2023 – What a Year!


I’ve been a software developer since 1995, but 2023 was by far the most exciting year of my IT career. Let’s look back on projects, conferences, and recognitions and an outlook to 2024.

Customer Projects

This year, I’ve worked as an architect, developer, and consultant for various customers. I want to highlight one project. In this project, I am working with my customer for one of the largest sports associations in Switzerland. We are doing an overhaul and creating a new version of the software to manage large sports events from planning to execution. This project is very exciting because I have been a member of a sports club since I was a little boy and participate every year at such sports events. Of course, Vaadin was used, and it is the first time I have created a mobile-first application with Vaadin. Thanks to the excellent Vaadin components, this is possible without any problems.

Speaking Engagements

In terms of talks at conferences, 2023 was an exceptional year. I gave a total of 15 talks and workshops at 12 conferences and meetups. Each conference was exceptional in its own way, and it brought me to Spain, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and one meetup talk even let me visit Chicago virtually.

VoxxedDays Zurich, JavaLand, JAX, JCON, Vaadin Create, BaselOne, and finally, the Swiss Railways Developer Day, where my IT career started close to 30 years ago, were awesome. But I want to highlight the anniversaries that made the conferences even more special: 20 years of Devoxx Belgium, 20 years of J-Fall, and 10 years of Spring I/O Barcelona. An additional anniversary was celebrated in Barcelona: 20 years of Spring and 10 years of Spring Boot!


Surprise #1: Oracle ACE

In Spring, I was recognized as an Oracle ACE Associate, and I feel honored to be part of this group.
The Oracle ACE program is a community program run by Oracle. It is designed to recognize and reward individuals who have demonstrated exceptional expertise and contributions in various Oracle-related technologies, such as databases, middleware, applications, and more. Oracle ACEs are recognized as experts and are expected to actively contribute to the Oracle community through blogging, speaking at conferences, participating in user groups, and sharing their knowledge with others.

Surprise #2: Java Champion

On November 27th at five o’clock, I was on my way to the train station after teaching at the university when I saw this message on Twitter/X:

The Java Champions community was started by Sun at the 2005 JavaOne conference to recognize key influencers in the Java community. Java Champions are influential Rock Star presenters and Java technology educators, authors, and consultants; Java platform event organizers; and others within the Java technology ecosystem.

Java Champions are the group of exceptional people in the Java community that I have always looked up to, and now I am a Java Champion myself – incredible! I still can’t believe what an honor I was given, and am very grateful to everyone who made it possible. It motivates me even more to give back to the Java community as much as possible.

Outlook 2024

Already six talks are confirmed for 2024. The season will start with a talk at my home base, the Java User Group in Bern, Switzerland, followed by two highlights: In March, I will visit Romania for the first time in my life and will talk at the VoxxedDays Bucharest and in April I’m honored to speak at the largest Java conference in the United States at DevNexus in Atlanta. And finally, there are a few engagements at online conferences.

2023 was amazing, and I’m sure 2024 will be great as well. I would be happy to see you at one of my talks. Happy New Year, everybody!

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Simon Martinelli
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