Devoxx Aftermath - My 5 Favourite Speakers

Thousands of developers flocked to Devoxx again this year and everyone I talked to really enjoyed the wide range of talk and the comfy chairs in the venue.

Its hard to do justice to the experience in a blog post, so here are highlights of my favourite Devoxx speakers

Dick Wall and the Java Posse

Have these guys reached legendary status yet? For a number of reasons I think they should - just for being out there and getting people motivated they deserve a medal (or just lots of free beer from Atlassian).

Dick Wall followed up with what seemed to be top attended session of the conference. He talked about slaying legends (ironic considering my last statement) and encouraging people to think for themselves - I know, radical stuff!

) - Ben Evans & Martijn Verburg of the LondonJUG with [@YaraSenger]( of [@SouJava]( []( {% img img-topic

The diabolical developer also made an appearance with Trisha Gee and the Java Duchess crew speaking on how not to treat women in IT.

pawelwrzeszcz Trisha’s Ramblings: Why We Shouldn’t Target Women - really good summary of the discussion panel at @devoxx

Kevin Nilson and Stephen Chin pair presenting on JavaFX and HTML5

Its always a great learning experience when developers pair, so pairing to give a session always gives you that extra dimention. Watching these two present was fascinating and fun!

The guys gave honest and open comparison of JavaFX which most people thought was dead but seems alive and well and HTML - humour was about and no ego was on display.

Alex Miller @PureDanger

Alex did a great job druming up even more interest in Clojure and gave some facinting insights into the language. His first talk was aimed at getting people started with Clojure and I was great to see different ways of getting Clojure concepts across. I am doing a quick refactor of my Clojure talk for the LJC conference this weekend.

@devstonez Stream Execution with Clojure and Fork/Join slides - #clojure #fp #jvm #devoxx @puredanger

Unfortunatley we didnt get chance to pair up and do some Clojure coding together, too many great conversations got in the way.

Justin Septka - Atlassian

Justin gave a great talk on DVCS and understanding how to get the most out of Git in your own teams. Git is relatively new to most teams and using services like Bitbucket and Github can give developers a lot of power to manage their code effectively.

Lots of advice was given out on how to manage your repos and how to use pull requests to manage feature branching and other aspects of continuous deliver & deployment. Its worth checking out the video on Parleys if you want to know more.

Its great to see speakers getting feedback and there was a huge queue of people lined up to speak to Justin afterwards.

Thank you

Adaptavist guys fired up some Microsoft Kinect love on all the big tv’s outside the talk theatres. Dan Hardiker went above and beyond the call of duty and dressed up as a very large Java Duke for the afterparty. He seems is a good dancer when dressed up!

Thanks to Stephan and everyone else (too numerous to mention) that help put Devoxx together. I am really looking forward to the next one, whether that be in France or Brazil?

houdini68 Thanks to Stephan and to all the people who turned #devoxx into a success !!! One week in paradise ! See you next year !

odersky: Slides from my talk at #devoxx

TomaszDziurko: I’ve just posted my relation from #Devoxx 2011 on my blog -

planetsizebrain apparently a running joke at #devoxx 2011: Q: What’s the difference between Ant and Maven? A: The creator of Ant has apologized.”

jthoenes: Devoxx 2011 - I’ve been in Paradise » Johannes Thönes

devstonez: JavaCodeGeeks Devoxx 2011 Impressions

Thank you.

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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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Boldly Going Atlassian in London

26th October saw the first user group meeting for Atlassian in London. Whilst there have been some amazing partner events in the past, its great to start building a closer connection to the community.

Over 60 people registered for our first meeting and it was a great turnout, from beginners to long standing customers with a variety of expertise.

Launch night - ideas mean tshirts

As it also happened to by the at the same time at the Atlassian launch there were extra goodies to give out. To help break the ice, anyone suggesting ideas for the community got a tshirt with the cool new Atlassian logo.

Whether it was the tshirts or just the enthusiasm of the crowd I dont know, but with in about 20 minutes we had enough ideas to last a years worth of monthly meetings…

I showed off a neat video that explains the basics of Atlassian OnDemand, showing how you can get our tools as a managed service. As there was a mixed level of experience, I also talked through how Atlassian take ideas through to reality.

Sharing experiences

As well as setting up the London AUG, Alan also presented his experience with the recently release Rapid board of Greenhopper. Alan has worked with teams that often have a big backlog and lots of epics (functionality that needs to be broken down). Using labels on JIRA tickets, a bit of simple JIRA Query Language (JQL) and the rapid board view he showed us how to manage our work effectively.

Whats next?

We hope to run the London Atlassian user group once a month to give every opportunity to share and ask questions face to face. We will also make use of the meetup mailing lists and discussion forums so people can talk outside the meetups.

If you want to keep in touch with this community, please sign up, its free !

Thank you.

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Ubuntu Install Party London - 16 October 2011

Ubuntu 11.10 is released on Thursday and we are running an install party in the Central London. The party aims to help people try-out and work with the Ubuntu Linux distribution and anything mildly related.

The party will be held on 16th October, 12 noon till around 5pm and will include installing Ubuntu Linux, discussing everyone’s favourite applications and generally how to have more fun and still be productive.

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Conference Season Is Upon Us - Free Your Mind

Conference season is upon soon and if you haven’t signed up to at least one event this year you are missing out on a lot. A conference or similar large event is about more than just the sessions that happen, its a chance to learn and grow for everyone involved. There are great opportunities to meet new people and discuss innovative and challenging ideas, make connections and give your career development and motivation a massive boost.

Forget “New Years” resolutions. Lots of people I know who made the effort to go to a conference and really get engaged got a massive boost, both financially and in terms of being happy getting up in the morning!

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Java7 Launch Party

I was lucky enough to be invited to the Java  7 launch party at the Oracle UK headquaters the other week. It was good to see so much community involvement with the launch which helped set aside some of the concerns raised regarding Oracles appreciation of the community around Java, after a bit of a uncertain times during the merger.

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This Week in London, UK - 18th July 2011

Here is a quick overview of the great technical events happening in London this week, 18th July 2011

Monday (tonight)

Agile testing - a developers perspective. A talk about agile testing at Atlassian (creators of JIRA, etc) from one of the graduate developers over from Sydney Australia. Its a chance to ask questions about how agile testing affects what you do as a developer.
LJC sign up | GDC sign up | Or just turn up


Developer sessions - London Java / Graduate developer and lots of other communities get together an share experiences and war stories over a pint or three. You dont have to drink, but its great if you can ask questions - or nod in appreciation to the things people tell you :-)
LJC sign up | GDC sign up

Wednesday & Thursday

On Wednesday, learn how to write good (idiomatic) Scala with the London Scala user group. Kevin Wright has a huge amount of knowledge about development with the Scala language and if you wanted to learn how to write some good stuff in the language then this event is for you. LSug sign up

On Thursday you can practice what you learnt at the Scala coding dojo at YouDevise. Take all the advice and discussion from Wednesday and apply them in code. At the dojo we spilt up into teams of 3-5 people, so everyone gets involved and is able to learn something. No previous Scala experience is required, enthusiasm (and Google) are all that is needed. LSug sign up

Thank you.

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