I’m going to No Fluff Just Stuff for the first time this weekend, Friday through ThursdaySunday. I’ve been looking forward to it awhile, as I hear mostly good things about these conferences. Looking over my planned itinerary, it’s clear that I’m a Neal Ford fanboy. :)

But here’s the thing. This Friday there’s a workshop on bioinformatics and entertainment computing at Metro State that looks like it’ll be great. Chris Melissinos, Sun’s Chief Gaming Officer, will be speaking there, as will Warren Sheaffer, a faculty member at Saint Paul College who’s been doing Good Things with virtual worlds and with teaching Java. Plus, bioinformatics is one of those fields that has just fascinated me since my days as a Perl hacker. Perl was (is?) a big language for data processing in bioinformatics.

Okay, yeah, back up a sec. Chief Gaming Officer at Sun. How damn cool is that? Please don’t be surprised that he has interesting things to say. If you’re confused about why Sun would be doing this, watch Chris’s interview with Scott McNealy.

If my employer hadn’t already sprung for NFJS, I’d go to that workshop. Sigh. It’s still a tough call. Looks like I’ll meet Chris and Warren tomorrow, which will help ease the pain somewhat.

But I’m not done. Oh no.

Gunnar Peterson and Brian Chess will be speaking together at a seminar in early November. Gunnar is known for his writing and presenting about web services and decentralized security, among other things (he introduced me to the idea of misuse cases), and I always enjoy seeing him speak. He’ll be one of the fine lineup at this year’s OWASP AppSec conference giving a two-day seminar on web services and XML security. Brian is founder of Fortify, a leader in the static analysis tools market for software security. Brian recently gave a good interview with the Java Posse. At the event in question, Gunnar will talk about security architecture and governance, and Brian’s topic will be static analysis. This will be a morning well spent, I figure.

However, on the same day, there’s a symposium at St. Cloud State University on Information Assurance, Network, and Software Security. I don’t know anyone who’s speaking or their work — a gap beween academia and industry? — but I am very glad to see this happening. I’d be going if I were not more sorely tempted elsewhere.

What to do, what to do…