Saturday, November 17, 2012

Devoxx 2012 - Conderence Day Two - review and Devoxx 2012 Recap

Here we are, my last full day review at Devoxx 2012, full of talks & meeting some interesting people :).

Talks

JBoss Announcement by Ray Ploski and Mark Little

We had a small session from the JBoss/Red Hat Management team. Eventually they revealed the 5 candidate names that the community can pick in order to re-name the JBoss Application server. You may find the voting page here. Unfortunately I did not like any of them and I still don't understand why they need to rename such a successful and positive 'in the mindset of many J2EE developers' name like JBoss. As I twitted a couple of minutes before the presentation, no matter what the new name will be, its going to be JBoss for me...beloved JBoss..always!! For just the sake of it though, I voted for Petasos...just to empower a bit the Greek cultural heritage (we are getting a lot of bad publicity in these late years :P).

Live Online - by Tim Bray

Tim Bray is a famous professional in the Java world for so many years. Leader of Web technologies at Sun Microsystems for a lont time, has worked in the initial XML specification and other  private ventures. He is now working at Google as a developer advocate on several areas.

An excellent presenter that combines excellent technical and presentation skills. Fun to watch after all. His speech was sort of going around various Google activities and reviewing or promoting many of the latest fun technologies from the company like maps, android, chrome. His focus though at the end was about web software security, ensuring user identity and raising the awareness levels for all developers to implement more secure and safe to use applications. (E.g always use https, use existing mechanisms for identity management etc). Great speech. H

is Google motd, is not that bad as some of friends commented when they saw the photo below. The argument was, live online in terms of the more people use google services  the better google becomes by enriching and making them smarter. It is sort of true and valid poin but not like live online 24/7!


Modern Software Development Anti-Patterns by Martijn Verburg and Ben  Evans

If you are a Java developer you must have heard or know Martijn Verburg as the man behind the term 'diabolical developer', member of the London JUG, participating in the JCP/JSR process and of course co author of a very very nice book (which I am currently trying to finish off) - the Well Grounded Java Developer. I am very lucky to meet Martjin a couple of years ago in an Oracle JUG leaders summit in Prague, he is a real cool guy and a great software developer. So I was not going to miss his talk along with Ben Evans (the other co-author of the book). Armed with lots of humour they played a bad guy / good guy role in a story about good and bad practises in the Modern Software development world. Things we all tend to do right or sometimes wrong, from team collaboration, knowledge sharing, believing on hypes, over engineering, team collaboration, team management and so on. Really inspiring talk so, make a note to watch it from Parleys as soon as it becomes available. (All Devoxx2012 talks will be available with the upcoming months...)

Up up and Out: Scaling software with Akka by Jonas Bonér

I a am real fan of Jonas Boner, a definition of excellent professional  in the Java world with that ubber geek style. We had the pleasure to host him some years ago, back in Athens, in our local JUG events. His last technology crusade is about Akka, a modern framework/technology on building scallabe distributed applications. I have been slowly following the Akka framework evolution in these recent years and the more I read or hear about it I find more attractive. Unfortunately I never had the chance on using it on my day to day projects but I am really looking forward. The overall notion of Akka Actors and the isolation of data per actor really is a definite way go when you have a problem that needs to be split and processes into smaller parts. Excellent talk, giving an introduction to Akka Actors in comparison with existing JDK tools we already have and some points on the architecture potentially used to address such problems.


JavaPosse LIVE  - Dick Wall, Carl Quinn and Tor Norbye

The favorite fun time moment of every devoxx these recent years. The famous JavaPosse podcast, broadcasting and performing live on stage. Dick Wall, Carl Quinn, Tor Norbye and Chet Hasset who is actually being an official member from now on. What a great fun. Before the start of the presentation which was actually a presidential debate between the 4, on who will be the president of the United States of Java, we all stood up and we sang the JavaPosse and Java theme....Java ..Javaaaa Java Jing Jing Jing. It was a great laugh and great Java points. I suggest you subscribe to the weekly podcast and download Episode 400 which is the Devoxx 2012 one! Javaaaa Javaaa Javaaa Java jing jing jing! My vote at the end of the debate would go to...Tor Norbye!!

Robots That Care by Bram Vanderborght

What an excellent talk by someone who really knew many things on his domain. I decided to make a break from the Java Path and follow the robotics/future path. Bram Vanderborght is a young Professor on robotics in Belgium. He gave as talk about the evolution of robotics, the current state of the technology (we already had speaking, dancing NAO's all around devoxx), the challenges ahead for robotics and when the technology is going to become mature and mainstream to heat our everyday life - closer to the 'image' we have for robots from movies (if we exclude the drama and violence part). Robots are already changing the shape of many industries, specifically the industrial production one, and they quickly replace humans on many cases, doing either heavy or boring tasks with extreme precision. Prof Vanderborght claimed that the robotics science  will soon  come what the computer science is (was) in this last 40 years..the next big revolution. I wish I would live in the future where all these stuff are already developed...

The Problem With Women: A Technical Approach by Trisha Gee

 I saw Trisha Gee earlier this week in the talk about Agile methodologies in LMAX. I really liked her presentation style and she really seemed a talented professional. Her talk was about women in IT and why the numbers are so low. She decided to do a Agile Retrospective wall, with the help of the audience,  related with the question of what we like/done like in our developer/IT job and how we could change it. She them used all these points to reflect them on the impact to the low number of women deciding to have an IT job. Many valid points excellent talk and quite a lot of tips for us (men) to consider in our day to day work with women colleagues. I really liked them quote ' that when a women colleague is doing a good or bad job don't use the genre even if you have good intentions ' in order to beautify your statement. Women are almost identical with men in many aspects and we tend to forget it some times, maybe the way our society has evolved and is structured has created stereotypes and ways of thinking that - want to emphasize on this 'fundamental' divide..(which is not that fundamental in %). Really liked her talk, already subscribed to her blog (see my link above) and I am sure I will see her again in some future conference. Currently she is working for 10gen (MongDB)


So...Devoxx 2021 Recap 

Devoxx - the conference

As always I am very very happy to be spending my personal money in order to  attend devoxx. It was my fifth time and the conference is rolling on its own. Great speakers, you will always find interesting speakers, people who wrote the book you ve just bought from amazon or you are reading their blog. The topics were full of Java (but not only Java). For example you had the chance to see some iOS talks, some Web development with non Java tech talks, even talks about robotics. We are developers and we generally like technology. It was a good fit.  So great content!! That is one of the best things to love about Devoxx content and all these ideas you bring in your backpack when you return home (and...some Tshirts yaaay).

When it comes to technicalities, I was never queued for more than 5 minutes, the registration was a matter of 2 minutes and the access to various rooms easy and straightforward. The schedule was consistent and we did not have many sudden changes. Oohh yes...the wifi was working...#win and this is something lots of people indicated.

Technology trends

This is my personal view on things, I maybe biased on certain technologies so my understanding on trends for Devoxx 2012 maybe different from some else with different backgroupnd

Java

No matter if we agree or not with some Oracle policies and strategies, now that the migration from Sun has been completed and full control of Java is on new hands we have to agree that things are going rather fine! All this 'fear' some years ago about the future of our beloved platform is almost gone, the platform is evolving (maybe not as fast as some we would like to) but it is getting there. The Java Language Specification is evolving see JDK8 with lots of new features especially the λ . 

This is actually one of the changes that I personally consider that would make a bigger hit comparing to older changes like Generics or enhancements. My biggest fear about λ (s) is not the final specification neither the new stuff introduced to the language but us, the developers. I am really afraid of 'overreacting' and 'posies' developers trying to completely transform their coding to purely functional in a language domain that now has this capability but there are bug zillion lines of code that have to be maintained and still work.

Parallel / concurrent  programming is evolving as well and is getting even more important as the technology on the CPU is giving up on the race of MHz and is trying to optimize multi-core architectures. Java seems to be getting there and lots of talks on this Devoxx were about our previous way of handling that kind of programming, the current available JDK tools (and other libs) and the way to go. So it was a very strong point for me that we should enrich even more our understanding and knowledge on this domain.

 

Mobile

It is relevant it is getting more relevant as the 2 dominant platforms the iOS and Android are battling on the lead. The Android OS is getting for the very first time really close on the user experience of iOS (still not there but it has nothing to do of what it was 2 years ago). On the other hand the iOS is an excellent platform to code, a very well balanced framework and my only negative point is ObjectiveC which I still sort of dislike :P .

Other technologies

  • I am highly interested on the way Java EE is going to evolve, new spec is going to come up sooner or later, new app servers (new JBoss, new GlassFish) are slowing hitting the production server rooms. I still have a lot of faith in the EJB specification
  • Akka, my framework of choice for this Devoxx - personal note and goal to study and read more - even in toy projects. 
  • Google App Engine, I have started playing with the App Engine in these recent months, I really like it is very easy to start doing things - for sure I have not explored all the hidden traps or problems but I at the moment I enjoy it a lot.
  • Clojure, if it is one dynamic language I would like to learn some more and play a bit, it is Clojure (still don't like Scala).

That was all folks! It was really great, i had lots of Java love coming in and i will always remember the last - very sweet end ;) . Hope to be able to make it next year..again!

 

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