presentations, and the company of passionate technologists who like me had shamelessly abandoned their families to be part of this.

During these three days. my career of 13 years flashed before my eyes, as I evaluated the decisions I have made in the past and in fact days before – against the advice handed out during the presentations. Some principles and practices that I have established over time were shattered and other re-asserted.

It’s not the question of being wrong or right- buts its simulating discussion like these- which challenge your deep rooted beliefs and you start to think afresh – again.

I made new plans for myself- Do more work on Grails\Groovy? Or should I dive in Scala ? or maybe give GAE a chance ? How about  GAELYK? OSGi? Am I now ready to write a DSL ?
In fact I was so excited after the NEJUG talk on CloudComputing, I created an Amazon EC2 account, right after I came back from the meeting ! And my brave colleague Carlos came back with a book on Scala from the NFJS conference !

Another amazing part is- though the conference was for three days, it will stick to me for a longer time. During these three days, I gathered enough reference to new buzzwords, articles and books to keep me busy for another 6 months. On Monday when I came back to work- I found my new leanings start to affect my decision taking…

It was also fun to meet new people. I heard their stories and realized how different and similar are our lives !. I also met colleagues from my previous work place- thankfully the ones I wanted to meet ;)

To summarize, I came back – curious, humble, proud, and excited.

But yes- these things come at the cost of spending time away other things which are important as well. And that ain’t easy  .But the good thing about NoFluffJustStuff is that its a local event and you can get back home just in time to play connect 4 with your little one !

  • Nermin

    I would say definitely dive in Scala :)

  • Jon Archer

    Nice write up Rajiv, I’m quite envious, although not quite envious enough to relocate to MA still :-D

    What was the most interesting/game-changing/thought-provoking thing you encountered?

  • that other guy

    You know what got me excited? Scala. You can do this in Scala:

    actor {whatever you put in here executes in its own thread}

    oh man, the possibilities…

  • Rajiv Narula

    @Jon – If I have to put a finger on one thing- I guess that would be FP.
    Also NFJS comes to Denver ,CO in Nov.

    @ThatOtherGuy – Ditto !

    @Nermin – I would love to come to your UserGroup some day. But it seems so far off. Maybe I can convince ThatOtherGuy to carpool ?

  • Hamlet D’Arcy

    NFJS is awesome. I also credit it with inspiring and energizing me to get where I am today. Jay Z deserves some type of community award, even if it is a business!

  • Eric Wendelin

    @Hamlet: Agreed. Double for starting Uberconf as well.

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