Monthly Archives: October 2014

Devoxx Antwerp 2013 reminiscence

Episode 20

Let’s get back in time. Devoxx 2013 in Antwerp was actually my first big IT conference. Since there was no direct flights, I drove there with two friends a bit over 1k km, which wasn’t so bad considering it was mostly German Autobahn and we had a nice car which itself had only 1k km of mileage (mileage given in km, doesn’t it sound funny?) when we started. It was nice little adventure.

How is Devoxx different than Jax? Well, it’s muuuch bigger. There was like 7 to 10 times more people. The conference took place in a second largest cinema complex in Europe, meaning that talks were delivered on big screens with excellent audio. There were 10 halls, two with capacity over 800 people. Exhibiting companies were like: Google, Oracle, Red Hat, Microsoft and that kind of league. There were chief architects of stuff. They were gadgets like chess robots, machinery out of Lego Technics bricks and all the stuff geeks like.


There was even a game where you could see entire audience on the big screen, and there were virtual fruits (seen on the screen superimposed over the camera image) thrown at them. If the fruit happens to hit your location, you had to slash it with arm movement to get points. People were divided in two teams, two halves of the audience, and more hits equalled winning entire game.

Jax had better food on the other hand ;)

Similarly to posts on Jax, I will quickly present talks I’ve watched. Main part of Devoxx was one day longer than Jax, and I since it was almost a year, I don’t remember everything exactly, so there will be a selection.


Lambda: A peek Under the Hood by Brian Goetz.

I made a reference to this talk already in The Peak of the Mountain. Very technical details of JVM internals, not for everyone and perhaps not so useful in everyday development, but very interesting for me. And the speaker is the chief Java Language architect.

The Crazyflie Nano Quadcopter by Crazyflie team.

One of the cool ones. Story of developing tiny quadcopter both from hardware and software point of view with all the ups and downs.

The Modular Java Platform and Project Jigsaw by Mark Reinhold.

Java is big and tangled, but there are efforts to untangle the platform and make it more efficient especially on tiny devices with very limited resources . Nice to see a talk by Java platform chief architect regardless of the topic.

Shaping the future of web development by Lars Bak.

Keynote by Google and official release of Dart 1.0 with ambitious dream, “ultimately to replace JavaScript as the lingua franca of web development on the open web platform”. Thumbs up. Most important thing for me is static type system. Writing anything bigger than 500 Lines of code in JS was always pain in the ass. It’s been 19 wonderful years, thank you very much, time for something better.

Java 8 Language Capabilities – What’s in it for you? by Venkat Subramaniam.

At the time that was the first presentation about lambdas for me. Very dynamic yet easy to follow and technically very well done.

Introduction to Google Glass by Alain Regnier.

Well, what can you say besides that Google Glass is an awesome technology. Still in prototype phase, and with a lot of improvements along the way. Alain presents how to connect to the device from your PC, how to control it with voice or head motion and what you can do with it. Possibilities seem to be endless.


Taming Drones: How Java Controls the Uprising Drone Force by Timon Veenstra and Eva Veenstra-Kazakov

Another cool talk about quadcopters. You can buy one for $300, attach Raspberry Pi for $30, some sensors, do some programming and voilà, you have an autonomous drone which can fly over the field, do some photos and recharge itself when needed. At the end, you can use data to tell the farmer where he should apply more irrigation to get the most out of his plants. Countless other things you can do for a few bucks.


Besides I remember attending Cryptographic operations in the browser by Nick Van den Bleeken, EJB 3.2 and Beyond by David Blevins, Java EE 7: What’s new in the Java EE Platform by Daniel Delabassee, Spring Framework 4.0 – The Next Generation by Sam Branen, Batch Applications or the Java Platform (JSR 352) by Scott Kurz. And there were few others I can’t remember.


Overall, in my opinion Devoxx is much better than Jax. Longer, much more speakers to choose from, much more “cool” stuff outside of Big Data, Enterprise and Java for a very similar ticket price.


And somehow I prefer both Belgian beer and weather over English ;) See you next time.


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Posted by on October 26, 2014 in News, Technology


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Jax London 2014, day two

Episode 19

Apparently London busted me. Or Stansted. Or the graceful 737-800 from cheap Irish airlines. Anyway, I’m supposed to stay at home for the rest of the week, so in between aspirin and vitamin C I can try to continue my story of the Jax conference. Let’s move on to day two sessions.

Developing applications with a micro-service architecture keynote by Chris Richardson.

Micro-services are definitely a hot topic nowadays. Another fancy name for keeping parts of your code separated. Chris however is not an evangelist who will come and show you the only right way. Instead the session was very balanced, giving you pros and cons of the idea.

GridGain 6.0: Open Source In-Memory Computing Platform by Nikita Ivanov.

Ram is cheap now. And turns out that it is even cheaper when you look at hardware maintenance costs over few years. And daily, operational datasets fits in today’s Ram. GridGain looks like a Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on October 21, 2014 in News, Technology


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Jax London 2014, day one

Episode 18

That was a longer break from writing. Jax 2014 conference is over, time to do some recap. The proper event was held in London 14 – 15 October in Business Design Centre, Islington, London. There were also some workshops 13 October, but I decided to skip those. Primary topics were Java, web and mobile, development practices, agile and big data.


Some quick numbers: Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on October 19, 2014 in News, Technology


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Secrets of the Rock Star Programmers

Episode 17

First book review is here. There will be a lot of bullet points ;)

I’d like to share some thoughts on the book I’ve read recently. Secrets of the Rock Star Programmers by Ed Burns.  I read quite a lot IT – connected books, but usually those are about particular technologies, topics (like coding interviews riddles), people (like Iwoz) or how to be a good programmer in general (like the Clean Coder).


This one, however is a bit different. It is actually a set of detailed interviews with, so called, A-list programmers. Here is the Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on October 5, 2014 in Books


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