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Monday, 24 December 2012

Kraków – Vibrant with History... and Technology

First of all, under any circumstances, do not miss our call for papers! It is already open, and closes on February 14. Then we meet in Kraków on May 15-18.

So, have you been to Kraków? The second largest city in Poland, beautifully located on the river Vistula and near the Carpathian Mountains, home of Polish kings and soon-to-be-wed young Brits. There is plenty to sightsee, and we will provide you with some tourism hints and tips before the conference, but that is not what this post is about.

To prove that it is not a coincidence that we are meeting in Kraków, below we present a list of technical user groups that meet on a regular basis, and that some of us know first-hand. You will get a chance to meet some of those wonderful people during GeeCON!

PJUG / SmartUp Meetup

  • Polish Java User Group - Why Polish, and not Kraków? Well, 13 years ago it was the first JUG in Poland! Since then many other very active JUGs were born in Poland, but the name remains. A number of Polish Java conferences originated from PJUG. This groups organizes JavaCamps. They happen once every 1 or 2 months, and consist of 4 presentations each.
    We, the PJUG, and the Poznań JUG are the ones organising GeeCON for you!
  • Kraków Scala User Group will boot up this January. It has been founded by some JUG members and Scala geeks from VirtusLab which met on another user groups' meeting and decided join up by creating a Scala focused group themselves. They're motivated to share their love for this elegant language with others. Having a tiny bit of support from TypeSafe and lot’s of good Traits, it’s practically bound to become a steady stream of many new Scala fans!
  • Kraków Hadoop User Group - support group for big data nerds. This group meets more or less once every three weeks. A typical meeting is a presentation and a discussion (about big data).
  • Google Developers Group Kraków  is a meeting place for Google technologies enthusiasts. Frontend, backend, mobile... There’s a lot to cover here! It recently held a 3-day-long hackathon  about Google Drive + Eclipse Orion. This group (part of GDG Poland) actively supports other initiatives in Kraków – for instance by inviting speakers from Google to JUG meetings. The closest plans include organizing a Go workshop in the first quarter of 2013.

HackerSpace Kraków - Arduino Workshops

  • Hackerspace Kraków is a one-of-a-kind initiative that essentialy is.. a Hackerspace. It attracts tinkerers, makers, and other people who embrace the tangible part of geekery. They do not hold regular meetings, but instead manage a venue, financed by Hackerspace’s friends and sponsors. Everybody works hard to renovate the place in a community effort. Activities include building 3D printers... using other 3D printers! Hackerspace cooperates with GDG to organize KrakDroid (an Android focused, free,  conference) and more hardware-oriented events. If you are still confused about the difference between a coworking space and a hackerspace, here is a good source of information.
  • Hack KRK means coding and (free) beer. Great atmosphere, great people, great organization... and lightning talks! HackKRK is a great place to meet with fellow coders and hack away on any project you currently feel like. This series of events is organised by a local company: Future Simple.
  • Hive53 is the Kraków Startup Community. You know startups – some people with money + some people with ideas. Nice clothes.
  • ALE Kraków promotes agile and lean practices of software development by organizing monthly talks.
  • Erlang User Group holds technical meetings a few time a year and organizes Erlang workshops as well as full blown courses where you can level up from erlang-noob to parallel computing master.
  • KGD.net is a .NET developers user group. Their range of topics is often wider than strictly .NET technologies. From time to time a group of JVM people pays a shy visit as KGD’s talks often extend far beyond just “the platform”.
  • Kraków Ruby User Group meets once every 1 or 2 months for a set of 2-3 presentations.
  • Pykonik - Python Users Group.
  • Smart Up and JARCamp have emerged quite recently as company-driver events. Currently they are to a large extent combined with PJUG, as you can see here.

Global Day of CodeRetreat #4 with SCKRK

  • Software Craftsmanship Kraków. Last but not least - SCKRK, is a quite unique group. Here craftsmen gather, independent on their daily programming language, read and discuss whitepapers (!). Yes, it’s an “reading club” where everyone is welcome. Discussed topics range from highly sophisticated algorithms to recent technical to research papers. But that doesn’t mean you can’t go lean here! In fact, the form of the next meetup is always based on a vote from the previous one, so even meeting formats like Code Dojo or CodeRetreats are typical here! Check out the cool photos available here.

A lot, isn’t it? It sure is...

A typical week in Kraków is pretty much like this: Monday – a day off, Tuesday – Hadoop, Wednesday – SCKRK, Thursday – PJUG, Friday – it depends (recently those were JARCamp and FooBarCamp), and it is good to close the week with small conference on a Saturday, like CodeRetreat or KrakDroid. And from January onwards, the regular Scala meetup will have to fit in there too somehow! 

It's hard to just choose one group if all of them are top-notch, but well... That's only a good thing!

That's our last post this year. We'd like to wish you a merry Christmas, lots of fun and joy in the upcoming year! Enjoy your holidays and see you again in 2013, yet another year of GeeCON!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

GeeCON Number FIVE!

The time is passing quickly, so without further ado, we have officially started preparations for the 5th(!) edition of GeeCON. In 2013 GeeCON, starting May 15, is coming to Kraków again. Look how much fun we had here in the past: 2011, 2009.

Armed with last years’ experience, we have started planning the anniversary edition early. We will continue our quest for the best formula, tweaking it in all the necessary places. GeeCON has been constantly growing from the start, and we expect this trend to last.

We have started inviting speakers, and we are trying to agree on the ever-growing candidates list, so expect first names to be published here very soon.

The open call for papers  will start in December and will last 6 weeks, with a number of proposals being iteratively accepted. The rules are described here.

As a participant, you should expect even more attractions than usually – cinquième édition oblige!
Stay in touch!

Monday, 17 September 2012

Introducing Java User Groups in Poland, and What They Have Been up to This Summer

The summer is almost over, and so is the summer vacation for those who had a chance to even taste it. It has been a bit of a silly season (cucumber season in Polish), but do not think we have not been working hard! What have we done, for instance...? Well, for a good start, we made a decision about where the next GeeCON will happen! It will happen in...



The beautiful city of Polish kings, Jewish culture, bubliks, and True English Stag Parties.

Nonetheless, to break the summer silence, a few weeks ago I decided to check on Polish Java Users Groups. I tried to contact representatives of all major Polish JUG’s to ask them how their summer was going and what their plans for the upcoming weeks were.

You see, contacting them was not always easy. Some JUG’s have proper webpages with sections like ‘Board Members’ and ‘Upcoming Meetings’. Some only run a Google discussion group. No pointing fingers, but... ;) The most ridiculous thing that happened to me was this. I requested a membership in one of those groups because it was the only means of contact provided. I wrote this very long ‘message for the group administrator’ explaining how my goal is not really to get invited to their discussion group but more to contact an active group member to ask them those few question. The outcome of this operation was... being accepted, without any further comment. Sigh.

Anyways, this is what I learned from the guys who responded to my inquiries. Some of them took their time, so pieces of this information may be quite ripe, sorry about that.
(Also, note that some parts are direct [though freely translated] quotes and some are paraphrased.)

Do you have meetings and seminars during summer?

Polish JUG: Concise yet impressive: two bigger JavaCamp meetings. More information can be found here and here.

Poznań JUG: We usually take a break from Java during the holiday period. People go travelling the world and the attendance is lower, so there are no meetings in July or August. The latest one was Renaud Bruyeron’s talk on Garbage Collector tuning, and Dawid Weiss discussed JVM’s internals in one before that. The upcoming presentations are about Google services integration and writing OpenShift apps. We kindly invite anyone willing to share their knowledge, please let us now here :-)

Trójmiasto JUG: Trójmiasto (Tricity) JUG was reactivated at the end of winter 2012. Since then, during the 3 months before summer vacation, organized 4 meetings. Three of them saw presentation by local speakers and was a guest perfomance by Sławek Sobótka. In the meantime, and also during the summer, we planned for further development of the groups and did some networking (other groups and companies) to broaden our “offer” and make it more attractive. This way me managed to start cooperations with:
  • JetBrains (product licenses),
  • ZeroTurnaroud (product licenses),
  • O’Reilly (books)
  • Trójmiasto GTUG (Google Technology User Group).
We want to have 4 more meetings this year, and also have some bigger plans that are not yet ready to be made public.

Szczecin JUG: Last presentation was about MongoDB, the closes one, in September, will be about Groove, and then there’s Spock.

Warszawa JUG: Summer vacation is a vacation in Warsaw JUG, too. We meet occasionally, e.g. when there is a bigger event or a special guest arrives in Warsaw. Our meetings agenda is available here together with recordings, if we have them.

Where do you meet?

Polish JUG: Different places. The most recent place has been Klub Drukarnia, where we can use a room for around 100 people and some drinks courtesy of our sponsors.

Poznań JUG: We usually meet at Cognifide, that is Murawa 12-28 in Poznań. You can see photos from the most recent meeting (which included watching the Poland – Russia game at Euro 2012) at Cognifide’s Facebook profile.

Szczecin JUG: We used to meet at the university, the Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology of West Pomeranian University of Technology, but most recently it has been a pub ;]

Trójmiasto JUG: Our meetings will take place in Gdańsk Business Incubator STARTER, courtesy of the Foundation itself and the financial support of Solwit S.A.

Warszawa JUG: Since the very beginning (that would be 2006) we have been meeting at the Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Mechanics of University of Warsaw, Banacha 2 street in Warsaw. Here’s a photo (but... it’s from 2007!)
More than a photo can be found here.

How many people are there in your JUG and how many of them are women?

Polish JUG: There are more than 800 people at the mailing goup, but obviously less than that are active participants. Usually we see between 40 and 100 people at our meetings.

Poznań JUG: The mailing list has 296 people, but also outsiders come to our meetings, so it is hard to give the exact number. As for girls, well, not too many. If I was to quickly asses the average age, I’d say 20-35, but we do not collect this kind of data.

Szczecin JUG: 112 people. 8 women, 4 of which are programmers [What about the other ones? Who are THEY? I am fascinated - Justyna] Judging solely by appearance, the age range of our active participants is 27-32.

Trójmiasto JUG: More than 100 people are registered, but this number includes people from other towns, conference organizers and headhunters. In each of our recent meetings we had around 30 people – including women! :) Short reports, materials, photos and the list of our sponsors can be found here.

Warszawa JUG: 629 and still counting.


Polish JUG: The next JavaCamp will probably happen in October... And there’s GeeCON in May 2013.

Poznań JUG: Apart from regular meetings, we want to organize a series of workshops on JEE, mostly for people who have never written anything using this technology. The final form has not been decided upon yet. As for events, we are in the process of preparations for the Global Code Retreat day (2nd time for us). Very soon we will also start preparations for the next Eclipse DemoCamp.

Szczecin JUG
Each April we organize a conference. It used to be called Java4people, but this year we renamed it DevCrowd

Warszawa JUG: Bigger events? Well... Since 2008 Warsaw JUG has been organizing the biggest free Java conference in Poland (if not in Europe). The first four edition were held under the name Javarsovia, the other two – Confitura. At the last edition, June 30 in Warsaw, we had around 900 participants. The next (7th) edition of the WJUG-organized event will be held as soon as June 2013 :) In October/November we will hold a smaller, more workshop-like conference called Warsjawa.


A compilation of what was mentioned:




  • Practical Unit Testing with TestNG and Mockito by Tomek Kaczanowski
  • Love'em or Lose'em by Beverly Kaye, Sharon Jordan-Evans
  • Rework by Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson
  • The Clean Coder: A Code of Conduct for Professional Programmers by Robert C. Martin


Everybody apologizes their list is not complete, and everybody is afraid they have forgotten something important . Nonetheless, that’s what they gave me:

The complete list of JUG’s in Poland can be found here.
That’s it for now and see you very, very soon. 

Do you feel your JUG, your blog, your conference should be mentioned here but is not? Let us know!

I would especially like to thank the following people for providing me with information: Adrian Nowak, Leszek Gruchała, Łukasz Stachowiak, Mateusz Mrozewski, Michał Margiel.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Q&A with Dawid Weiss

Hey folks! During the holiday season the updates have been overly scarce. You might have noticed that a few more videos have appeared on our vimeo channel - after the holidays we will continue to upload them more regularly

In the meantime, we'd like to treat you to a Q&A with Dawid Weiss. The answers have been waiting to be published for quite a while, but we didn't manage to squeeze them in during the pre-conference month. Enjoy!

Dawid Weiss

What was your first computer? How old were you? What did you do with it?

My first computer?... Hard to tell. Those were the days where not many people "had" a computer... and if somebody did it was closer to collective ownership because you'd have half the neighborhood at your house trying to play river raid or something (the other half was female). The first computer I programmed was Unipolbrit 2086 that a friend had... then there was Atari 800XL that my friend had... and then I actually owned an Atari 800 XE which was my introduction to assembly (and BASIC). A couple years later I switched to an Amiga 1200 -- it was an awesome piece of hardware. I even bought a hard drive at some point.

I primarily used my computers for writing assembly (demos, intros, other stuff that made little sense). Had a few favorite games, but didn't play that much... was too busy with writing my own game called "Wacus the Detective" which was later sold to LK Avalon. I was extremely proud of that (and I still am).

What will the next revolution be about?

I've no idea, really. There seems to be a big paradigm shift to dynamic languages with cool features that mix functional languages, imperative languages, dynamic typing... Hard to tell where all this is heading. I am definitely amazed by progress done in hardware -- I mean, take a look at memory capacity on a typical sd card... Say, a 32 GB card -- if we paid 1 penny for one byte then that single card would be worth 34359 million dollars. That's pretty much an annual Google revenue. And this is only a freaking pendrive, now think of petabyte databases -- a petabyte is 6 times to the sun and back if we count a millimeter per byte. These are cosmic numbers. Software is not that impressive ;)

Are there enough women in IT? Why do you think so?

I don't have any opinion on this, really. If there aren't enough women in IT there are probably reasons for this disproportion that go beyond trivial matters. Would a woman spend long hours bent over a keyboard or would she rather manage a team of men that does it (and hence be a manager)? I was working as a special aid for some time in my life and there was a vast majority of women in that profession... I guess overall it's all kind of equal.

"Wacus the detective" title screen
Dawid's game title screeen ;) Copyright 1997 L.K. Avalon

Why are you coming to speak at GeeCON?

It's in Poznan so I don't need to spend anything on travel and accommodation. Kidding, kidding. I really like the profile GeeCON has -- a mix of different things, great speakers and vibrant atmosphere. It's a privilege to speak at such a conference.

What is the most important part of a programmers conference?

I don't attend that many to know for sure, but any event with public presentations should spread knowledge that goes beyond trivial matters I think. And do it effectively, possibly with a touch of humor to make 8 hour sessions bearable.

What do you want to teach the youngest and bravest developers? What message do you want to send?

Oh man... I don't know. "Listen and you'll be heard" or something? I was an academic for over 10 years and my impression is that people take what they want from tutorials and lectures -- you can try to make bullet summaries but their minds will be selective about what they do want to remember and what they opt to forget no matter how hard you try. I hope my talk will leave a trace of something to remember.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

GeeCON 2012 videos

Kevlin Henney giving his "Cool Code" lecture at GeeCON 2012.
Kevlin demonstrates how things can go wrong ;)

We have promised to deliver GeeCON 2012 videos fairly soon after the conference. A month and a half has passed and we would like to present you with the first batch of talks. We will continue to upload new lectures each week.

We would like to start with a BANG! The most desired talk - Kevlin Henney's keynote "Cool Code" is available for you on our vimeo channel. Along with that you can enjoy Peter Hilton's "Play Framework 2.0" talk.

Stay tuned for more videos soon. We hope you'll enjoy it!

Friday, 22 June 2012

GeeCON Satisfaction Survey Results Revealed

GeeCON data analysis center ;)
A month after the conference, we have looked into GeeCON satisfaction surveys that many of you have kindly and selflessly filled for us.

The dry statistics are as follows:

No. of responses
Quality of talks
University Day
Open Spaces
Overall score

How did you hear about us?
(Does not sum up to 100% because some people gave more than one answer, and the answers that appeared only once are not included)

user groups
partner's webpage

Favourite answer*: Dzizas, nie pamiętam. Od 3 lat jeżdżę. (Hardly translatable, but let's try: Geez, how would I remember, it's my third time here...)

Are you satisfied?


Will you come next year?


Good to hear that even those (few) of you who were not satisfied with this year's GeeCON are giving us a second chance, stating that you might still come next year! Then again, every 'no' is a sign for us.

The top 5 best speakers, according to you are (speakers' scores have been counted by subtracting the sum of their 'worst speaker' votes from their 'best speaker' votes ;) ):
  1. Kevlin Henney
  2. Adam Bien
  3. Sam Newman
  4. Thomas Sundberg
  5. Andrea Provaglio
Kevlin Henney wins hands down, and his performance is best summarized with the following participant comment: Closing lecture was pure gold.

Suggestions and general comments:

About the venue: most of you seem to like the idea of having a conference in a cinema, but there were some complaints. Fist of all, we are aware that the lack of a cloakroom was an inconvenience. We will organize one next time, sorry about that! I guess after last year's heat nobody expected that people would be wearing jackets in May. We will also remember that most of you like to 'eat with two hands' and so will try to get more tables. As for the beer demand... we will see. Why not! :)

Most of those who participated in the survey would like the University Day to consist of hands-on workshops lasting the whole day instead of just longer, tutorial-style lectures.

Apparently, we exaggerated with the number of simultaneous sessions, making people feel that they were missing on something else. We hereby acknowledge this fact, together with the suggestions that sessions should be divided by subjects, preferably ones completely disjoint. It might be a good idea to create the schedule based on votes of people who want to see particular presentations/sessions.

Other important subjects that you raised:
  • student discounts
  • access to videos from previous GeeCONs: those are ready to see here
  • more men's toilets
  • fruit instead of cakes (and to that my female heart and 5 extra kilos applaud fiercely)
  • a hackathon (maybe instead of one of the parties?)

To sum this up

We are always aiming to provide the best GeeCON experience possible. Your input is very valuable to us an we cannot thank you enough for taking your time to fill in the survey. We would also like to thank for all the kind words you've sent us in the survey.

We are sending e-mails to those lucky that have won a t-shirt / free ticket for the GeeCON 2013 - make sure to check your inbox (and just in case a spam folder). There is a total of 6 of those.

Since writing a GeeCON review blog post is (or so we think) a major effort we have decided to reward each submission sent to testimonials@geecon.org with a t-shirt. Please send us your shipping address and the t-shirt size.

See you next year!!!
* Adam's favourite quote from the surveys is "Koko koko GeeCON spoko", which would be hard to translate as well

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

My goodness My GeeCON!

GeeCON audience
GeeCON audience.  © Szymon Pietrzak

GeeCON is almost a month away. We'd like to thank you all for positive feedback. Rest assured though - we will not turn a deaf ear to all the suggestions and / or complaints that some of you have voiced. We want all of you to have the best GeeCON experience so all your suggestions are very welcome.

Not all of you might have found their way to our official photo gallery https://picasaweb.google.com/geecon.org/GeeCON2012. We will continue adding more pictures there, so check back soon.

We'd like to make a summary of testimonials submitted to us (and the ones we've found on the web that weren't submitted*) for all of you to read and enjoy. If you still haven't sent us yours, please do so soon, the deadline is this Thursaday, 14th June. We will, of course, update the blog with all the reviews sent after that, but you might miss the opportunity for such a sweet t-shirt!

The links to reviews are listed below. Note that not all are in English. Use Google Translate at your own risk!

That's it for now! We will post a short summary of our survey in the following week, along with announcing t-shirt and free ticket winners.

* bear in mind that only the reviews sent directly to testimonials@geecon.org will take part in the competition to win a t-shirt

Friday, 8 June 2012

OneWebSQL workshop

Hey there GeeCON folks! It’s been a while since the last update, but there was a lot of stuff to wrap up. A survey and blog reviews’ summary is coming up soon - in the meantime you can still send your review to testimonials@geecon.org or fill in the survey for a chance to win a free ticket and a super-cool blue GeeCON t-shirt! If you haven’t received a link to the survey please contact us - we will send one to you.

In the meantime we have an interesting offer for you. At the e-point SA booth you could see a demo of their new O/R mapping framework. Those amazing folks have prepared a workshop for those of you who would like to take an in-depth look at OneWebSQL. You can get hands-on experience in using OneWebSQL for database access layer programming. The OneWebSQL Team will pay special attention to the differences in the application development between Hibernate and OneWebSQL. It will be a real treat!

The workshop covers mostly advanced programming topics, so you need at least working familiarity with Java database technologies: SQL, JDBC, JTA transactions, etc. You will work in a small group (max 10 people) for maximum interaction and knowledge sharing.

The workshop is scheduled for:
Warsaw, Poland on June 21st, 2012y at 17:00 CEST (UTC+2)

If you'd like to attend please make an e-mail reservation until June 17th at workshops@OneWebSQL.com.

*English speakers take notice - Workshop is in POLISH!*


Monday, 28 May 2012

girls@geecon get-together

Attendants list
It has been a few days since GeeCON ended and I finally managed to have some well-deserved sleep, so now I am ready to write this little diary.

As some of you might have noticed, we held a little girls get-together during the lunch break of conference day 1. First of all, sorry to any and all of the female GeeCON participants who did not know about this meeting and would have liked to attend. I did what I could: I contacted all the ticket winners (5 Google grants, 2 extra tickets on our side), placed the 'poster' on the birthday room door, approached a few girls in the Multikino corridor, and tweeted like crazy. I did not want to spam all attendants for many reasons, including the fact that I am fully aware how a number of IT girls for different reasons want nothing to do with initiatives like this one.

So, we met, we ate, we talked. We saw a number of very happy male faces peeking through the birthday room glass door :) We also had some clashes of opinions. At lest one of us (also: the one who has the most expertise in using female-oriented Google grants ;) ) thinks that women are in no way discriminated against in IT, and that the grants and other initiatives like it are sexist and unnecessary, though appreciated. Most of the girls, however, think that the situation ('the situation' being the small percentage of women in the field; more or less 30 out of 500 people at GeeCON were ladies!) does not reflect the natural predisposition of society members. Not all of the girls have hardcore stories like mine (about quasi-programmer or girls who can only deal with picking out colours), but almost everybody has experienced the difference in the attitude. Also, most of us would like to work in more gender-balanced teams.

Girls get-together in one of the birthday rooms :)
So, if we were to come up with a manifesto, what would that be? Here are 4 main points I think most of us agreed upon during the lunch-break meeting, and also a smaller afternoon out on conference day 2:
  1. Parities are nonsense, but there are more girls fit (and happy in favourable circumstances) to do IT than what we see now.
  2. We are not saying there are not differences between men and women, but members of both sexes can become great programmers or visionaries in computer science.
  3. It is very important to monitor early education stages and eliminate concious and subconcious hints sent by parents and teachers, assigning girls to 'softer' crafts or praising them only for looking good (and boys for being intelligent and creative).
  4. We (girls) have to become just a little more self-confident, including starting our sentences with 'I know that' instead of 'I think that'.
So, to sum this up, we had a nice time together. For me it was wonderful to talk about what the situation (see the definition above) is in other countries. I am really looking forward to doing this during the next GeeCON, or some other conferences during the year too, perhaps? And maybe the next time, we could even invite the speakers? :)
After the conference, in Kuchnia dla Dragona
On a finishing note: I felt quite good seeing that this one time there was a huge line to the men's toilet, even after they took 'spare' resources from us and let guys use half of the girls' room! ;)

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Is your geek on?

Wow! This have been a few long days for us here at the GeeCON team. We think that everything went pretty well - no major slips or annoyances. But we're not the ones to tell! We will be sending out a link to a survey to all the participants - please fill it in to help us improve what's there to improve and to keep what's there to keep - we value your opinion and the survey is the way for you to speak directly to us.

A t-shirt for a winner

We all know you are all terribly busy at work so we thought of a small gift that we'll send to the three lucky persons that fill in the survey and win: a cool t-shirt! One person will receive a free ticket to 2013 edition as well. You can also write a review of the GeeCON conference on your blog / website and send a link to testimonials@geecon.org - we will be drawing a free ticket and a t-shirt among those that do as well!

We would like to use this opportunity to thank everyone for making this possible. Huge thank you goes to our sponsors - you guys are awesome! No less appreciation goes to you - our participants. Thanks for coming, enjoying the talks and the discussions in the hallway!

Another thank you goes to our technical staff - those guys have helped the conference run as smoothly as it did.

If you've endured any mistreatment on our part we can only assure you it was never ill-intended. Sometimes getting just 2 hours of sleep leaves one snappy. If that was ever the case (we hope not!) - we are offering our sincere apologies.

Thanks for partying with us too - we know it takes a lot of effort to show up at a party after the whole day of lectures. We hope you have enjoyed the GeeCON drinkup and bar-hopping with Allegro as much as we did.

Thank you all for coming to GeeCON and see you back next year!

See you in 2013 GeeCON graphics
See you in a year! Stay tuned for details.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Bar-hopping with Allegro Group


If you still don't know, there is a party tonight! You can visit Allegro's booth for all the info. There will be coupons for free beer handed out at the following locations (all directly in the Main Square):
  • Londoner Pub (Stary Rynek 90)
  • Drink Bar Tropicana (Stary Rynek 10)
  • Columbus (Stary Rynek 38/39)
  • Guliwer (Stary Rynek 38/39)
Make sure to make your way there!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

GeeCON partying!

Hey there fellas and ladies! We know that after a whole day of lectures, the more adventurous of you will want to roam the city of Poznań in a search for a perfect place to have a beer. It should come as no surprise to those that have attended any of our past events that we are providing each of our participants with an opportunity to relax & party between the conference days. This year will be no different!

We would like to invite every GeeCON participant to the GeeCON drinkup on 16th of May and to the GeeCON bar-hopping sponsored by Allegro Group on 17th of May!

GeeCON drinkup will take place in the Johnny Rocker pub, starting at 19:00. We will be offering beer coupons to the GeeCON participants - just bring your GeeCON ID! You can consult our map for it's location (as well as the map on pub's website).

As for bar-hopping - this will be an opportunity to jump around different pubs in Poznań's Old Town. There will be free beer coupons available at various bars. We'd like to invite you to Allegro's booth for more details!

As much as it is tempting to chat all night in the company of fellow geeks & nerds we'd like to remind you that each of those parties is followed by a day full of quality lectures so it's best to drink reasonably!

One more thing - if you have a blog or a website and would like to show your support, you can install a small script that our friend Konrad has prepared. It will show an overlay (for a short while) saying that you're on GeeCON. Hit the link https://github.com/ktoso/were-on-geecon on how to install and for download. Please mail us a link to your website / blog if you do use it - we will be drawing a small prize amongst those that do!

Monday, 14 May 2012

Dinner with speakers

We are inviting all the GeeCON speakers to a dinner. This has become our tradition to show our appreciation for the quality content they provide for the conference.
This year we thought that this is a perfect excuse for a contest. One of you will have the opportunity to have a dinner with your idols! A dinner in a very charming and stylish restaurant will take place at 19:00 on 17th of May (Thursday). Many of you are using twitter during the conference to express your thoughts on GeeCON and we've decided we should reward that!
Here is what you'll have to do in order to compete:
  1. We will tweet about the dinner contest - you will have to re-tweet this announcement to inform us that you want to participate in the drawing. This is the link to the tweet: https://twitter.com/#!/GeeCON/status/202670241518592003.
  2. You have to tweet during the conference.
  3. At the end of Thursday we will randomly choose one participating person that was actively tweeting about GeeCON.

UPDATE: The tweet you need to retweet has been posted

Sunday, 13 May 2012

If GeeCON is not enough...

P.I.W.O. Tour, Kraków, 22.05.2011, phot.: Piotr Ficek
What else is happening in Poznań during the conference?

P.I.W.O. Light Show - the ultimate geek treat

From the organizer's webpage:

P.I.W.O. – the Powerful Index Window Display (or if you prefer, B.E.E.R. – Big Electronic Entertainment Renderer) – enables us to transform buildings into giant screens. Each window becomes a separate ‘pixel’ controlled by a computer, which enables a smooth display of animations with combined sound effects.

And this time they are also playing the controversial Poland's Official EURO 2012 song: Koko EURO Spoko!!!

When? May 16, 2012, 9:30 PM
Where? Poznań University of Technology dormitory no 6, ul. Św. Rocha 11B
More info? http://www.piwo.pwr.wroc.pl/poznan2012 (the Poznań event description is only in Polish, but general information is available in other languages too)

(I hope you managed to learn the one important Polish word from this text)

Outer Spaces Wilda

Outer Spaces is a street art festival, and this year it is happening in Wilda, which also means: very close to the GeeCON venue.

There are many events and activities in the festival, but maybe the most spectacular one is that between 14 and 19 of May you will be able to see street artists creating murals on the walls of historic (and mostly quite neglected) tenement houses: Sikorskiego 25, Przemysłowa 21, Czarnieckiego 14, Górna Wilda 89.

When? May 13-19, 2012
Where? Wilda district
More info? http://outerspaces.pl/ (Polish)


The annual students celebration is taking place in the Academic Sports Association stadium in Pułaskiego street between May 17 and 20. The concerts are free for students, others have to buy (very cheap) tickets. The list of bands is available here. The event is very picnic-like, but can get out of control.

When? May 17-20, 2012
Where? Academic Sports Association stadium (Stadion Akademickiego Związku Sportowego), Pułaskiego street (2.5 km from Multikino)
More info? http://juwenalia.poznan.pl/ (Polish)

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Where to eat at GeeCON?

Dragon pub / restaurant photo
If you are a regular at GeeCON, you know that we will not let you starve - we offer you modest breakfasts and lunches every day. For dinners, however, or if you feel like exploring a bit (just make sure you are not missing any interesting sessions!), you will have to make some choices on your own. This little guide should help you start with the correct ones ;)

As you might remember from the Explaining Local GeeCON Territory post, we will be situated in the city center. Your most obvious choices are the Stary Browar shopping/business/arts center, and the main square, but there are also some nice small places even closer to the GeeCON venue.

Stary Browar (200 m from Multikino)

You can find the complete list of cafes and restaurants in Stary Browar (Old Brewery) here. There are three types of locations in the list: Atrium is the 'old' Old Brewery, the closest to Multikino, with 2 entrances from Półwiejska street; Passage is the new part (with entrances to other sides); Courtyard is the part between them. To get to the Courtyard you have to go to Atrium 2nd level.

The shopping center is open from 9 am to 9 pm (the two gourmet supermarkets are open from 8 am to 10 pm). The restaurants and clubs in the Courtyard have separate entrances, so their opening hours may be longer too. The ones I subjectively recommend are:
  • Art Sushi for a nice Japanese/Korean lunch/dinner,
  • China Town for a quick lunch (in my opinion their spring rolls are the best in town),
  • Pralinka Cafe for coffee and sweets from my hometown of Bydgoszcz (the famous confectioner Adam Sowa),
  • Salad Story for great salads, obviously including vegetarian things, but not limited to them,
  • Weranda Lunch & Wine: the name does not reveal this, but they have really nice breakfasts! On the more expensive side, though,
  • Piano Bar for an elegant evening with high end food.
And if you wander to the 'new' part (Passage), you might see another Multikino... Don't ask me.

The Main Square (1.3 km)

There are just so many to choose from! In the previous post I already mentioned Dragon (Zamkowa 3): a picteresque pub and a restaurant (Kuchnia dla Dragona - Kitchen for Dragon) open from 9 am till early morning (of the next day). There is Pracownia Cafe (Woźna 17) - vegetarian fusion with some fish and poultry. For something traditionally Polish you can try Bażanciarnia (Stary Rynek 94; Stary Rynek is the Main [Old] Square). You can also try the restaurants in Wrocławska street (one of your possible routes from Multikino) which has recently been turned into a pedestrian zone. Among others, there is a pierogi restaurant called Chatka Babuni (Wrocławska 18). Another nice place in the main square is Brovaria (73/74): a very good restaurant which also brews its own beers (and has nice steaks, if you crave them).

Hidden gems around Multikino

Just in front of Multikino (but you will have to go around to use a pedestrian crossing - in Poland you may get fined for crossing on a red light or outside of a designated crossing; if it happens, your best option is to [pretend you do] not speak Polish) there is an inconspicuous-looking pizzeria called Gallipolli which serves surprisingly good pizza* (and beer). Another good place for a pizza or some mixed Polish/Italian gratins is Tivoli in Św. Czesława (850 m). To go there you have to actually enter the Wilda part of town (see the previous post), so I highly recommend it! :)

Pyry z gzikiem

I almost forgot!

We are in Poznań, and the traditional thing to eat in Poznań (once) is pyry z gzikiem. It is a Lenten dish, made from, well, potatoes (pyry in the local dialect) and cottage cheese. You can find a nice variant of this dish, together with all things potato, in Pyra Bar in Strzelecka street (900 m from Multikino).

*theadam considers it the best pizza in town!

Monday, 7 May 2012

GeeCON OpenSpaces

Want to talk about design patterns? Looking for the answer how to deliver high quality software on time? Maybe you would like to ask others what is the real value of automated tests? Or how big is big data and how to deal with it? ;-) There are many questions like these, and that is why we would like to invite you to GeeCON OpenSpaces - our first official unconference.

It is the first event of this kind organized by the GeeCON team. Because of that we have asked for help of Bruce Eckel himself! Bruce have led and participated in many unconference-style events and he will lead the GeeCON OpenSpaces. If you want to know more about unconferences, watch his short introductory presentation.

GeeCON OpenSpaces will be held after the main conference on Saturday (19th of May). We will meet around 10 AM in the headquarters of Cognifide in Murawa Office Park (ul. Murawa 12-18, Poznań). The event will last (approximately) till 4 PM.

If you are interested, you have no time to waste - we have only 50 tickets, so register now!

Sold out!

GeeCON conference sold out drawing
Neither Alexei nor Guido will be holding the gate @geecon, don't worry!
If you haven't already noticed, we have sold out all the tickets for the main conference! There are still some tickets left just for University Day. Check out registration site for details.
It really pleases us that the Java community is so interested in quality trainings! We would very much like everyone to attend our conference, but even though there is enough room for lectures, the hallways will be too cramped if we accept more participants. We hope to alleviate some of the 'crowded hallways' issues by having all the cinema to ourselves (including a chillout room).
Thanks everyone for such a huge interest!