September 10th, 2019 was a big day in the Jakarta EE global circles. Not just that we released the very first version of the Jakarta EE, but we also got very ambitious and organized the very first JakartaOne Livestream conference. What an experience that was!

The intention was to mark an important milestone, the release of the very first vendor neutral, Java EE 8 compatible release of Jakarta EE using the new Jakarta EE Specification Process. 

After almost two years since the Oracle announcement of Java EE contribution to Eclipse Foundation on September 10th, we’ll finally have the base level release that will enable existing products certified on Java EE 8 to move easily and seamlessly Jakarta EE 8 release. The release is a result of cross-community collaboration at the Eclipse Foundation, it has the same Java EE 8 APIs using the javax namespace, its Jakarta EE 8 TCKs are fully compatible with Java EE 8 TCKs, and new compatibility/branding process is available for compatible products.

It was very obvious from the beginning that this may be bigger than we expected, here is why. We have approached a few well-respected leaders in Java EE community to help out and be on the JakartaOne Livestream Program Committee. What a thrill that was! Reza Rahman graciously accepted to be the Program Committee Chair, and the rest of the members of the committee were equally eager and interested to help out: Josh Juneau, Ivar Grimstad, Adam Bien, Arun Gupta and from the Eclipse Foundation - Tanja Obradovic. It was a great pleasure working with this team. 

We started the work on the conference in early June, and with all members having busy schedules and summer vacations, we made most of the time we had: made a plan and put out CFP for the conference. The response was another indicator that there is an interest in the wider community for something like this. We got well over 50 talk submissions of a great quality and we had a difficult task selecting the best. We had a great mixture of introductory / overview talks, specification specific talks, cloud native focused talks, keynotes from Mike Milinkovich and James Gosling, as well as industry keynotes from Jakarta EE Working Group Steering Committee members: Tomitribe, IBM, Fujitsu, Oracle, Payara, Red Hat, demos and panel discussions. We selected 16 talks, which meant 18 hours of the program with keynotes and panel discussions. Adam Bien accepted to be MC of the event and I would be available to help out. In the end, the Program Committee chose the following collection of talks and a reminder that the talks themselves can still be viewed via jakartaone.org.

You may call it beginner's luck, but on the day of the event, we had well over 1350 registered attendees, with a number of questions that were almost immediately answered on the chat by someone from the community. The level of positivity and the sense of the community coming together was overwhelming, illustrating the true power of the open source. With very few technical difficulties, talks were going one after another and even when we had issues Reza Rahman yet again was available to save the day with an additional Q&A session.

 

And to leave the best for last - in terms of running the event, the work done by my colleagues of the Eclipse Foundation staff, was impressive. I could not ask for better help than working with Stephanie Swart, Laura Tran and Shabnam Mayel, as well as the great effort by all our marketing and web teams ahead of the event. The level of dedication, professionalism and readiness to improvise in order to deal with issues presented, was amazing. And did I mention for all four of us this was the very first conference we worked on! Let’s take a deep breath, enjoy the success for another moment before we start working on the next Jakarta EE release.