I'm doing a certain amount of career soul-searching. Is Java over?
I really like Groovy/Grails and the Spring world. I feel like I'm finally right where I want to be in my career after a somewhat bitter struggle, working with these technologies.
Anyway... the coolest cool new thing was Web Components and Polymer. The way most web development is done is going to completely change in the next year or so.
The most crowded presentation I went to with people standing up in the back of the room was Neal Ford's talk on Microservices. This sits at the intersection of Architecture and Dev/Ops where there seems to be a high level of interest. Matt Stine's keynote Failure is the Only Option was also Dev/Ops-related.
Daniel Hinojosa's test-driven development talk The Walking TDD was good and drew a lot of interest.
I wasn't expecting much from Brian Sletten's talk about cryptography but this turned out to be really good. Trust no one.
I dutifully went to Craig Walls' What's New in Spring. I would have gone to the Spring Boot talk but I saw him give it at Boulder JUG a while back. My sense is Spring continues to rock, but I'm focused on other things right now.
If I had to sum up NFJS 2014 (or the 1/5 of the sessions I went to, anyway) in one word, the word would be 'components'. Web components, of course, and Microservices Architecture is all about modularity and components, and the same is true of Docker.