Saturday, August 02, 2014

Chicago Coder Conference Trip Report

The Chicago Coder Conference was held on Friday, August 5th.  The conference venue was a sleek downtown facility on Wacker Drive.  There were breakfast bagels and great coffee to start the day, along with some good networking opportunity.  The keynote began at 8:30 am, where JUG member Scott Kramer spoke about the events of the day, and introduced the keynote speakers.  The keynote included two speakers, each of which were executives from Chicago based companies.  The cars.com executive got into some technical detail covering Hadoop, and how it works, which was quite interesting.

The sessions I attended were led by excellent speakers.  Oracle’s own John Clingan spoke to Java EE 7 and Java EE 8 in his first session.  His talk detailed how Java EE has evolved over the years, and he discussed some of the ideas for the future of Java EE.  Those ideas encompassed a JSON-B API, incremental enhancements to many of the other APIs, continued focus on HTML5, more focus on the cloud, and some key enhancements to Java EE security.  Some of the security concepts looked quite interesting, as it may be possible in the future to utilize annotation based security, rather than configuration.

Next, I attended a session by Davinder Kohli entitled “Unclouding the Cloud”.  In this session, we learned the inner workings of several private and public cloud infrastructures.  He and his colleague then gave a demo of OpenStack, which was interesting, as we learned how easy it was to start and deploy new WordPress sites.

The lunch was great…good food and more great networking.  I then gave a talk on Java EE 7 entitled “Java EE 7 Recipes”.  The talk was well received, and I had quite a few people come and ask questions after the session.  I learned that many people are still not very familiar with the new Java EE, but they remember how difficult J2EE was in the past.  I will be giving a similar presentation at JavaOne...what would you like for me to cover??

The next session was an excellent presentation by Simon Maple entitled “Guide to JVM Languages”.  In this session, he demoed Java 8 lambdas, functional interfaces, and default methods in a live-coding demonstration.  He then covered how to use some similar features in Groovy, Scala, Kotlin, Ceylon, and Xtend.  This session was great, as Simon is an excellent speaker who involved the audience throughout the session.  We were able to compare each of the different languages, and learn a bit about each one.  The overall concept was that the JVM has many great languages…we should try to learn a few of them.

The last session I attended was presented by John Clingan, and it was covering Project Avatar.  Avatar.js is meant to be a node.js solution for the JVM.  In fact, most node.js applications can now be run on the JVM using Avatar.js.  John talked to the reasons why Oracle wanted to develop this solution, and why it was important for the community.  Node.js users could port their applications, and make use of all Java libraries since they are on the JVM with Avatar.js.  Many of the Java EE APIs are being wrapped in JavaScript so that they are accessible to clients using 100% JavaScript.  Oracle knows that Knockout JS and Angular JS are leading the way in single page application frameworks…and they want to enable easy development against Java EE and other JVM technologies for these front end technologies.

Overall, this was an excellent conference.  Kudos go out to the Chicago Java Users Group, and the Illinois Java Users Group for doing such a great job.  Big thanks to Scott Kramer for nudging me to submit a presentation for this conference…it was a great time.

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