On my way back, I stopped by at the nascent Happy Valley JUG in State College, PA - kicking off a highly successful and well-attended first meetup!
My session on Java EE at CodeMash titled "JavaEE.Next(): Java EE 7, 8, and Beyond" was very well attended. I covered the changes in JMS 2, the Java API for WebSocket (JSR 356), the Java API for JSON Processing (JSON-P), JAX-RS 2, JPA 2.1, JTA 1.2, JSF 2.2, Java Batch, Bean Validation 1.1, Java EE Concurrency and the rest of the APIs in Java EE 7. I also briefly talked about some of the possibilities for Java EE 8. The slides for the talk are here:
To my delight, the CodeMash was interested in my NoSQL+Java EE talk (titled "Using NoSQL with ~JPA, EclipseLink and Java EE"). The talk covers an interesting gap that there is surprisingly little material on out there. The talk has three parts -- a birds-eye view of the NoSQL landscape, how to use NoSQL via a JPA centric facade using EclipseLink NoSQL, Hibernate OGM, DataNucleus, Kundera, Easy-Cassandra, etc and how to use NoSQL native APIs in Java EE via CDI. This talk was also pretty well attended and the Q & A was excellent. The slides for the talk are here:
The visit to the Happy Valley JUG was really great. Although it's geared towards the general State College area, the JUG is a bit Penn State University centric at the moment since both key JUG organizers Shawn Smith and Steve Moyer work for Penn State and the meetings are held on campus (incidentally, both Shawn and Steve are Java EE fans :-)). It was really a great privilege to lead the very first meeting of the JUG. I ran the Java EE 7 Hands-on Lab as a whole day workshop. I think this might be the first JUG in the world who's inaugural meeting was so well attended with everyone doing head's down hacking the whole day (just check out the awesome picture below - go Nittany Lions :-)).
While in Ohio, I did something that has been on my bucket list for a long time - visiting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. Most people don't realize this, but Cleveland is actually the birthplace of Rock and Roll and Ohio has been home to many legendary rockers like Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, Chimaira and Warrant. If you are in the area, I would say it's a fascinating sight definitely worth a visit, even if you aren't into Rock (check out the photo album below).
All in all, this was a very good trip. I am looking forward to going on another trip covering a US based conference (Code PaLOUsa in Kentucky) coupled with a JUG visit (the Maryland JUG) in a few weeks!