Thursday Sep 27, 2012

Talking JavaOne with Rock Star Martijn Verburg

JavaOne Rock Stars, conceived in 2005, are the top-rated speakers at each JavaOne Conference. They are awarded by their peers, who, through conference surveys, recognize them for their outstanding sessions and speaking ability. Over the years many of the world’s leading Java developers have been so recognized.

Martijn Verburg has, in recent years, established himself as an important mover and shaker in the Java community. His “Diabolical Developer” session at the JavaOne 2011 Conference got people’s attention by identifying some of the worst practices Java developers are prone to engage in. Among other things, he is co-leader and organizer of the thriving London Java User Group (JUG) which has more than 2,500 members, co-represents the London JUG on the Executive Committee of the Java Community Process, and leads the global effort for the Java User Group “Adopt a JSR” and “Adopt OpenJDK” programs.

Career highlights include overhauling technology stacks and SDLC practices at Mizuho International, mentoring Oracle on technical community management, and running off shore development teams for AIG. He is currently CTO at jClarity, a start-up focusing on automating optimization for Java/JVM related technologies, and Product Advisor at ZeroTurnaround. He co-authored, with Ben Evans, "The Well-Grounded Java Developer" published by Manning and, as a leading authority on technical team optimization, he is in high demand at major software conferences.

Verburg is participating in five sessions, a busy man indeed. Here they are:

  • CON6152 - Modern Software Development Antipatterns (with Ben Evans)
  • UGF10434 - JCP and OpenJDK: Using the JUGs’ “Adopt” Programs in Your Group (with Csaba Toth)
  • BOF4047 - OpenJDK Building and Testing: Case Study—Java User Group OpenJDK Bugathon (with Ben Evans and Cecilia Borg)
  • BOF6283 - 101 Ways to Improve Java: Why Developer Participation Matters (with Bruno Souza and Heather Vancura-Chilson)
  • HOL6500 - Finding and Solving Java Deadlocks (with Heinz Kabutz, Kirk Pepperdine, Ellen Kraffmiller and Henri Tremblay)
When I asked Verburg about the biggest mistakes Java developers tend to make, he listed three:
  1. A lack of communication -- Software development is far more a social activity than a technical one; most projects fail because of communication issues and social dynamics, not because of a bad technical decision. Sadly, many developers never learn this lesson.
  2. No source control -- Developers simply storing code in local filesystems and emailing code in order to integrate
  3. Design-driven Design -- The need for some developers to cram every design pattern from the Gang of Four (GoF) book into their source code

All of which raises the question: If these practices are so bad, why do developers engage in them? “I've seen a wide gamut of reasons,” said Verburg, who lists them as:

* They were never taught at high school/university that their bad habits were harmful.
* They weren't mentored in their first professional roles.
* They've lost passion for their craft.
* They're being deliberately malicious!
* They think software development is a technical activity and not a social one.
* They think that they'll be able to tidy it up later.

A couple of key confusions and misconceptions beset Java developers, according to Verburg.

“With Java and the JVM in particular I've seen a couple of trends,” he remarked. “One is that developers think that the JVM is a magic box that will clean up their memory, make their code run fast, as well as make them cups of coffee. The JVM does help in a lot of cases, but bad code can and will still lead to terrible results! The other trend is to try and force Java (the language) to do something it's not very good at, such as rapid web development. So you get a proliferation of overly complex frameworks, libraries and techniques trying to get around the fact that Java is a monolithic, statically typed, compiled, OO environment. It's not a Golden Hammer!”

I asked him about the keys to running a good Java User Group. “You need to have a ‘Why,’” he observed. “Many user groups know what they do (typically, events) and how they do it (the logistics), but what really drives users to join your group and to stay is to give them a purpose. For example, within the LJC we constantly talk about the ‘Why,’ which in our case is several whys:

* Re-ignite the passion that developers have for their craft
* Raise the bar of Java developers in London
* We want developers to have a voice in deciding the future of Java
* We want to inspire the next generation of tech leaders
* To bring the disparate tech groups in London together
* So we could learn from each other
* We believe that the Java ecosystem forms a cornerstone of our society today -- we want to protect that for the future

Looking ahead to Java 8 Verburg expressed excitement about Lambdas.

“I cannot wait for Lambdas,” he enthused. “Brian Goetz and his group are doing a great job, especially given some of the backwards compatibility that they have to maintain. It's going to remove a lot of boiler plate and yet maintain readability, plus enable massive scaling.”

Check out Martijn Verburg at JavaOne if you get a chance, and, stay tuned for a longer interview yours truly did with Martijn to be publish on otn/java some time after JavaOne.

Originally published on blogs.oracle.com/javaone.



Mini Theater at OTN Lounge During JavaOne

This year, the Oracle Technology Network Lounge at JavaOne will be in the Hilton Ballroom, right in the center of theJavaOne DEMOgrounds. We'll have Java experts, community members and OTN staff to answer your questions. We've also even created a "Mini Theater" for casual demos from community members and Oracle staff. We are keeping the slots short, there will be no tests afterwards. It's your chance to talk to the experts 1 on 1.

See how easy it is to turn on a lightbulb with Java and a violin.

Here is the full schedule:

Monday, October 1

9:40-9:50am  Learn about the Oracle Social Network Developer Challenge

11:20-11:30  Update from the Oracle Academy

11:40-11:50  Caroline Kvitka, @OracleJavaMag, Editor-in-Chief of Java Magazine

12:00-12:20pm  SouJava demonstrates Duke's Choice Award Winner JHome

12:20-12:30pm  Geertjan Wielenga (@geertjanw) Shows What's new in NetBeans

12:40-12:50pm  Learn about the OSN Developer Challenge

 2:00-2:10pm  Java.net Robotics

 2:30-2:40pm  Geertjan Wielenga (@geertjanw) Java EE and NetBeans

 3:10-3:15pm  Learn about the Oracle Social Network Developer Challenge

 4:10-4:20pm Update on the Java Community Process (JCP)

Tuesday, October 2

9:40-9:50am  Greenfoot/Kinect demo by Michael Kolling

11:20-11:30  Caroline Kvitka, @OracleJavaMag, Editor-in-Chief of Java Magazine

11:40-11:50  Stephen Chin and Jim Weaver, Top Ten JavaFX Features

12:00-12:10pm  Nokia Student Developer

12:20-12:30pm Arun Gupta, HTML 5 and Java EE 7

1:00-1:10pm Update on the Java Community Process (JCP)

1:20-1:30pm  Update from the Oracle Academy

 2:00-2:10pm  Java.net Robotics

 2:30-2:40pm  Geertjan Wielenga (@geertjanw) NetBeans Java Editor

Wednesday, October 3

9:40-9:50am  Greenfoot/Kinect demo by Michael Kolling

11:00-11:10  Caroline Kvitka, @OracleJavaMag, Editor-in-Chief of Java Magazine

11:20-11:30  Angela Caicedo and Jim Weaver, Leveraging JavaFX and HTML5

12:00-12:10pm  Nokia Student Developer

12:10-12:30pm  SouJava demonstrates Duke's Choice Award Winner JHome

12:40-12:50  Angela Caicedo and Jim Weaver, Using Canvas and Pixels in JavaFX

 2:00-2:10pm  Stephen Chin and Jim Weaver, JavaFX Deployment with Self-Contained Apps

 2:30-2:40pm  Geertjan Wielenga (@geertjanw) NetBeans Platform

 2:50-3:00pm  Petr Jiricka, Project Easel

Changes to this schedule will be announced on @JavaOneConf.

Talking JavaOne with Rock Star Raghavan Srinivas

Raghavan Srinivas, affectionately known as “Rags,” is a two-time JavaOne Rock Star (from 2005 and 2011) who, as a Developer Advocate at Couchbase, gets his hands dirty with emerging technology directions and trends. His general focus is on distributed systems, with a specialization in cloud computing. He worked on Hadoop and HBase during its early stages, has spoken at conferences world-wide on a variety of technical topics, conducted and organized Hands-on Labs and taught graduate classes.

He has 20 years of hands-on software development and over 10 years of architecture and technology evangelism experience and has worked for Digital Equipment Corporation, Sun Microsystems, Intuit and Accenture. He has evangelized and influenced the architecture of numerous technologies including the early releases of JavaFX, Java, Java EE, Java and XML, Java ME, AJAX and Web 2.0, and Java Security.

Rags will be giving these sessions at JavaOne 2012:
  • CON3570 -- Autosharding Enterprise to Social Gaming Applications with NoSQL and Couchbase
  • CON3257 -- Script Bowl 2012: The Battle of the JVM-Based Languages (with Guillaume Laforge, Aaron Bedra, Dick Wall, and Dr Nic Williams)


Rags emphasized the importance of the Cloud: “The Cloud and the Big Data are popular technologies not merely because they are trendy, but, largely due to the fact that it's possible to do massive data mining and use that information for business advantage,” he explained.

I asked him what we should know about Hadoop. “Hadoop,” he remarked, “is mainly about using commodity hardware and achieving unprecedented scalability. At the heart of all this is the Java Virtual Machine which is running on each of these nodes. The vision of taking the processing to where the data resides is made possible by Java and Hadoop.”

And the most exciting thing happening in the world of Java today? “I read recently that Java projects on github.com are just off the charts when compared to other projects. It's exciting to realize the robust growth of Java and the degree of collaboration amongst Java programmers.”

He encourages Java developers to take advantage of Java 7 for Mac OS X which is now available for download. At the same time, he also encourages us to read the caveats.

Originally published on blogs.oracle.com/javaone.

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