JAX London 2011 - the Aftermath

JAX London is over for another year and many of the community developers I know are suffering withdrawal symptoms from such an intense few days. With two days of talks and a whole day of workshops my head is bursting with new ideas.

I met lots of interesting new people from all over the place, asked some challenging questions of some great speakers and community leaders, got some great books and a couple of JAX London tshirts for my collection

Going Mobile

Ted Neward gave me a great kick-start to Android development and pairing with the diabolical developer helped cement my understanding. He was not so diabolical after all, maybe its just an act !

Software development is rarely straight forward, but with a couple of downloads from the Android developer site and a USB cable from my Ubuntu laptop to my Samsung Galaxy II Android phone I was soon testing out my first app.

The android development tools are really easy to use and do all the build and deploy work for you. The only issue I got stuck on was having an android virtual device and real device (my phone) up and running at the same time. Using an Android virtual device (AVD) you can have your own test platform, its one way to see the latest Ice Cream Sandwich version of Android.

Java is dead! Java is the new COBOL!

Like every technology pronounced dead, the Java platform lives on and is stronger than ever. From the keynote by James Governor, analyst at RedMonk, the respect and value of the Java platform remains alive and well across the industry. It very valuable to get objective feedback from an analysts who understands how the world sees us.

A comment on twitter suggested Java is the new COBOL, which seemed to go against the positive outlook the industry has on Java. However when you consider that COBOL has a huge codebase and drives value to a vast amout of organisation in the world then that is a comparison I can appreciate. I am not sure that was the meaning of the original post though :)

Software Craftsmanship

Sandro Mancuso treated us to some valuable lessons on the reality of software development. I dont know of any teams which have avoided a degree of technical debt, the lucky ones having a well understood and decreasing level. If you value your career, job satisfaction and sanity then software craftsmen practices are invaluable.

Jason Gorman also pitched in with a reminder of all the project evidence that showed that quick and dirty is really “slow and dirty”. Without an appreciation for quality in your code, the quick and dirty approach will bite you in the arse much sooner than you thought!

Continuous deployment - a bridge too far?

If you want to see how effective your organisation really is, then attempting to move towards a continuous development approach will give you all the information you wanted - and a whole heap more that you didnt!

When something as simple to prevent as a full hard drive can cause your company share price to fall then you know there are lots of issues to manage when you create and deploy your own software. By visualising all these issues using wallboards and openly showing the issues within and across roles, you get the opportunity to improve the way you get things done. I learnt a great deal by giving a talk on this topic and am thankful for all the poignant questions I received from the audience.

See the Ultimate Wallboard submissions for over 80 ideas on how to visualise your work.


We are all busy people so the great think about JAX London is the opportunity to talk to some many people in one place, whilst they are way from project deadlines. Its a great opportunity to ask questions and learn unexpected things. Thanks to everyone I talked to, especially my colleagues in the London Java Community.

Thank you.

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