JCrete 2018

Last July I had the opportunity to make three of my life dreams come true. First was taking a hike to Verliga dragonlake in Pindos, Greece. The second was watching Justice live which happened during We Are Electric festival in Holland. The third and most relative to this blog was attending JCrete unconference.

During my 4 year professional experience as a java developer, I have been to many conferences and meetings across Greece. Voxxed Athens and Thessaloniki, JHug, DEVit. But among all those an unconference stole my heart. So… why is that?

Well first, the conference is held in the magical island of Crete. The beaches are among the best in the world, the food is delicious and the locals are known for their exceptional hospitality. Then you get to meet pioneers of the Java community, with whom you exchange ideas in the most friendly environment I have ever seen! In 2018 there where more than 30 Java champions among an estimate of 107 attendees.

Regarding the unconference structure it goes something like this :

  • pre-session activities such as running and swimming
  • breakfast at the OAC where the conference is held
  • subject voting. Here you can freely propose a subject for discussion and afterwards all unattendees will vote for it. In 2018 we had 5 days, 18 sessions each divided within 3 hours. So, for every hour you get 6 different sessions to choose from. How cool is that?
  • lunch at the OAC
  • post-session activites such as swimming, hiking, random excersions
  • rest or hacking at the OAC
  • dinner usually in a nearby tavern

As you might have noticed, the unconference doesn’t end within those 3 hours, because you get to socialize with other unattendees the whole day!

So whats my opinion if you do happen to get an invite? Don’t even blink and send accept on the spot! For me its not only about the technical knowledge that you acquire but also the people and friends that you make.