I just got back from 4 days out at University of Montana where I presented a couple of sessions at the Portlets2007 conference. It was an interesting experience — most of my past experience has been at JA-SIG, JUGs, or other open-source heavy audiences which tend to be… shall we say… self-selected.
I did 2 sessions in the advanced track:
- Spring Portlet MVC
- JA-SIG Central Authentication Service (CAS)
There was a lot of interest in both — though not a lot of familiarity with either technology. A handful of people had used Spring, or peeked at CAS, but a number of the participants were relatively new to portals, or at least non-Oracle portlets. This did cause the sessions to be a little more abstract and high-level than I had originally hoped, but it looks like a lot of people had their interest stoked, which can only be a good thing.
One characteristic of the audience that I did appreciate was a greater emphasis on business requirements and especially accommodating business priorities (especially as related to resource allocation, and where to cut corners) than you often see at open-source gatherings. I think the reality of our profession is that software development is primarily an engineering discipline, which of course means that you often have to trade off for cost, implementation time, or quality.