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From Krakow to Warsaw for the 33rd Degree Conference

2013 March 21

33rd DegreeFor the third time last week, I went to the 33rd Degree Conference in Poland, organized by Grzegorz Duda. From beautiful Krakow it moved to unknown Warsaw at the hotel Gromada near the airport – huge conference hotel, perfect for a conference but charmless for the guests – adequate, that’s all.

There were two exhibition areas: upstairs and downstairs. Thanks to Grzegorz I had a privilege spot next to Atlassian. Our area was very lively with Luxoff, the composing software people that demonstrated their stuff and invited public participation. You guessed at times it was a little too lively or shall I say plain noisy. Unfortunately I did not manage to go to the second exhibition floor, all I know is that JetBrains was there…. And with JetBrains comes Hadi Hariri. Hadi has the most wonderful personality – he has the knack to make me laugh. Like a lot of funny guys, he give the impression that he does not care but behind the curtains he is pretty scared even though he puts a lot of time preparing his presentations. On the last day, he invited me to listen to his keynote – Developers: Prima Donna’s of the 21st Century. You can see a resume of his talk here.

Other speakers included some of our authors:

. Venkat Subramaniam who wrote the bestseller of this conference  – Programming Concurrency on the JVM.  Venkat mentioned that he is writing yet another book on functional programming and Java. The book is not going to be available for a long time as he awaiting the latest release of the software.

. Oliver Gierke, co-author of Spring Data.

. Tim Berglund co-author of Building and Testing with Gradle.

I also should mention Dan North who gave several talks and did a great job explaining me what MapReduce means . I think I got it at the time but I slept since and it is gone. Next time I will write it down.

As you can see, the 33rd Degree conference brought together a great bunch of speakers who delivered timely information on the latest developments.

…but what do I think of Warsaw?

The UniversityThe University LibraryRoyal palaceCOLD! I suppose I should have expected it since most of Northern Europe suffered heavy snow showers that week.  As previously mentioned the conference was near the airport so no chance of seeing the town. So on Saturday afternoon, I took the 175 articulated bus and ended up in the Old Town. I was told that 85% of the buildings in Warsaw were completely destroyed during the 2nd World War. The Old Town has been painstakingly completely rebuilt in the old style. It is just beautiful. I would very much like seeing Warsaw in the Summer with its spacious squares and lots of trees. Unfortunately I saw only a little of Warsaw –

  • Copernicus statueCopernicus
  •  the University
  • The University Library
  • the Royal Palace
  • the cathedral
  • the Vistuala (never walk near a river when it is cold)
  • the monument celebrating the 1944 Warsaw uprising.

As you can see one could spend a few more days there exploring the town architecture, history, arts etc. Unfortunately it was too cold to go and see the Chopin statue in Łazienki Park. That will be for another trip.

Yes of course, Poland was part of the Eastern block and some of the features of that time are recognizable such as the Palace of Culture and Science and of course the large blocks of flats.  Here the blocks have been painted! Would I go back? Yes, but in the Spring or Summer.


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