My Experience at the 2007 Atlantic Northeast Software Symposium

For those of you that haven't heard of the No Fluff Just Stuff (NFJS) symposium tour, my first question is, "Where have you been?!" This tour has been around since 2001, and has been gaining popularity. This is the third year that the tour has made its way through New Jersey, and I recently attended the Atlantic Northeast Software Symposium that was held in Princeton, New Jersey on August 10-12, 2007.

This was my second consecutive year attending NFJS and I have to tell you that, just like last year, I left the symposium having learned a tremendous amount. When Jay Zimmerman, the founder and director of NFJS, says he strives to stay on the cutting edge of technology, he means it! For example, at the New York Software Symposium that I attended last year in Newark, New Jersey, I primarily gained a much better understanding of Spring, Hibernate, and Aspect-Oriented Programming. This year, I gained a much better understanding of Groovy, Grails, the Google Web Toolkit, and OSGi. After both symposia, I was ready to apply what I learned in a relatively short period of time.

For those of you that have heard about NFJS, but haven't attended one of their events, my second question is "Why?!" This symposium series was intentionally designed as an alternative to the more traditional software conferences. Each software symposium is held over a long weekend (Friday - Sunday). So those of you who are serious about honing existing skills or developing new ones, you won't mind giving up your weekend to rub elbows with the experts. Here's the typical schedule of events:

  • Friday afternoon - registration, three (3) 90-minute sessions, dinner, and a keynote address.
  • Saturday - breakfast and lunch, four (4) 90-minute sessions, and birds-of-a-feather (BoF) sessions.
  • Sunday - breakfast and lunch, four (4) 90-minute sessions, and an expert panel discussion.

Jay also raffles off cool stuff such as licenses to IntelliJ IDEA, books, and electronic gizmos such as Nintendo Wiis and Apple iPods. This year, there was a grand prize raffle for a free pass to the Rich Web Experience that is scheduled to be held September 6-8, 2007 in San Jose, California.

You get all of this for only $850.00 (unless you register early), which is easy on any company's IT budget.

So now that I have hopefully whet your appetite to attend an upcoming NJFS event, my final question is, "What are you waiting for?!" Go to the web site, and see when the tour will be coming to a city near you.


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