I spent most of last week in Antwerp at Devoxx 2012, probably the biggest developer event in Europe. The European context was front-of-mind since, for recreation, the week before I’d been occasionally reading US right-wingers introspecting on why they’d lost the election and where America is going. A repeating theme is how the US is at grave danger of becoming like Europe; they’re convinced that that’s Barack’s hidden agenda. And Europe, you see, is a terrible place.
A week there, in only a corner of the continent, but among Eurofolk from all over it, and my opinion that the US wingnuts are just wrong is reinforced. The US’ most important problems are not going to be well-addressed by becoming less European. Having said that, I remain firmly a New World person; I like living in a young society, and anyhow Euro pop music is mostly shit.
I’ve covered Antwerp before (with nice pictures) and really only got out after dark this time; here are a couple of Antwerp-by-night shots:
It’ll never be a big tourist attraction, but it’s friendly and generally works well.
The conference is exemplary: Nice location, reasonable price, well-produced. The world owes Stephan Janssen thanks for taking the time and effort over all these years.
My big gripe is that there’s too much Enterprise stuff and too much mainstream Java (I mean, JavaFX, gimme a break). And really, that’s maybe the least interesting part of our profession, these days. But the proportion of my tribe who earns its living up against that particular coalface is pretty high, and I guess they deserve to hear people addressing their particular problems.
It draws an impressively international audience:
They’re branching out a bit: There’ll be Devoxxes in Paris and London int the same week late next March. Clever.