Post GeeCON 2010 notes

GeeCON is an annual Java conference I had a pleasure to attend to. Spending two days in awesome geeky atmosphere is definitely the thing to do!

So, was there something apart from unlimited free coffee? Yes, there was! Conference started with Oracle’s official presentation on future of Java (Oracle Java… it still sounds strange, doesn’t it?), where we were reminded that our jobs are safe – Oracle is willing to keep supporting java development and it’s even improving JCP (but they won’t say what they are going to do – that not seem very communitish approach to me ;) ).

Other important presentations for me were:

–          Holly Cummins – Apache Aries: Enterprise OSGi in Action. I’m still not very convinced that Aries is the future, Spring’s implementation seems to be better bet, but I will definitely push in OSGi direction.

–          Christian Tzolov – Rapid Server Side Java Development Using Spring Roo. Spring Roo can be described in one word: WOW! Or maybe two: pure magic. It’s absolutely incredible quick tool to build a solid application in 30 minute using a console based commands like “persistence setup –provider HIBERNATE –database HYPERSONIC_IN_MEMORY” to create set up persistence layer, entity –class ~.domain.Topping –testAutomatically and “controller all –package ~.web” to create persistable entity with full UI for CRUD. Adding site themes, other outputs (JSON, XML) is all done in a similar way. Roo even guesses what you may want to do next – just type “hint” and you will get accurate suggestion what are the reasonable steps to do in current state of application. Must try!

–          Eugene Ciurana – The high availability non-stop fault-tolerant services tutorial. Good presentation with some architectural patterns for High Availability followed with extremely interesting real world example. Not an eye opener, but solid and methodical review of current HA strategies.

–          Dawid Weiss – Java in high-performance computing. Surprising presentation about small things in java that can make the same thing run slowly or fast. All the perks we forget or ignore when the hardware is so cheap.

–          Hans Dockter – Gradle – A better way to build. Since “make” the building methods evolved quite far. With me, still stuck in 20th century ant solution, the Gradle seem a huge leap forward. It does out of the box almost everything we already done manually using ant. Worth a try, but I haven’t found a reason to migrate.

–          Ed Burns – Secrects of the Rockstar Programmers. Great presentation by the Rockstar Presenter. Nothing more, nothing less – buy http://www.amazon.co.uk/Secrets-Rock-Star-Programmers-Riding/dp/0071490833 and see for yourself.

–          Jonas Boner – Let it crash: using Actors for fault-tolerance, scalability and concurrency. The things will go wrong – learn to live with it instead of fighting it. Jonas’s approach is to design solutions using actors, concept for Erlang, and to let the errors happen instead of exercising typical for java defensive programming. As a bonus you get transparent scalalbility. With mature implementation of Akka http://akkasource.org/ you should give it a try.

–          Dalibor Topic – JDK 7 Update. One of the OpenJDK committers presented what is currently going on in JDK development (which you can see on OpenJDK project’s page) with a great reasoning for all the things (which you can see on OpenJDK projects page after reading 4000 documents and discussions ;)). Real insider view!

–          Thomas Enebo – Squeezing Java Performance: When you need a little more. Point one: the jvm is brilliant with optimization. Point two: knowing what JVM does let you help it make it work or stop you preventing it (whichever applies to you ;)). Example topics: how to avoid cost of reflection and auto boxing and how to help jvm inline methods. All based on experience from JRuby project.

–          Andrea Provaglio – Beyond Agile. We are good with technology. We have great tools and methodologies. We are rubbish with people. Andrea predicts that next revolution in the IT will be human factor. We need to understand why IT guys are not just some factory workers. Software is intangible like music, not solid like a wooden chair, we need to adjust to it to unleash the potential and to stop killing productivity.

–          Peter Lubbers HTML 5 Web Sockets: All-You-Can-Eat Real Time! Web sockets are the next best thing after sliced bread. No more hanging gets and communication overheads in RIAs! It’s fast and already supported by Chrome. Peter’s company http://www.kaazing.com has developed useful wrapper for fallback on non-web socket compliant browsers.

Now the conference is over. I’m going to test some of the new ideas I got from this geeky heaven, I’ll keep posting with details.

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