J On The Beach 2016
An overview from the inside

Hi I am Luis, I work as Digital Marketing Manager for Valo and I am one of the main organisers of the J on the Beach event for Developers that recently took place in Malaga, Spain.

I have written this post to share with you our motivation for organising this event, as well as my experience and learnings gathered from it and how the event was received by our speakers and 300+ attendees.

So, why J on the Beach?

Since I started to work at Valo about a year ago, I’ve been  contacting and meeting with some of the main IT companies in the area with a single aim: supporting the local tech communities.

Why has this been my focus? As atech company, we made the decision last year to open our Valo R&D centre in Malaga because of the smart, tech talent in the area. This has also driven our continued focus on supporting local communities and meetups such as Malaga Scala Developers, Málaga JUG, Yes We Tech or Databeers.

The reasons to support these communities are multiple and while one reason is that it forms part of the Corporate Social Responsibility of the company, another very important reason is that it is very valuable to listen to and learn from these communities, as well as give back to them. Other reasons for why it is important to support these communities are:

- To educate and raise the calibre of IT developers in the area.

- To provide an environment for developers to share experiences and grow in their careers.

- To make the rest of the world aware of of the interesting developments taking place in the South of Spain.  

In return, we expect to raise the profile of Malaga and the South of Spain as a tech hub for talent and attract more talented people to the area.

What our speakers said about the event

Needless to say, most of our speakers commented on how delighted they were to spend time in Malaga, exploring the beautiful city and local area. Their feedback was also extremely positive about the event, the venue and the organisation. The speakers loved the event, some calling it out during their talks as “their new favourite conference” and tweeting about the positive buzz it created. From individual conversations with them, many are already keen to be involved with J on the Beach 2017, which is great.



What our attendees said about the event

Following the event, we sent a survey to all of the attendees and were delighted to see more than 130 people responded with their feedback.

Again, thanks to all of our attendees for their useful feedback and positive messages that we received. The positive feedback means we will be able to focus on what you enjoyed at the event, so we can incorporate it into our planning for next year’s event, along with some lessons learnt from this year.



Below are some of the results of the survey:

General event ratings (1 to 10 with 10 being most positive response):

Overall, how satisfied were you with the event?   8

How would you rate the venue? 8

How would you rate the staff? 9

How would you rate the food? 5

How likely is it that you would recommend it to a friend or colleague? 8

How well did the event meet your expectations?(0 to 4 with 4 being most positive response)  3

One important lesson learned is that it can take a while to feed over 300 hungry people for lunch and that hipster trucks serving burritos aren’t necessarily the fastest for this job. Thinking on our feet, we ordered pizzas for lunch on the second day so that people did not have to queue for a long time in the sun.

As for speakers and talk topics, below are the  Top 5 ranking talks in regards to the feedback received:

  1. Mar Cabra: The tech behind the biggest journalism leak in history 9
  2. Jamie Allen: The Future of Service-Based Architectures 8.5
  3. Roland Kuhn: Reactive Design Patterns 8.5
  4. Yara & Vinicius Senger: Adding eyes, ears and mouth to your IoT projects 8
  5. Edson Yanaga: A Developer's Journey From Monoliths to Microservices 8

Besides these talks we also need to point out the high marks that the Malaga Scala + JUG Meetup where Jamie Allen and Kirk Pepperdine had an amazing discussion about Lambdas in Scala and Java that was marked with a 8.5 as well as the Databeers Meetup with the brilliant talk from Mar Cabra that got 8 points.

We are also extremely happy to receive lots of great feedback in the comments provided, including:

“Keep up with the great work”, “Super initiative to get the IT community together in Malaga”, “It was a very good first edition! Thank you all!”, “Loved it!”, “In general, the event was amazing with a lot of speakers and interesting topics”, “Thank you very much for everything”, “Awesome event!”, “Well done guys!”

In conclusion, the event went far beyond our expectations and the feedback received has been  fantastic

There was one last question in the survey that said: Would you like J onthe Beach to take place in 2017? 99% of the people said YES so please book the 17-20 May 2017 in your diaries because we are not going to disappoint you ;)