W-JAX - some data analysis about speakers.

Markus Eisele
Conferences are casting their shadows these days. DOAG; Devoxx; JavaOne and finally the German W-JAX announced their first speakers for 2011. Looking through the list, I was wondering, if my first impression is true: Are those really the same guys over and over every year? I googled around a bit and did some data analysis on the speaker (public available information only). I decided to include data from 2006 onward, because this was the year I had the pleasure to attend once. Hope, you like it. Disclaimer: I did some copy and paste and spreadsheet works for the numbers. They are not official. So, if you find any mistakes, I would be happy to correct them.

General Information
The W-JAX is the conference for holistic technical Know-how in the enterprise and web environment. Here Europe’s leading experts come together to distribute their knowledge and experience to the attendees. Due to their unique mix of topics the W-JAX gives key impulses to the java Enterprise Community, every year again.
A total of 550 speakers attended from 2006 to 2010. For 2011 the speaker number is not completely known, because they release the information bit by bit. At the moment I count 39. The datasource for the following analysis are the speaker websites listed below.

General Distribution
As you can see, the 2009 W-JAX was the one with the most speakers (140). I don't know the number of attendees but I guess, it was the biggest one overall. It seems as if the number decreases since 2010. I wouldn't be surprised to see this years number lower than the 2010 number.
Speaker per year. 2011 still preliminary.

Top 10 - always on
I was wondering, if my feeling was true to see the same faces over and over again. In fact this list is really short. Only 10 of them attended every W-JAX since then. Taking into account, that the final list for 2011 isn't there, we still have some follower, which still could make it.

All time speaker
Adam Bien
Arno Haase
Bernd Kolb
Dierk König
Eberhard Wolff
Kai Tödter
Michael Plöd
Peter Roßbach
Stefan Tilkov
Torsten Winterberg

Still possible but missing 2011 announcement as of today
Bruce Sams
Jutta Eckstein
Mike Wiesner
Papick Garcia Taboada

More than three
If you still have the feeling, you always see the same faces, here is another breakdown. There roughly 25% old-hands, nearly 50% first-timer and always some more experienced 2 or 3 timer in between.

Breakdown by years

Many speakers come only once
If you aggregate this to the total numbers, you get a better impression about the mix. With 248 speakers which attended only one W-JAX this seems to be a good mix in general.
Complete distribution 2006-2011

I did expect to see different results. With a total of 25% frequently returning speakers you can't say, that you see the same faces over and over again. What is true is, that they are the ones being announced early and catch your attention quite frequently because they are marketing material :) But as usual .. there is more behind it.

W-JAX 2006 Speaker Listing
W-JAX 2007 Speaker Listing
W-JAX 2008 Speaker Listing
W-JAX 2009 Speaker Listing
W-JAX 2010 Speaker Listing
W-JAX 2011 Speaker Listing

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  1. Thanks, Markus, for the detailed analysis of our conferences ;)
    Yes, there's a "inner cercle" of JAX/W-JAX speakers who frequently contribute to the conference, not only in terms of sessions/workshops, but also as advisors or hosting a special day. They are part of the "JAX family", one could say.
    On the other hand it's always important to have fresh speakers, new ideas etc. in order to cover latest developments (which doesn't mean that the core speakers do not cover emerging stuff, of course).
    Let me add one more thing: you wrote that W-JAX 2009 was the biggest one - that's not the fact. The number of W-JAX' attendees have increased year by year - at W-JAX 2010 we had over 1150 attendees at the conference. That's about 200 more than in 2009.
    Cheers, Sebastian (Conference Chair JAX conferences worldwide)

  2. Thanks Sebastian! Hope the 2011 will be a success!

  3. Hello Markus,

    very good analysis!

    I also expected another result, so I am surprised, too. I think one reason is that we see a lot of JAX / W-JAX marketing (e.g. JavaMagazin, JAX at Twitter, following several speakers at Twitter). Thus, our impression is that there are always only the same speakers such as Adam Bien :-)

    By the way: It would be interesting to compare this result to other conferences such as Jazoon or Devoxx...

    Best regards,
    Kai Wähner (Twitter: @KaiWaehner)

  4. Just checked here, I spoke from 2005 - 2011.

  5. And the 2005 speaker list is here:


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