Wednesday Jan 29, 2014

Gamification for User Groups

At the gamification session of the International Oracle User Group Community (IOUC), leaders discussed how to drive membership. Typically, they give away licenses, books and goodies to encourage attendance at monthly meetings. Others have used gamification to get their communities to brainstorm on mascot names, or post pictures and comments on social media. Hackathons also require the use of similar techniques to keep attendees motivated to create applications over several days. SouJava leader Bruno Souza successfully ran hackathons that combined brainstorming, team building, training, hacking sessions and prizes to keep participants engaged.

“Turn life into a game, drive engagement of audiences, make the experience more enjoyable and get users to come back ” are the key advantages of gamification according to user group leader Jim Bethancourt.

The forum platform Stack Overflow is a great example of running a thriving community of developers with its point systems. Contributors get rewarded with points for their useful entries and visitors easily find the most relevant and best-rated entries.

The ArabOUG has implemented a point system to keep its community active. The group gives out points to the members, who contribute applications, articles, and translations. It partnered with training organizations and other services to give its members free training and services in exchange for points. As a result, members don’t have to pay for services using online payments, which governments in many countries in North Africa and the Middle East don’t allow.

In an interview, ArabOUG leader Mohamed Chargui  explains in more detail his experience using gamification.

Friday Feb 22, 2013

Arun Gupta on Higher Productivity from Embracing HTML5 with Java EE 7

Oracle’s Java evangelist and noted Java EE expert, Arun Gupta, presented a session at the annual IOUC (International Oracle User Community) Summit, held January 14–16, 2013, at Oracle headquarters in Redwood Shores, California, where more than 100 top user group leaders from around the world gathered to share best practices, provide feedback, and receive updates from leading Oracle developers.

Gupta’s talk, titled "The Java EE 7 Platform: Higher Productivity and Embracing HTML5," presented a glimpse into the rich possibilities that will be available in Java EE 7 upon its release in the spring of 2013. He covered several major developments, including:

* Java API for RESTful Web Services 2.0
* Java Message Service 2.0
* Java API for JSON Processing 1.0
* Java API for WebSocket 1.0
* Bean Validation 1.1
* Batch Applications for the Java Platform 1.0
* Java Persistence API 2.1
* Servlet 3.1
* Concurrency Utilities for Java EE 1.0
* JavaServer Faces 2.2

Gupta focuses on ways in which Java EE 7 offers higher productivity; less boilerplate; richer functionality; more default options; and HTML5 support in the form of WebSocket and JSON. He also observed that the cloud is in need of more standards. From the article:

"There are not enough standards in the cloud with W3C and other standards bodies. More standards are needed so that we can define a Java API for the cloud. Premature standardization can also be a problem if not enough innovation has taken place. So what is the right thing for the platform? We have reached out to the community, the core group members, and the executive committee of the Java Community Process and have focused on providing higher productivity and on embracing the HTML5 platform more closely. We are going to use dependency injection a lot more, which will give developers the ability to write less boilerplate code and offer richer functionality such as batch applications and caching. Similarly, for HTML5, we are embracing WebSocket functionality and the ability to parse and generate a JSON structure. We are providing support for HTML5-friendly markup as part of JSF.”

Gupta summarized the strengths of the various JSRs and closed by encouraging developers to participate in Adopt-a-JSR, a project that enables them to, “pursue their interest in particular Java EE 7 JSRs and download code, play with it, report bugs, and offer feedback to Java EE 7 specification leads.”

Check out the article here.

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