This week has been inspired by the power ot Java (this is how a movie like Javatar would probably start).
Anyway, I'm glad that I attended Java2Days event this year. It's been my second Java2Days event including the one in Oct 2009 (which I described in my Bulgarian blog with auto Google translation in EN). After few years being highly coupled with Java, I decided to do some freelance which lasts for about 2 years now. Meanwhile in addition to Java I've studied plenty of new technologies - PHP and Python in depth, different frameworks down there, few abstract programming structures for specific projects, set-top boxes etc. This makes me feel even more proud being a participant of such an event: now I am able to truly compare scripting languages and Java, dynamic against static typing in different cases - small and medium size projects, enterprise applications, distributed systems.
Also, as a trainer in different Java-specific trainings (currently Java for QA engineers for VMware and Java EE in the Technical University of Sofia) it's priceless hearing the gossips 'from the back yard' and exploring new features from people being involved in the real process. Thanks to everyone who was passionate enough to talk on topics related to JEE, Spring, Wicket, HTML, mobile techies, Objective-C and others.
As always, the Java community presented some of the best shots in the' training industry'. It would be really unbelievable to see Gosling on the stage, but anyway other experienced developers/directors charged the field in the right way (the light way, talking of Java).
The two trainers I was specifically waiting for this year were Andrew Lombardi and Josh Long. These were the guys I enjoyed most last year (including Heath Kesler who couldn't show up this time). Reza Rahman and John Willis also had some great moments for the public. This year all of them did their best one more time - thanks again!
There were also another speakers that I noticed this year. Alexis Pouchkine, Oleg Zhurakousky, Vassil Popovski, Arun Gupta. Eugine Ciurana made a great show 'waking up' the crowd with some jokes and live performance.
Java2Days this year was a mix of 3 conferences - Java2Days, Cloud2Days and MobileDay. Most of the people around (including me) expected Mobile2Days conf with mobile activity the first day, but it turned out that the mobile session is only for the second day.
The focus on Java this year was JEE and the Spring Framework. Scripting languages in the JVM also took part in the 'big three' of the list. Last year there were more presentations on different frameworks from the platform - JSF, GWT, Wicket, Spring and others. I kinda like the flame between different framework evangelists
The introduction Java EE 6 lecture described some of the new features included in the JEE6 (released an year ago). So far every popular application server (and IDE) supports JEE6 fair enough to use it properly. There are noticeable performance improvements, optimizations (code-reducing ones), taking into consideration annotations (instead of the thousand XMLs) and a bit more convention over configuration (which could be a two-sides blade, but most of the time is time saver).
Long and Zhurakousky presented Spring Integration 2.0 and Intro to Spring. It has been something between a discussion between them both and a stand-up show - Oleg was the sales manager of Spring and Josh was the interested client eager to learn that technology. It was really entertaining, good slides as well and nice overall performance.
Reza presented the DI for JEE - dependency injection was something we could have seen in Spring, but now it's fully supported in JEE (with CID as well). Some demos and real situation examples were demonstrated in this session.
After the lunch break I've been waiting for Andrew's performance. He did another Wicket presentation similar to the one in 2009. This time he recorded a screencast of his creating a Wicket demo. The screencast was recorded during the previous session so it has been almost 'on air' Wicket seems a neat framework to try especially if you work closely with designers (who insist on their plain HTML) and need some performance (seems way lighter than JSF for example). Another benefit of the Wicket stuff is the component-oriented architecture, ability for plain URLs (better SEO optimization) and others. Talking with Lombardi during the break we discussed different opportunities to use Wicket in a CMS system. Two existing solutions are Brix and Hippo (both in my testing TODO list).
Vassil Popovski presented the RESTful services topic. As a lead QA manager of VMware he demonstrated REST samples with some testing over there, with plenty of demos creating a bug reporting application. Good performance, real samples, nice work.
Second day I paid less attention due to additional work online and a meeting in the afternoon. Anyway, Gupta did another entertaining demo on Java EE platform as a start.
Eugene joined the sessions for day 2 as a second speaker in Vitosha hall. Gupta is a good speaker, but he's less dynamical and too monotonous for first lecture. Even though topic and demos were fine, all the guys were still sleepy before Eugene. The guy started singing "Who let the dogs out" and made us sing with him (some role singing), which naturally turned attention back to him. He proved himself as the open-source evangelist we've heard him to be.
At 11:30 we attended the Froyo session in the Mobile hall. I was honestly disappointed on that - as a creator of Android application I expected to hear something meaningful. Despite that after 10 minutes of listening 50% of the attendees left the hall and went to hear another sessions. Nothing useful, nothing Android/Froyo related.
After that session Emo Abadjiev has presented an interesting presentation named Objective-C for Java developers. Emo was a CEO/CTO of mine in Insight technologies and I have never seen him as a speaker. That's where the pleasant surprise came from - Emo demonstrated great technical and speaking abilities and proved his potential to be a pro trainer. It was really nice to hear his Objective-C story demonstrating his experience with writing for Apple hardware after many years with Java.
The last session I attended was the HTML 5 lecture - again from Andrew Lombardi. Useful theory, plenty of examples, great presentation show, the hall was crowded. That should be descriptive enough. Seems like Andrew was really surprised that there were many people using Opera in there and only 2 of the guys owned Mac machines. Well, pure truth - we still use Opera either on our own, or for testing purposes of web applications. And the Mac machines are usually PCs with Linux/BSDs around, so that's where that all comes from.
I would really look forward to attend the next Java2Days here in Bulgaria. I hope that all of the great speakers would return and teach us something new and spicy. Also a good thing to think about is developing the MobileDay into Mobile2Days paying attention to development for Android, iPhone and BlackBerry (three of them has Java APIs to be used). Another interesting topic after the return of the scripting languages is Groovy and Grails with it. VMware are a general sponsor of the event and as they obtain the rights over Groovy, that shall be no that hard.
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