Thursday Feb 13, 2014

CodeMash 2014 Trip Report

CodeMash 2014 took place 7-10 January in Sandusky, Ohio at the exotic Kalahari Waterpark Resort. This was my first time at the conference. With another sold-out year, CodeMash is quickly becoming one of the largest developer conferences state-side. It has it's roots in .NET, but is making a concerted effort to better attract a Java audience hence it was important for us to support that effort. This year it attracted a decent section of the Java crowd including my fellow Oracle colleagues Jim Weaver (JavaFX) and Scott Seighman (Scott is the leader of the Cleveland JUG and spoke on Java SE 8) as well as Chris Judd (leader of the fairly active Columbus JUG). Topics covered included .NET, Rails, methodology, JavaScript/HTML 5, mobile, cloud, DevOps, Hadoop, NoSQL, Java SE, JavaFX and Java EE (of course :-)).

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!

Friday Dec 20, 2013

Oredev 2013 Trip Report

Oredev 2013 was held on 4-8 November in Malmo Sweden. This was my second time at the largest IT conference in the Scania region - I had been there in 2010 as an independent. The conference is rooted in .NET and development process/methodology but has been trying hard to beef up it's Java content. This year it attracted a decent section of the Java crowd including my fellow Oracle colleagues Brian Goetz (Java SE), Geertjan Wielenga (NetBeans), Attila Szegedi (Nashorn), Aleksey Shipilev (Java SE), Cecilia Borg (OpenJDK), Marcus Hirt (Java SE) and Tomas Nilsson (Java SE) as well as my long-time friend Adam Bien. Topics covered included Java EE (of course :-)), mobile, DDD, agile, HTML5, cloud, Java SE, OpenJDK, JavaScript and NoSQL.

I ran the Java EE 7 Hands-on Lab as a whole day workshop. A decent number of people showed up for the workshop and it ran very smoothly (many folks had kind words to share afterwards). Last time I had tried to run this lab at OSCON, it did not go so smoothly due to various GlassFish and NetBeans issues that now seem to have been fixed. There were also issues with the lab itself that have since been addressed. There are still a few remaining rough spots in the lab I will get ironed out as soon as possible.

The openly available hands-on lab is actually a very good resource for getting your hands dirty with Java EE 7. The entire lab is neatly scripted into step-by-step instructions and seeded with some starter code as to be largely self-directed and self-paced. The idea is that anyone should be able to complete the lab by themselves or even lead the lab in their own organizations. I am finding that the length of the lab actually makes it more suitable as a one-day workshop - perhaps calling it something like "Hands-on Java EE 7", "Down and Dirty with Java EE 7", "A Self-Guided Tour of Java EE 7", etc. I am actually running such a workshop again at Penn State University/the Happy Valley JUG on my way back from CodeMash in Sandusky, Ohio in January.

I also had a regular conference session on JAX-RS 2. Titled "JAX-RS 2: New and Noteworthy in the RESTful Web Services API" this was basically the same talk given by the specification leads Santiago Pericas-Geertsen and Marek Potociar at JavaOne San Francisco. I talked about the JAX-RS 2 client API, asyncronous processing, filters/interceptors, hypermedia support, server-side content negotiation and the like. It's somewhat unusual for conferences to accept this talk which is strange given the popularity of JAX-RS and the importance of REST in both mobile and HTML5 applications. The talk was well attended, went very well and the Q & A was great. The slides for the talk are here (including the abstract and source PPT):

On the Friday night after the conference, I got to catch a Queensryche performance at Kulturbolaget (besides Debaser the most significant music venue in Malmo; also known simply as "KB"). I had seen another act from the US-based progressive metal legends in my hometown of Philadelphia at the legendary Trocadero Theatre a few years ago. Queensryche seems to always deliver a technically polished if albeit somewhat tame performance. Besides the good ol' US of A, Sweden is one of the few countries in the World that you can probably find a metal gig in most major cities year-round...

All in all, I enjoyed Oredev/Malmo and look forward to going back some time again soon (I'll be back in Sweden for Jfokus in February).


Reza Rahman is a former independent consultant, now Java EE/GlassFish evangelist.

He is the author of the popular book EJB 3 in Action. Reza is a frequent speaker at Java User Groups and conferences worldwide.

Reza has been a member of the Java EE, EJB and JMS expert groups. He implemented the EJB container for the Resin open source Java EE application server.

All views voiced are my own, not necessarily Oracle's.


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