J On The Beach is an international rendezvous for developers and DevOps around big data technologies.

It is a pure technical conference with workshops, a hackathon and technical talks where top speakers will share the latest trends in technologies related to Big Data. From data collection and stream processing to architectures, microservices, container systems, etc.

Understanding COVID19 Through Data

    Antonio Fernandez Anta Research Professor IMDEA Networks Institute in Madrid   COVID-19 has been raging on for months now. While some countries have passed the worst phase, others are just now beginning to reach the peak. The number of confirmed cases worldwide continues to grow, and countries like Germany, the UK, the US, and China hurry to create and test vaccines. But, there are still so many questions to be answered.  A recurring question heard everywhere is, "Who is infected?"  We have turned to Antonio Fernandez Anta, Research Professor at IMDEA Networks Institute in Madrid and speaker of J on The Beach 2020, to help answer this.  Antonio, together with an international team of scientists, has launched a study called the @CoronaSurvey Project, which aims to estimate the real number of COVID-19 infections. They are reaching people worldwide through the Twitter page @CoronaSurveys to get the responses needed for their study. His team analyses and updates the data collected daily to make estimates and adds it to their webpage.  JOTB: So, Antonio, how did you come up with the idea for your research?  Antonio: I was listening to the number of infected cases that were being mentioned all over the news. You know, newspapers, television, everywhere, and I knew that what they were reporting were only the confirmed cases, which it was by no means the actual number of cases because they didn’t have enough laboratories and tests to be able to account for every single infected person in the country, particularly in Spain. So, I was thinking, "how can I help?" and I was exploring multiple options.  JOTB: What is the Corona Survey?  Antonio: It ended up being a simple Twitter survey. I woke up on March 13, and I said, "Look, I can ask people, 'are you infected or not,' but if I do that I’m going to get only a few hundred responses, in the best of cases, and that’s not going to tell me anything that's statistically significant". So, instead of asking people about their health, I asked people about the health of the people they know. I launched on Twitter [the question] "How many people do you know that are infected with COVID-19?"  JOTB: How are you able to use the data you collect to estimate for a whole country?  Antonio: You don’t really know how many people a person knows, but there is this result in social science, called the Dunbar number, that tells that each of us on average connects with 150 people. So, by using that, if you tell me that you know 15 people that are sick, and I make the assumption that you know 150 people, that means 10% of the population should be infected. That's the rule of thumb we've been using.  JOTB: How is your data different from what is out there?  Antonio: The data that is right now available, which is the number of confirmed cases, is by far underestimating the figures of infected people.  JOTB: Is this data just for Spain?  Antonio: It started as a very simple experiment in Spain, a week later we had deployed similar experiments in Italy, Portugal, UK, US, and Cyprus. Now, we are two months down the river, and today or tomorrow we are going to be deploying another survey which will be translated into 56 languages and is going to collect regional information from probably 100 countries. Antonio explains that ideally, contributors would return to the surveys periodically, maybe once a week or so, especially if there is a change in the number of infected people they know. This is so that the team can see how the number of people infected has progressed. The idea is to keep updating the numbers and analysing the trends.  The team believes the study can be especially useful in countries where there isn't much data available, or where such data is not very reliable.  According to Antonio, they have received positive results when applying the survey in Ukraine. They found that the results from the surveys in that country, and the number of infections estimated from the number of deaths disclosed, was very inconsistent, which was most probably due to a lack of data. They found that by applying a reverse algorithm, they could correctly estimate the actual number of deaths related to COVID-19.  The people behind the CoronaSurveys are all volunteers who believe this information is something governments can use to make future decisions.  All the data they collect is open-source on GitHub, and the team encourages people to download and play around with it. Antonio even jokes that they wouldn't mind if someone wanted to organize the data. You can contribute your data anonymously to help improve this study by finding your region and filling out a short survey. You can also learn more about Antonio and his team, and stay up to date with the @CoronaSurvey results by following the project's social media.
Created by Manoella Nolasco Taris

COVID19 Update

Update - August 26, 2020 It is with great sadness that we announce that J on The Beach 2020 will be canceled this year.  While we hoped that the situation around the world would have calmed down by now, that is not the case. We have weighed several options: maintaining the October date, postponing to a later date, having an online conference. However, the health of our speakers and attendees is our main priority, and due to the uncertainty of this unprecedented time, delivering a quality event while keeping everyone safe does not seem feasible. Rest assured, we will be refunding all tickets.  In the coming days, we will be working with our ticket provider to refund all tickets. Please be patient as we work through this. We will be sending out an email when all refunds have been finalized.  With this said, we will stay positive and begin to work on ideas for our 2021 J on The Beach event.  To stay updated on all JOTB news, sign up to our newsletter and follow us on social media.  Should you have any questions, concerns, or general comments, don’t hesitate to contact us at  Malaga's beaches will miss you, and so will we.  Stay safe!   Update - May 28, 2020 We had hoped the COVID-19 situation would have improved by now. While it has improved in some parts of the world, others are just now beginning to reach a critical level. As of today, we still plan on holding the event on October 14-16, however, should there be a second wave of infections and should we find ourselves needing to cancel the event, we would like to assure our attendees that we will provide full refunds for all tickets purchased. JOTB20 What happened? As many of you know, the Coronavirus pandemic has had a tremendous impact on everyone's lives.  While some people might still be happy to attend, we did not want to risk aiding the spread of the virus and endangering others beyond the conference, which is why, on March 13th, we made the difficult decision to postpone the event to October. While, at first, we were optimistic that we could go ahead as planned in May, it became clear that this was not realistic or prudent. Speakers, sponsors, and attendees had been in touch with their concerns about the event and restrictions on travel. We also know that many of you had to arrange things like travel, accommodation, childcare, and time out of the office. Because of this, we wanted to give you as much notice as possible so you could minimize the disruption rather than have to watch us wait until the last minute. Naturally, we were disappointed. We love seeing you all at our events, and we were looking forward to celebrating our 5th birthday with you, but this was the right thing to do. No conference talk is more important than the health of our community and those they come into contact with, and we all have a responsibility to look out for others who may be more vulnerable than us. So, what now?  We have moved the event to the 14th, 15th, and 16th of October 2020: We are hoping most of our speakers and trainers will be able to attend to deliver their sessions in October, and we are working to confirm the details as soon as we can. While the schedule may change, the venue will continue to be the same. These changes might take some time to confirm, so please bear with us and keep an eye out for emails from us. We aim to make the move to October as seamless as possible, and we are working on ways to make it better and worth waiting for.  To ease the pain, we have organized some online talks and workshops. This way, you can still get some J On The Beach content while working from home. We will keep you posted via our newsletter.  For ticket holders: We will automatically transfer your ticket(s) to October. You do not need to do anything. We are going to host some exclusive online workshops and talks for ticket holders so you will be able to get some training and content while waiting for the October event.  What if I can’t make the October dates? If you can not make it to the event in October, you can reassign your ticket to someone else, or you can claim your reimbursement by writing to by April 10th, 2020. If you have already made travel or accommodation bookings for May, you should contact your provider or insurer to check their amendment or refund policies. If you requested a visa to attend the conference, you should contact your local consulate to transfer your visa to the dates in October. If you need any additional documentation from us to do this, write to We hope this clears up any questions or concerns you may have regarding JOTB20.  Stay safe!    This blog post was updated on May 19, 2020
Created by J on The Beach Organising Committee

CFP Tips and Tricks for Tech Conferences

Is there an art to submitting talks to speak at tech conferences? What are the boxes you need to tick when submitting a talk for a specific conference? In this article, we will try to cover most of the aspects you need to consider at the time of submitting a proposal for a tech conference. These tips and tricks come from members of our Organising Committee. This advice is not only meant to be practical for J On The Beach, but for any tech conference.  Note: Although it is called a “Call for Papers” and the spirit is similar, papers are submitted to academic conferences and it is a completely different world and process for Tech conferences.   Choosing a Topic Ok, so you want to become a speaker at a conference but don´t know what to talk about. Well, as Ted Neward states in his blog about Speaking Tips: how to Write good proposals, the first thing you need to do is…  READ. Most conferences have similar wide topics where you might be able to share your experience/knowledge, but it is important that you focus on the ones you are submitting to. In the case of J On The Beach, you can easily read the topics on our website and CFP: Distributed systems, DevOps and Architectures, ML and AI, Functional Programming… there is no restriction on programming languages.  However, considering these topics, a talk about how to use the latest Javascript library might not be the best fit for our event.  Does it mean that if you have a talk that is not specifically covered in our topics that it is not going to be selected? No, we are not that narrow-minded, and sometimes general or non-related topics might be very welcome in our selection. But it might be a risk that your proposed topic will be considered less relevant and then rejected. One thing that, I personally consider, might be useful at the time of deciding a topic is to know who you are writing the talk for and then try to empathise with them.  The first people who are going to read the proposal are the members of the programme committee so if possible, check about their background and interests, their Twitter account, LinkedIn, etc. Check also the social media from the event to get a feel for their tone of voice. All of this might give you some hints about the conference and how to approach the topic. At JOTB, the members of our organising committee have a diverse background mainly focused on distributed systems, Java and DevOps technologies but there are also non-technical people like me who take into consideration non-technical aspects of the submission like the speaker’s motivation or communication skills. For all attendees or for a niche? You will probably have more chances to succeed if your talk is related to a topic that is generally known by most attendees and not with a very narrow one that will only be of interest to few people. However, if you consider that this topic might delight the likes of our programme committee, just go for it. I have seen opposite ratings for a talk that was considered too narrow from one member and extremely interesting by another. So, it is really your choice but if your topic is too narrow and the proposal is accepted do not get disheartened if not many people show up. At least you know they will be enthusiasts. Up-to-date, new and original! Another suggestion at the time to select a topic is to choose a relevant and up-to-date topic that might be interesting for the event and I am not talking about blockchain…! One of my favourite talks from out of all the editions of J On The Beach is probably Joe Armstrong’s “Good ideas that we forgot”. In this talk, good old Joe describes his experience and thoughts about these ideas; he makes them his own and makes these ideas relevant to our current time. There is no blockchain, no microservices and no quantum computing but just old ideas that can be useful to our current time period. Now that you have an idea of a topic you want to submit, let’s start writing.  At some point, writing a talk for a tech conference is like writing an elevator pitch. In 3-4 paragraphs you will have to explain the problem you want to solve, describe the solution that you are planning to share with the audience and the key takeaways and give a short intro about yourself. You will probably have a rough idea of what you want to share and like many speakers you won´t work on the whole talk until few days before the event, and that is perfectly fine but at the time of writing the talk, you should be clear, concise and structured.   The Title Short or long?  I personally think that length is not a problem if it is no longer than 10-12 words and easy to remember. You should consider that your talk must be later published on webpages, mobile apps and printed on leaflets, banners and agendas where space is limited. The design and marketing people from the conference will curse you and they will cut it wherever they think it looks nicer and that might mean that no one knows what the talk is about. On top of that, attendees don´t go to listen to your talk on the “Busy developer guide and the hitchhiker coder had a microservice baby without the hype in la-la- land”. Catchy or aseptic? On this point, I personally disagree with Ted Neward who thinks that catchy or cute titles are not appropriate and it’s better to keep plain and boring titles that help the audience understand what the talk is about. I do agree that it is going to be easy for the audience to identify the topic of the talk, but I do also think that a boring title would not help the speaker stand out from other talks taking place at the same time. I personally do enjoy catchy, original and appealing titles. That said, I have found that there are many idioms overused on the titles of many talks that have been copied from one conference to another like the following: “The busy developer’s guide to…” (sorry Ted) this also usually appears as “The hitchhiker’s guide to…” “blah blah blah without the hype” aka “blah blah blah without the fuzz” “X on steroids” “WT*” and “What the hell...anyway” “From X to Y: 5 golden rules…” “Mastering XXXXX” and “Getting started with YYYY” It does not mean that these idioms are wrong options and we have even accepted talks like these but I personally find original and fun titles more appealing.  In case you cannot find an original title just go for a straightforward title for your topic and that will probably work better.   Abstract High level or detailed? One thing that has been discussed in some posts like Ted’s, Zach Zolman’s or the excellent post from Katharine Beaumont from Devoxx UK is whether the abstract should be high level or detailed. While the first two consider that it is better to keep the abstract abstract, the latter nudges you to go for details. I had many doubts about this and at the beginning, I was inclined to go for the golden middle road but, after reading many of the comments from the rest of the members of JOTB’s programme committee about high-level talks I changed my mind. Now, I think that the abstract should get into details of what the talk is going to be about. If the abstract is too abstract there are always doubts and comments wondering whether the talk might be too basic or even if the talk is full of smoke. Concise and to the point You have 3-4 paragraphs maximum to explain what the talk is about; in fact, you can write far more, but consider that our time is limited, and more than 4 paragraphs is already going to be too much. Here is a good outline:  Paragraph 1 - Introduce the talk, the pain, the problem you faced Paragraph 2 & 3  - Go into details about why and how you solved the issue at hand Paragraph 4 -  Summarise the key takeaways of the talk And be as targeted on your topic as you can. A common mistake I’ve seen in recent proposals are abstracts where the speaker tries to cover a lot in a session. Yes, you want to explain how to solve all scalability problems existing in the world but unfortunately, you will only have 50 minutes maximum and if you write this in your abstract, you will just generate many doubts about how deep you will be able to go in your talk. Good things to have in the abstract For me it’s always a plus if the speaker plans to include the following: Live coding Demos Interactive activities with the audience. (Why not try to use sensors or beacons shared within the audience?) Daily life applicability Hardware is always welcome   Things to avoid All sales pitches I must say that there are always doubts when a speaker plans to share lessons learnt while building vendors solutions or when the speaker wants to sell a product masked by some OSS behind it. Considering that many OSS are ultimately supported by corporations it is difficult to draw a line to what is exactly a sales pitch or not. You should be quite clear about the key takeaways attendees will learn with or without your product.  Sloppy reading We mentioned this at the beginning of the post.  Read the conference’s instructions. About 20% of the proposals at J On The Beach are rejected because speakers don´t answer the few requests we ask in our form. We always ask the following: 1.- Provide a link to a video of a previous speaking engagement. In case you do not have a video it, record a short introduction with your mobile or your computer.  2.- Tell us the reasons why you want to be a speaker in JOTB. Please be original! If applicants do not provide a video AND explain the reasons to take part in JOTB the paper will not be examined. Many times, applicants don´t provide a video or the video is not in English. If the video is not in English then we usually ask for it.  If the applicant does not provide a video or reasons to speak at our event and we feel the application is practically a copy-paste from another event, we usually reject the proposal.   On the other hand, I give an extra rating to people who do not have any talk recorded and provide instead a short introduction of their talk recorded on a mobile or webcam.  At the time of explaining the reasons why you want to speak in an event, try to customise and personalise your reasons. There are common reasons that are often used like those about “sharing your knowledge”, “ you like teaching”, “you like public speaking”, “you are the best person to give this talk”, “you have 100 years of experience”, etc.. Even though these reasons might sound honest, they also sound very general and could be used for any other conference in the world. I recommend you to explain why you really want to speak at our event, what you do like about it. Is it the beach? Fine. Is it because you like Spain? Great. Is it because of previous speakers like X, Y, Z? Awesome. Show some interest, show off your personality, and make the programme committee feel that you are strongly motivated to become a speaker in the event.  I am sure that if you start customising your answers (even a little bit) and show some interest you will increase the percentage of talks you are accepted to.     New talk or not?  Although I do understand that many speakers submit the same talk to different events, I usually give an extra rating to brand new talks that have not been presented in other conferences yet. At the end of the day, all events want to be unique, exclusive and original and I value if the speaker considers our event the same way and prepares something special for us. Or at least, the speaker can tell us that our event is the first place where this talk will be given.    In summary, there is no magic recipe to master talks as at the end of the day each conference has their own process and different committees. I have just shared our own experience rating 5 years of talks at J On The Beach. I hope some of these tips might be useful for other conferences and I encourage you to keep on submitting your talks to J On The beach now that you know our secrets it will be easier to succeed.  Good luck and see you on the beach!   Luis Sánchez Co-Organiser JOTB
Created by Luis Sánchez

J On The Beach 2018, Surviving the sabotage!

Hi! I am José Antonio, this year I have proudly been part of the team of organizers of J On The Beach, an international event for developers and DevOps around Big Data technologies that recently took place in Málaga (Spain) for third year in a row.   JOTB was born with the purpose of being a fun conference to learn and share the latest experiences, tips related to Big Data technologies and to make the rest of the world aware of the interesting developments taking place in the South of Spain and attract talent to the area.   Moreover, this year we were committed to achieve an extra purpose, embracing diversity raising the number of speakers from 27% to 39% on the congress and we’ll continue making all our efforts to increase that number.   The aim of this post is to share my experience on this edition, and because of my role in marketing I can’t help to start by showing you some numbers, so here I go!   400 attendees from 26 countries 🌎 56 speakers among talks, workshops and hackathon 15 female speakers 29 job offers published 25 volunteers 15 sponsors 8 workshops 2 heavy machinery helping for acoustic atmosphere 🔇 0 infractions of the Code Of Conduct, that’s great!   What our speakers said about the event   Needless to say, most of our speakers commented on how delighted they were to spend time in Málaga, exploring the beautiful city and surroundings. Their feedback was also extremely positive about the event and the organization.   Had a great time speaking at the J on the Beach conference. Thank you @JOTB2018 for inviting. It was a pleasure meeting developers from Málaga and rest of the world. — Venkat Subramaniam (@venkat_s) 24 de mayo de 2018 Arrived @JOTB2018, and no surprise, it's on a beach! 🏖️ — Markus Tacker 🇳🇴 (@coderbyheart) 24 de mayo de 2018   From individual conversations with them, they say that J On The Beach is perfect to have closer contact with the audience and it is easier to do networking than similar conferences with thousands of attendees (actually I heard the same thing from many of our attendees) We hope to see them again back on JOTB 2019.   Amazing few days of cycling in Andalusia - lovely way to round off our @JOTB2018 trip! #jotb2018 — Liz Rice (@lizrice) May 28, 2018   What our attendees said about the event   Despite being the year with the highest multiculturalism and gathered know-how of the three editions up to now, from the organization of JOTB we regret all the inconveniences caused by the venue before and during the execution of the event such as construction works, noise, vibrations and multiple limitations not dealt in advance. Unfortunately, they wasn’t able to recognize the worth of embracing an international event and the direct added value that this brings to our region and our professionals.   However, following the event, we sent a survey to all of the attendees and we are delighted to see that the general tone has been putting themselves into the organizers shoes, so we are really thankful.   On the other hand, we have been taking note of all your suggestions for the next year (more water, more water 😅) and we will take this experience and turn it into a new opportunity in order to get the greatest Big Data event that you deserve.   And now find below more numbers (I love it 😜) with 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?   7.1 How would you rate the venue? 7.3 How would you rate the staff? 9.1 How would you rate the food? 7.8 How likely is it that you would recommend it to a friend or colleague? 7.6 How well did the event meet your expectations?(0 to 4 with 4 being most positive response) : 3   One important change, has been the food, most of you have rated as excellent this year food, maybe too fancy some people said.   As for speakers and talk topics, below are the Top 4 ranking talks in regards to the feedback received: Joe Armstrong: Good ideas that we forgot. Venkat Subramaniam: Exploring Java 9 Mario Fusco: Lazy Java Jonas Boner: Designing Events-first Microservices   Besides these talks we also need to point out the high marks of the Yes We Tech Meetup, with Gloria Passarello, Victoria Caparrós and Marta Gómez.   And we end up the day with a family photo with all attendees to the @yeswetech_ meetup! — J On The Beach (@JOTB2018) May 24, 2018   Thank you also for suggesting some new speakers  for the 2019 line-up, such us Trisha Gee, Heinz Kabutz or Dharma Shukla amoung many others.   In conclusion, we are very proud of the job done and extremely happy to receive lots of great feedback in the comments provided, including:   ‘You guys did an awesome work. We're so lucky to have this event here in Málaga. I hope you keep doing this many more years. Congratulations!!’, ‘Having an event like JOTB in Malaga is great! Thanks for making it possible once more!’ ‘Thanks to everyone making this an awesome place to meet and enjoy. I will definitely come back.’   We learn a lot from your feedback it helps us to improve and to know where to focus. Be assured that we have taken note of all, we are looking forward to seeing you again on 2019.       Till them, let me wait on the beach 😎🌴   P.S: BTW, did you realize that we have some unicorns between us? 🦄   The only developer event with real unicorns is @JOTB2018 🦄 — J On The Beach (@JOTB2018) May 24, 2018  
Created by José Antonio Donda

Embracing Diversity at a Tech Conference: 3 years of experience from J On The Beach

As of today, part of our fundamental philosophy at J On The Beach is diversity. 3 years ago we started the conference, and since then we have learned our fair share on how to embrace and promote diversity at the event. Hopefully this blog will help other event organizers avoid our (sometimes painfully obvious) mistakes and you can learn from our successes. It is also worth mentioning that we do know that there are still many things we can do to improve our event in terms of diversity and equality, so if you have any stories or suggestions, we are all ears. Here we go!   Ctr C + Ctr V equals COC – 2016 Edition So let’s go back to the end of 2015 when J On The Beach was a bright eyed baby. The event was the brainchild of several communities in Malaga, Spain (MalagaJUG, MalagaScalaDevelopers, DatabeersMLG and Yes We Tech) and with the economic support of Valo, a big data project owned by ITRS, we were able to get the thing off the ground! As newbies, in our first edition of the event we did not consider the importance of making a serious point of having a minimum number of women on our panel of speakers, or even among our attendees for that matter. We were mostly focused on finding interesting topics and names so that we could offer a good event. Diversity was not prioritized the way it should have been. For example, we knew we needed a code of conduct, so we joined the Berlin Code of Conduct which we think is great, and is the minimum a conference should have. But that’s the problem. It is the minimum. Looking back, that decision now feels just like throwing a sticker on a laptop, wearing a protest t-shirt or just adding another section to fill our website. It was a very passive bandaid. Joining a code of conduct feels more like a commitment of good behaviour and political correctness rather than an active attitude, something that we want to ensure in this years’ event. That first year, we also created a video inviting all women in IT to join the event.  We even contacted Women In Tech communities via social networks, but in the end it was more of a whisper in the wind than a practical and effective strategy. There were also different meetups organised by the different organising communities and one of them was one of our founding communities: Yes We Tech. Their meetup was centered on building an open space to talk about the situation of Women in Tech in different societies. This ended up being one of the most useful things we did and it was quite helpful to hear the opinions from many women speakers from different countries sharing their thoughts and experiences about the topic. What is the difference from this success to our other failures? Active participation of influential and diverse voices. The results of our first year for gender diversity were the following: Women speakers: 10.4% Women attendees: 13% For a tech conference (a community rife with its own diversity issues) we considered this a success for our first year, though we knew there was more to be done. Especially because gender diversity is not the end-all-be-all. We actually found ourselves in another unexpected, and to be honest embarrassing, situation that first year. We had two deaf-mute attendees that we could not accommodate properly. We failed to consider this and it put us in a seriously awkward place. We tried our best to scramble a solution. We contacted several organisations to ask them for support with no success as well as contacting few sign translators. However, it was impossible for us to find 2-3 sign translators for the event from English to Sign Language in Malaga (Spain). What is worse, those two people only asked for one thing in advance: the slides of the talks so they could follow them.  To our horror, this was also impossible due to a time-honored practice of speakers in most events not sending material in advance. This reminds me the following tweets from some speakers on twitter:     When they ask you for your slides in advance of your talk: — Damon Jones (@nomadj1s) 3 de abril de 2018 I get a good chuckle when organizers ask for slides weeks before a conference. Like, unless it's an old talk, it's just not gonna happen. I can send you _something_ but there is zero guarantee it'll in any way resemble the final talk. — Emily Freeman (@editingemily) 30 de marzo de 2018   But really, we cannot blame anyone but ourselves. The event needs to be able to accommodate stuff like this without a problem, and that falls on the organizers. So this year, if we ask our speakers to send slides in advance, know it is because someone else might really need them.   Some baby steps – 2017 Edition The next year we were eager to do better. We are a tech event, iterations and bug fixes are our thing. With more experience, we were feeling confident we could improve the ratio of women speakers at the event. This time around we created an organizing committee with representatives from all different communities as well as some speakers from the first event who offered their help. There was not a specific target number to reach but we all tried to get as many women as possible and we tried to give them as much visibility as we could with great cooperation all around.     My Crew — Caitie McCaffrey (@caitie) 6 de marzo de 2017   With much more time than the previous edition, we were able to properly execute a diffusion strategy with Women in IT communities on social networks. Instead of whispering into the wind, this time we were getting relevant. We were able to get a few to promote our event and encourage women to send papers to our CFP. But here is what happened. Our gender diversity results actually didn’t change significantly. The ratio of women speakers was 27% (up from 10.4% the previous year), but our attendee ratio fell. In 2016 we pulled in 13% female attendees, but this year we only scraped by with 9.8%. Ouch. So what went wrong? We did the only thing we could do: go to the data. We had another meetup called “Who is J? ” organised by Yes We Tech where Carmel Hassan analysed the data collected at J On The Beach. After that, we discovered that we crucially needed to get not only our sponsors’ involvement, but also company participation when it comes to promoting gender diversity at the conference to get more female attendees. So what’s up next?   Taking it seriously – 2018 Edition This year the event changed dramatically in terms of organization and communities. The organisation of this year’s event is mainly run by Yes We Tech (are you surprised? we aren’t). This shift in putting a diversity-driven community in charge means that we can take a distinctive approach from the top down to make the participation of women and other minorities in the event more prominent and meaningful. The first thing we did was to focus on ONLY bringing in some of the best women speakers and talent we could get our hands on within the first month. This month was totally involved. We spent 30 days sending emails to more than 30 women that were spot on for our event. Interestingly enough we learned that it is usually much more difficult to get answers from women than men speakers - since they seem to be busier and carry more responsibilities as per their responses - so the task was pretty challenging. After a month we were a bit disappointed from the low response from women speakers so we decided to extend our focused effort to another month and half. At the same time we received some interest from male speakers that we accepted but that did not stop us from continuing to seek more women. Our goal was to have a 50-50 split on gender diversity with our speakers. Still, we did not give up inviting more women and we also contacted new women communities from other countries that sent us applications to speak in our event. Interestingly, women networks gave us a great chance to find potential speakers:   Julia is a wizard with a lot of things, including sharing her shine with others!!! she helped me get a speaking slot at @JOTB2018 because I told her I wanted to speak more. this is legit👇👇👇 — amy nguyen (@amyngyn) 6 de febrero de 2018   Yes, it has been very difficult but we have raised the number of speakers from 27% to 39%. Though not the 50% we hoped for, we are still pleased with the increase in ratio. And remember that code of conduct? Well, we decided we need our own. So Yes We Tech took the initiative to create one that encompasses everything we are trying to accomplish at J On The Beach. This year all volunteers, organizations, and sponsors have committed to follow this code of conduct. We also made it a point to require all attendees to follow the Yes We Tech Code of Conduct at the time of purchasing their tickets. And we even decided to run our own diversity programme! We also contacted Kyle Kingsbury and asked him if he wouldn’t be ruined by us referring his diversity programme but his budget was already too low for this year. However he encouraged us to have our own programme and he said he was going to add J On the Beach to his page… Hey Kyle, we are still waiting ;) In addition, we didn’t want to make the same mistake as last year thinking that attendee numbers would sort themselves out. This time we actively decided to improve the numbers by (sternly & unyieldingly) encouraging our sponsors to provide at least 30% of their tickets to their women employees. The results? 13.23%. It is better than last year, but it is still a disappointing number. We know we can still do more and better things for people with functional diversity and other minorities as well as increasing our CFP policy and rate of approval. Some of our speakers have already shared suggestions that we can use for future conferences. Focusing on diversity in the organisation committee has made us think and react to something that is mandatory for these kind of events: care about diversity and what equality really means. This goal is part of JOTB identity already, and we’ll continue making all our efforts to bring the most diverse people with the most diverse experiences to the most diverse industry. J On The Beach Organising Committee
Created by J On The Beach Organising Committee


14th Oct
Polo de Contenidos Digitales Málaga
Av de Sor Teresa Prat, 15, 29003 Málaga
15th-16th Oct
FYCMA - Palacio de Ferias y Congresos de Málaga
Av. de José Ortega y Gasset, 201, 29006 Málaga
14TH - 16TH OCT 2020

Take a look at previous editions