After I got back from the TSS symposium my manager and several coworkers asked this question. I thoroughly enjoyed the event because I could meet quite a few talented people whom the open source community treats as ďgodsĒ. Also it was a nice change for me because unlike other technical conferences like JavaOne, OracleWorld I did NOT have a technical session to present or a booth duty to do! So I could concentrate myself on attending the sessions.
If you are an open source zealots, technology savvy and always want to be in the bleeding edge (not leading edge!) and love patterns and frameworks then probably you should NOT miss this conference in future. The agenda was full of bleeding edge and open source technologies and upcoming JSRs. The speakers were JSR leaders, open source contributors or book authors. Most of the speakers were great and knew the stuffs they were talking about.
In the past Sun shunned the open source communities and the open source communities bashed Sun and JCP and it was quite interesting to see the opposite here. It was quite amusing to see Gavin King created Hibernate because he hated CMP entity beans and now he is singing all praises for EJB 3.0 and ready to put Hibernate to rest in favor of EJB 3.0 implementation in JBoss. It was great to see a whole bunch of these animals together mingling with each other without any grouching.
Most of attendees, whom I met, were open source contributors, consultants and system integrators or software companies. I did not find to many people from IT departments of medium or large companies for whom J2EE is meant. I see a bunch of these people in JavaOne but these were a minority here. Also in my opinion TSS symposium did not have too much to offer to these folks beside few use cases and design patterns. Large and medium sized companies are still too skeptical to open source tools, frameworks, etc and any attendees will rarely benefit from these presentations unless you really use them or make your resume attractive. In my opinion TSS should offer some tuning, best practices talk for J2EE applications and application servers like Weblogic, Websphere, OracleAS and real business use case instead of to their menu to attract real users of J2EE. Also I would recommend including use cases for real large applications deployed instead of seeing the architecture like javablogs.com. This will make this conference attractive for enterprise users of J2EE.
Most of the keynotes were disappointing and TSS should work to improve those in future. Lunch was much better than other conferences Iíve attended and the lunchtime presentations were boring and adding fuel to the folks who love siesta. I saw few guys almost snoring on their chairs during lunchtime presentation and the Eclipse presentation. It was funny to see few bloggers write blog right away from the conference rooms.
This being a small event (525 attendees) was a good event to socialize with the community members and to add a face to the names that we see everyday in the TheServerSide threads. The Veritas event under whose umbrella this event was being organized created a lot of confusion for socializing with the TSS symposium atttendees. TMC did a great job in pulling together the conference and gathering the technical leaders for presenting the technical sessions. Overall I liked the conference and the technical contents but whether it you will like this or not depends upon your background whether you are passionate about the cutting edge technologies. One guy I met was very much disappointed as they did not use open source technologies and 70% of the presentations were on open source frameworks and their companies do not aloow use any open source tools and technologies other than Apache and ant. For me it was worth money but I canít say for you as the other guy felt it was waste of money for him.
Indeed it was a great event and I'm looking forward for the event next year.