It's JavaOne time again, a time when dedicated, enthusiastic Java developers—the ones who work for days, weeks, and even months on end—are rewarded for their efforts. It's a chance to go to San Francisco, meet and share your experiences with others, and hear what's new and cool with Java. Attending JavaOne is much like turning a kid loose in a candy store: one has lots to take in, but only so much time and capacity available. If there is one time a year to consume as much Java as you can, JavaOne is it.

What type of developer goes to JavaOne? The Java University program gives us a good indication. You have those interested in the core Java technology. There are also developers working on the enterprise, the Web, mobile and wireless applications, and those who have earned the distinction of being called advanced Java developers. Then there are the advanced wannabes. For them, there are certification fast-path sessions. Who's left? The newbees. However, Java is so big that everyone is some kind of newbee. If you are like me, you are reminded every day about how much Java keeps on growing. So don't worry if you don't have the answers to everything, that's a good reason to go to JavaOne: to find out more about what you think you know, and to find out more about what you don't.

So what will you find that's new and cool at JavaOne? For my money, it's the way the Java platform is being used in the following areas: wireless information devices, smart cards, peer-to-peer computing, smart devices, and embedded and real-time devices. Like much of the Java technology, there is a time lag between fact and fiction. For example, I think J2ME is just now hitting its stride. With sessions on the topic of "Smart Devices: The Modern Client," we get the opportunity to hear people speak on issues such as security, low power, performance, and architectures. Last year, it seemed to be more about what you could do with the technology. This year it's how.

Even if you are not on the bleeding edge, JavaOne still has something for you. The list seems endless: Web, services, J2EE, JSPs, XML, wireless applications, multimedia, sound, swing, applets, image processing, transaction processing, messaging, e-business, patterns, memory management, cryptography, layout management, performance, networking, and I/O to name a few. Just once, I would like to hear from a company that's on the trailing edge! With companies reporting on their use of Java in cellular applications, enterprise portals, deploying multi-application Java card technology-enabled devices, mobile devices, and wireless enterprise applications, I just might.

If you can't make it to JavaOne, try to check out the Java University offered by Sun at one of the upcoming developer conferences from SIGS/101communications ( Good companies, like quality technology, will be around for a long time. So, even if the budget is tight this time around, things have to get better—right? Like I have said before, JavaOne is as much a party as it is a conference. But do yourself a favor if you do get the chance to go: learn something new about Java while you're there. We will all be better for it. That's what I plan to do. And if you see me at the conference, let me know what you found out. I'll do the same.

About the Author

Dwight Deugo is a professor of computer science at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario. Dwight has been an editor for SIGS and 101communications publications, and serves as chair of the Java Programming track at the SIGS Conference for Java Development. He can be reached via e-mail at [email protected].