I just came back from the BuildStuff conference in Vilnius, Lithuania (actually this was almost a week ago, but I was writing that back at the airport ;) ). Although it’s not so well known, and it’s only the second edition, I must say that it was a really great conference.
I think the best thing about the conference was its diversity. Usually I attend various Java- or JVM- themed conferences. BuildStuff, on the other hand, is truly a software development conference. There were talks on F#, Erlang, Scala, (other languages), Agile as well as general “philosophical” talks. It’s really interesting to find out what’s happening outside of your usual ecosystem – there may be some great ideas waiting!
Just as an example, the way you can do data exploration and visualisation using F#’s REPL and type providers – really nice (Tomas Petricek/Mathias Brandewinder). Or real-life examples of how you can use QuickCheck to find bugs in your code (John Hughes) will hopefully finally motivate me to start using Scala Check. Or did you know that there’s an open-source sub-orbital manned rocket being built (Copenhagen suborbitals)?
Overall, the speaker lineup was really good; as for the idea/knowledge-value of the conference, BuildStuff is on par with other great conferences, like Devoxx or JavaZone (which I visited this year as well). Plus, both after-parties were really good. It’s a pity I had my talk scheduled in the morning after the main party so I couldn’t stay until the end ;).
Some things could be of course improved, like the sound quality in some of the rooms, but that’s just minor technical glitches.
Thanks to Neringa and Greg Young and their team I also had an opportunity to present: I was talking about Scala, Dependency Injection, Macros and my own project, MacWire. You can find the slides here.
Looking forward to BuildStuff 2014!