World’s top Java experts were at Dawson College Jan. 10 for software conference

Some of the top speakers in the world on the Java language and software development were at Dawson College Jan. 10 to speak at DAWSCON, the fourth annual software development conference organized by Ken Fogel of the Computer Science Technology Program.

“It was the best conference yet and we had the attendance I have been aiming for: about 300 people attended,” Ken told Dawson College Communications. “The majority of participants were from industry and about a third were students. This year we even had Grade 9 and 10 students from Royal West Academy and Lindsay Place High School.”

Dawson recognized as a school of excellence for software

The rock star of the conference was Venkat Subramaniam, who gave the keynote talk entitled Rediscovering JavaScript: Exploring the Modern JavaScript Features. “He is the number-one speaker in the world on software development and he carves out space for Dawson College and a few other schools,” Ken said. “Dawson College is recognized around the world as a school of excellence for software development.”

Ken started DAWSCON to create an accessible conference for his students. “It is important to me to maintain the conference as a free conference,” Ken said, “and we have been fortunate to score top speakers who donate their time.”

“As a teacher, I find it important to keep learning and to get off campus and speak to people in industry. When I began attending Oracle Code One, I found people to connect with and discuss. Attending conferences is a way to stay current and up to date. People are really nice and generous in this community. However, it can be cost-prohibitive for students to attend conferences.”

Ken Fogel on Java global executive committee

DAWSCON now has name recognition in the world of software development and that will only grow, especially with Ken’s election in the fall to serve a one-year term on the executive committee of the Java Community Process. This organization, managed by Oracle Corporation, reviews all JSRs (Java Service Requests) submitted by developers and companies from around the world for changes, enhancements and even removals from the Java language.

The chairperson of the Java Community Process Program is Heather VanCura, who is based in California and is a Director at Oracle. In this role, she leads the activities of the JCP Program Office including driving the process, managing its membership, guiding specification leads and experts through the process, leading the Executive Committee (EC) meetings, and managing the web site. Heather has a front row seat for studying trends within the community and recommending changes. Several changes to the JCP program in recent years have included enabling broader participation, increased transparency and agility in development.

Heather VanCura presented The Future of Java and You

Java is the number-one general-purpose computer programming language. More than 12 million developers around the world use Java, she told those gathered in the amphitheatre for her presentation at Dawson College. “The unique thing about Java,” Heather said, “is that it incorporates feedback from all these developers.”

The future of Java is focused on the Cloud

The language, which is more than 20 years old, is continuing to evolve but the philosophies will remain the same:

  • Platform complete
  • Quality and security
  • Innovation
  • Open and transparent
  • Developer productivity

The oversight of Java is unique from other technologies, according to Heather. The collaborative development takes place within this ecosystem of communities, which include people from corporations, the non-profit sector, Java user groups, and individual developers.

In 2017, Java changed the release cadence to make it easier on developers. There are more frequent releases but they are smaller so less disruptive. The last major release was JDK 11, which had over 100 new features. Now the new releases are every six months and the major releases are every three years.

Mark your calendars

Just as Java continues its evolution so does DAWSCON. The fifth edition is already in the planning stages and the date is set for Jan. 8, 2021 at Dawson College.

Last Modified: January 20, 2020