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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...

...

KRAKÓW! 

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.

ARE YOU PLANNING ON ORGANIZING A MAJOR EVENT SOMETIME SOON?

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.

ANYTHING CAUGHT YOUR PROGRAMMING ATTENTION RECENTLY?

A compilation of what was mentioned:

Conferences

Frameworks

Books

  • 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

Blogs

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.

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