Why I Voted for Atlassian at JAX Awardsx

Going to conferences is a great way for developers to get an intensive learning experience, whether that be to discover new development languages or gain a deeper understanding existing tools and practices. A great conference for Java developers is JAX London which includes sessions on a diverse range of topics including agile practices, architectural design, JVM languages (Clojure, Scala, JRuby) and Java application development.

This year JAX London are running an award program to ask the community who they think has demonstrated the most innovation in the Java ecosystem. The JAX awards are an opportunity for the community to voice what they feel is important to them and that feedback will help JAX provide sessions that the community values the most.

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London Events Round Up - Monday 28th March 2011

Events coming up

There is another fun and engaging Clojure Coding dojo on Tuesday and is as popular as ever as the event is full. It will be the last dojo before my “Getting started with Clojure” talk at JAX London, so am looking forward to learning some more things I can put into the talk.

Simon Maple and Zoey Slattery are also running the “OSGi: Lets get started” event on Tuesday. This will be a great way to understand OSGi and what it can do to help your Java development and deployment.

_Please see the list at the end of this email for a full schedule of up coming events.

News

Time is running out to contribute to the community testing of the Java SE 7 Developer Preview Release. The latest build is feature complete, stable and ready to roll – so download, test and report bugs. If you submit a bug report before April 4th, the Java product team will sing your praises on the Java SE 7 Honor Role, plus they will send you some Java swag. Bugs reported later on might not get fixed in time for the initial release, so if you want to be a contributor to Java SE 7 do it before the April deadline.

Firefox 4 was officially released last week and has already broken all the browser download records, with twice as many downloads as IE9 in the space of 24 hours. In less than a week there have been around 37 million – which you can see if you head over to the neat looking download stats page, a great example of data visualisation and interaction. Its good to see Europe beating North America at something, as we are still ahead in numbers of downloads. Inside of Europe, Gernany is well ahead of everyone else and has more than twice the downloads of the UK.

Ubuntu Full Circle magazine #47 is out and includes more programing in Python, LibreOffice and eBook Reader Software. There is also a special edition: The Perfect Server detailing how to build a an Ubuntu 9.10 server and configure lots of common server services, available in English and Italian. Even though its based on the older Ubuntu 9.10 server, all the steps are pretty much the same for the lasted 10.10 server version.

There are more videos available from The Server Side Symposium, including this short about Java 7 from two people you may recognise.

Summary of Last weeks events

At the Weekday testers event, there were over 40 testers online across several countries trying out different aspects of Firefox. Javascript processing is much improved and makes certain sites much quicker to load.  Flash support seems much better and watching flash videos seemed quicker to load and start than in Chrome. If you get the very latest build of chrome (or chromium on Ubuntu) then firefox was a few milliseconds slower, but the page rendering differences were hard to measure as they were so close.  I still use Firefox and Chromium together for my browsing, mainly so I can have different accounts on the same sites.

Cuke Up was a great day of behaviour driven development and acceptance testing with many of the project leaders and influential people speaking or chatting between talks. Highlights of the day for me include:

  • Matt Wynne – Mortgage Driven Development 
  • Dan North and Liz Keogh – Deliberate Discovery
  • Aslak Hellesoy – Keynote and Cucumber update - It was great to hear that Cuke4Duke, the cucumber style acceptance testing framework will be getting a major upgrading to make it simpler to use.  Currently it runs via JRuby and a few other libraries, so the plan it to make it more Java like so you can use Cucumber.java.

  • There is also active development in the management of all your scenario files with the development of the Relish tool, a web based tool to manage and navigate through your scenario files. You will also be able to work with your cucumber files via a website, allowing you to edit your scenarios and features, making it very easy for non-technical team members to work with cucumber.

To see some of the soundbites of the conference, look at the twitter tag #cukeup

Podcasts

If you have write-ups of any events, please let the list know or send them directly to me.

Thank you.
@jr0cket


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London Events Round Up - Monday 21st March 2011

Events coming up

Tonight there is a great sounding talk on applying Lean and Agile practices in your company by an equally great speaker, Alan Shalloway. I’m looking forward to this talk as it makes a nice change for someone else other than myself to be talking about these important ideas.

Cuke Up is an all day acceptance testing conference with the project leaders and influential people behind Behaviour Driven Development, Cucumber and SpecFlow. If you want to extend your TDD approach, this is a great place to find out more.

I am trying to get a monthly Java practical session started (hopefully by May) were we spend a couple of hours practising TDD and/or BDD, similar to the coding dojos of the Python, Scala and Clojure communities. The practical events would also look at interesting API’s (eg. new stuff in Java7), open source tools and libraries (too many to mention) and getting the most out of the tools we use (IDE’s, Continuous Integration servers, build tools, etc). I am talking with with Oracle, IBM and SkillsMatter about possibly holding and sponsoring the event, but if anyone else is interested in helping out that would be great.

There is another full house at our re-run of the modern Java concurrency event. Its good to know we have found something or members are very interested in. If you want us to do more on concurrency or other subjects, please let us know.

I am really looking forward to meeting Ed Yourdon of “Death March” fame at the end of March. Ed is coming to SkillsMatter to give a talk on what has changed in IT projects since he wrote the book and I am really looking forward to this talk. Sign up quick, this is going to be great!! “Death march” projects have been all to familiar phenomenon since the beginning of the IT industry and Ed Yourdon’s book discusses them in detail. Some aspects of death-march projects have gotten better and others have gotten worse, since the onset of the current “Great Recession.” Ed will discuss these changes, with emphasis on changes in development practices, as well as a commentary about peopleware and modern collaboration tools.

News

The ServerSide Java Symposium is probably the biggest news recently in Java land. Our very own well grounded developers Martijn Verberg and Ben Evens have been over in Las Vegas speaking. They were given a slot next to James Gosling, so I am sure there was no pressure :-)

For those unfortunate not to make the event, there is a big batch of videos to TheServerSide Java Symposium conference coverage page, with lots of news and other coverage available. There was some live blogging going on too.

In other news, there was an interesting article on creating neural networks using Netbeans, I am sure my genetic algorithms course was never this easy :-)

Do you know the design patterns that are used in our Java JDK? Have a trip over to Java Code Geeks to find out if your right!

And finally, did anyone see a bigger moon over the weekend. It was a super full moon on Saturday 19th.

Summary of Last weeks events

There was a cross LJC/GDC event last night at UCL giving an introduction to test driven development, one of the most significant design practices in industry today. I gave a short presentation on TDD practices and why they are valuable to delivering a good solution, discussing the idea of TDD as a design tool and only testing code as a consequence. The short presentation was followed by over an our of people working together on a set challenge, using the test first approach. It was great to see such a buzz of discussion going on and people pairing and grouping up, I had trouble getting most people to stop so we could clear the lecture theatre and go to the pub. Thanks to everyone that came along and hope to see you at the LJC Java dojo we are planning or at the TDD/BDD half day workshop I am running on the 17th May as part of the London Tester Gathering days.

On Monday 14th I ran a workshop on distributed versus centralised version control, comparing git / mercurial / bazaar with subversion. The workshop was mainly aimed at students and graduates and all the information is on the tooling up website. I am planning a more advance workshop which will cover more aspects of distributed version control systems (DVCS) and some insight on moving from subversion to Git / Mercurial.

Adrian, one of the members of the GDC had there first book review published on Slashdot.org, with the help of my Slashdot book review submission guide. Thanks to Packt Publishing for supplying the Solr 1.4 Enterprise search book.

There was another successful Scala coding dojo where I set a St Patrick day theme. The challenge was to create a series of maze rooms linked together by doors. Once you created three or more rooms you could place a pint of Guinness in one of the rooms for your leprechaun to find. Some of the code is available at the LSug Assembla.com online git repository.

I was lucky enough to make it to the functional programming Exchange at SkillsMatter last Friday. I had a great day and learnt a lot more about functional programming and am even more hooked on learning Haskell now, although it will have to wait until my JAX London talk on Clojure. There was a very entertaining and enlightening talk by Simon Penton-Jones on parallelism and all the amazing things they have been doing with Haskell. It seems Haskell is the really research bed of modern functional language development, with much of the work Simon is doing going into languages such as F#. There was a great presentation by Jonas Boner on the Akka framework, an effective and performant way to manage state in an immutable functional world. Jonas was talking about how writing correct concurrent, fault-tolerant and scalable applications is no longer a problem that is too hard when you use the right tools. David Pollak gave lots of info about all the improvements and additions in the Lift framework (a Ruby/Rails style web framework for Scala) as well as lots of future plans for Lift. David really knows his stuff and there were some very detailed banter between David and Simon. The Lift web framework embraces Scala’s functional side and provides transformations from web requests to responses, a transformation-based templating system, and Ajax support via functions. As an example of Lift, David wrote a session aware chat client with a single Scala class managing the shared state of the chat server. You’d be challenged to write something terser in Ruby.

If you have write-ups of any events, please let the list know or send them directly to me.

Thank you
@jr0cket


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Kanban Games Night

Karl Scotland and I will be running a free games night at Skills Matter on the evening of 7th March at SkilsMatter - London, UK.

Karl has kindly volunteered to run the games night before his talk at QCon later in the week. Karl will be running the ball flow game to help us learn and experience kanban and system thinking concepts in a collaborative way. It will also be a lot of fun, as fun is an effective way to learn.

You should get a lot out of this evening whether your experienced practitioner or you are completely new to kanban, lean, system thinking and theory of constraints. The evening will be a welcoming and safe environment to everyone.

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Summary of LJC February 2011 Social

I had a great time at the social event for the London Java community, which also had people visiting from the Graduate Developer, London Python, London Clojure, London Scala, Limited WIP society and Ubuntu-UK communities.

A write up of some of my experiences that fateful evening are on the London Java Community blog.

Thank you.
@jr0cket


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Kanban Clinic

At February’s Limited WIP Society meeting we are having a Kanban Clinic where you have your chance to build your own personal or team kanban board from scratch. You can also work with others to help them build a board if you want to see a kanban board evolve.

If you have an existing board (kanban, scrum, or otherwise), please feel free to bring it along (the design not necessarily the board) and get feedback and advice on any aspects you want to improve on the board.

There is no formal presentation although ideas and examples will be shown and questions arising from the practical work will be discussed.

The slides and presentation video from the January Limited WIP socieity meeting are available on the SkillsMatter website.

Thank you
@jr0cket


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 ShareAlike License, including custom images & stylesheets. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at @jr0cket
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