Following the success of JManc in 2018 & 2019, the Manchester Java Community are delighted to be hosting the third JManc Unconference on Friday 28th June 2024.

The idea is that Java developers of all skill levels will come together for a full day of discussions, sharing experiences, learning and spending time with our peers in the industry.

JManc is inspired by the LJC Unconference and JCrete®, arguably the best Java unconference in the world. JManc Unconference is a member of The JUnconference Alliance.

The event is brought to you by the Manchester Java Community in association with Auto Trader, ECOM and JetBrains.

What is an unconference?

An unconference is a loosely structured, participant-driven meeting. It does not follow the traditional conference program structure. You decide what you want to talk about and which topics you want to discuss. The unconference starts with an empty schedule. No topics are mandated, no separations are made between “speakers” and “audience”. All participants work out a schedule by suggesting, planning, holding and evaluating sessions, collaboratively.

Some simple rules

The format for JManc is loosely based on the Open Space Technology format. This means that some simple rules apply:

  1. Whoever shows up are the right people …reminds participants that they don’t need the CEO and 100 people to get something done, you need people who care. And, absent the direction or control exerted in a traditional meeting, that’s who shows up in the various breakout sessions of an Open Space meeting.
  2. Whenever it starts is the right time …reminds participants that spirit and creativity do not run on the clock.
  3. Whatever happens is the only thing that could have …reminds participants that once something has happened, it’s done—and no amount of fretting, complaining or otherwise rehashing can change that. Move on.
  4. Wherever it happens is the right place …reminds participants that space is opening everywhere all the time. Please be conscious and aware.
  5. When it’s over, it’s over …reminds participants that we never know how long it will take to resolve an issue, once raised, but that whenever the issue or work or conversation is finished, move on to the next thing. Don’t keep rehashing just because there’s 30 minutes left in the session. Do the work, not the time.

The law of two feet

Open Space Technology has only one “law”, the law of two feet:

If at any time you find yourself in any situation where you are neither learning nor contributing: use your two feet and go someplace else.

i.e. don’t waste time, move around, cross-pollinate groups, and be open to chance encounters which often bring out the most creative of discussions.

What to expect


We strongly believe in making the Manchester Java Community as open and accessible as possible. For this reason, like previous years, JManc 2024 will be a free event.

You can find more info about how to register for your free ticket here.


This year’s event will be held at Auto Trader’s offices in Manchester city centre. Huge thanks to Auto Trader for hosting us once again.

For more information about the location, please see the contact page.

Food & Drink

Our amazing hosts, Auto Trader, will provide lunch as well as refreshments throughout the day.

Please let us know when registering if you have any specific dietary requirements we need to cater for.

Evening Social

After the day’s schedule has concluded we will continue the conversations at HOME with food & drink provided by our sponsors ECOM.


Unlike regular presentations, you won’t need slides, a laptop, or even a plan! It’s good for the person who submitted the session to spend the first few minutes talking about why they picked the topic and what they want to discuss. After that, everyone is a participant. You’re the speaker and the audience as we engage in meaningful discussion with the group. Being a part of the session is the best way to get the most out of your experience at the unconference.

Submitting topics

Anyone can submit a session. If you do, you’re not expected to stand up for 45 minutes and talk to a crowd. That’s more like what you see at traditional conferences. Think about this more as you moderating a topic which others are keen to express an opinion or learn more about.