Reza Rahman's Blog

  • July 28, 2015

Voxxed Days Istanbul 2015 Trip Report

Guest Author

Voxxed Days Istanbul 2015 was held on May 9th. It might seem surprising but this was the first large scale independent Java focused conference ever to be held in Turkey. It was a deliberately modest but solid first step with gradual future growth in mind. Though the event was modest in scope it was certainly not in terms of spirit and enthusiasm. It attracted some of the best and brightest in the Java ecosystem including Gavin King and Arun Gupta not to mention local Java luminaries like Cagatay Civici (PrimeFaces lead) and Murat Yener (Java Champion). In fact I am proud to say Cagatay and Murat have been good personal friends. Topics included Java SE, mobile, NoSQL, methodology and of course Java EE. Indeed Java EE had a fairly strong presence at the event. I feel very privileged to be invited to this inaugural event. While in Turkey I am very happy to say I also spoke at two of the largest Java user groups in Turkey - the Ankara JUG as well as the Istanbul JUG. It was very gracious of the Voxxed Days Istanbul organizers to help facilitate meetings with both JUGs.

I started my Turkey tour in the political capital of Ankara. True to legendary Turkish hospitality my friend Cagatay picked me up promptly at the airport and never left me alone in Ankara until it was time to head to Istanbul. I spoke at the Ankara JUG on the 5th, delivering a two hour workshop titled "Java EE 7 in Action" that ran more towards three hours. It was a fully packed house with many kindly staying to the very end. For those unaware the Ankara JUG is the most active in Turkey thanks to the likes of Cagatay and Java Champion Mert Caliskan. The workshop is something I've successfully delivered in the past. It uses Cargo Tracker but focuses on Java EE 7 usage instead of DDD and Java EE generally. I overview Java EE 7 at a high level, go through each API change and demo some selected features using Cargo Tracker. For each demo I explain the use case for the Java EE 7 feature in use and show actual running code.

Instead of taking yet another dreary flight I took a very comfortable bus ride from Ankara to Istanbul. I could have also opted for high speed rail but the bus offers a more relaxed experience, picturesque views of the mountainous Anatolian county side and a cool rural meal stop. Just as Cagatay was my kind host in Ankara, Murat Yener, his wife Nilay Yener, Salim Kayabasi and Hasan Keklik were my gracious hosts in Istanbul. On the 7th I delivered the "Java EE 7 in Action" workshop again at the Istanbul JUG to a full house at an excellent ultra-modern venue (thanks Istanbul JUG and Voxxed Days Istanbul lead organizer Rahman Usta for the well-taken pictures).

Voxxed Days Istanbul itself started with a bang celebrating the twenty year anniversary of Java. This was my first of multiple such celebrations. I was honored to be invited onstage to cut the cake featuring Duke alongside my former colleague Arun Gupta, Voxxed Days organizers, Stephan Janssen, Murat and many others. After the keynote and Java birthday celebrations I delivered a very important short talk titled "What's New in WebLogic 12.1.3 and Beyond". The talk essentially covers the very important hard work that we have already done in WebLogic 12.1.3 including supporting some of the most critical Java EE 7 APIs as well as the fundamental changes coming soon in WebLogic 12.2.1 including full Java EE 7 platform support. Below is the slide deck for the talk (click here if you can't see the embedded slide deck.):

I am very glad the Voxxed Days Istanbul organizers were enlightened enough to allow this talk. I wish more events would recognizer the distinction between selling and informing current/prospective users about important technological changes that they can use. As a result, it leaves the industry at large dangerously ignorant of what is really going on with key bits of mission critical industry infrastructure be it WebLogic, WebSphere or JBoss EAP. Likely largely because of these dynamics the session was relatively sparse and that is very unfortunate indeed. Concurrent to my talk Arun Gupta delivered a very cool session on refactoring existing Java EE applications into Microservices using Docker. After my time slot Cagatay delivered a talk on JSF and PrimeFaces.

After lunch I delivered our main driving talk for this year titled "What's Coming in Java EE 8" in the main keynote hall. The talk covers the possibilities for Java EE 8 such as HTTP 2/Servlet 4, Server-Sent Events (SSE), a new standard action-oriented web framework, security simplification, REST management/monitoring, even better JSON support, CDI 2, platform-wide CDI alignment, more pruning, JCache, JMS.next() and Java SE 8 alignment. I also cover Adopt-a-JSR. The slides for the talk are here (click here if you can't see the embedded slide deck):

Do note that I've added detailed speaker notes available to you in the downloadable PowerPoint deck. This means that you could deliver the talk yourself if you were so inclined. The talk was well attended and I got some good feedback afterwards. The Istanbul JUG is an active Java EE 8 adopter via Adopt-a-JSR. After my talk there was a good talk on the latest changes in WildFly.

My last talk for the event was my very popular talk on Cargo Tracker/Java EE + DDD. This talk basically overviews DDD and describes how DDD maps to Java EE using code examples/demos from the Cargo Tracker Java EE Blue Prints project. Below is the slide deck for the talk (click here if you can't see the embedded slides):

The talk went well and was a full house in a smaller breakout room. I got some excellent questions throughout the session as well as afterwards. Arun Gupta used the last session slot to deliver another talk on Java EE, Docker and Kubernetes.

As tough as a longer multi-destination trip like this can be, one upside is the fact that one can use their personal time to explore one's destination. Thanks to Cagatay, Murat, Nilay, Salim and Hasan I was able to do just that in both Ankara and Istanbul. As unbelievable as this may sound I think I was able to cover the vast majority of the sights in both cites in the short down time that I had including the Kemal Ataturk memorial, Kocatepe mosque, Ankara castle, the blue mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi palace, Basilica Cistern, Suleymaniye mosque, the spice bazaar and the grand bazaar. It's not difficult to see the elegant layers of history in the cradle of so many of the world's major civilizations (that's the Hittite, Byzantine and Ottoman empires for the historically illiterate among you). Just take a look at the pictures below (click here if you can't see the embedded slideshow):

While in Istanbul I was also able to check out underground Turkish heavy metal in the social hub of the city. Cagatay, Murat, Nilay and others from the event came with me so I wasn't on my own for a change (Cagatay and Murat are both metalheads like me). You should do the same if you get a chance to really get a glimpse of the Janus-like heart of Istanbul - with one facet steeped in history and tradition while the other enthusiastically embracing modernity at the same time...

All in all my trip to Turkey was a thorough pleasure and I look forward to going back again soon enough.

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