Conferences are different if your are a speaker. Listening to talks is still important. So are the usual chores, like hunting for a cup of coffee from a dwindling supply just before the next exciting talk starts. But it’s not as important as it usually is. I’d rather use the time to prepare myself for our speech!
Talking of mundane things like coffee, lunch and the location in general, I can’t help but praise the JavaLand 2016 organization. They did a great job. There we’re up to ten talks in parallel, each starting and ending at the same time. But the conference area was large enough to take the sting out of the rush hours. Of course, the organization team already had some experience. It was the third JavaLand conference, taking place at the Phantasialand, which is a picturesque location. At the time, winter returned vigorously. So we had a lot of icy fog at the first day, and a lot of sunshine at the second day. Both made for beautiful photographies. Unfortunately, German law forbids me to publish my photos, but a quick Google search may give an impression. Plus, the JavaLand conference page is worth a visit. By the way, you can also download the slides of every talk. That’s an impressive collection of 77 slide decks. In other words: 246 megabytes of knowledge.
Back to the topics of the conference: Java, the JVM ecosystem and what happens in the browser. There were plenty of talks. Too bad I missed so many of them due to booth service and to my own talk. So I browsed the conference program and the internet to find out about current trends, and I asked a work mate of mine to help me.
Trends in the Java world
The future of Java and JavaEE were the topic of several talks. I’ll come back to that in a minute.
Security was also covered by a couple of talks. However, taking into account how important security is, and how much money is invested in criminal activities, I was sort of disappointed by the small number of talks dealing with security. Granted, most attendees are developers who consider security boring (and rightfully so), but that doesn’t stop security from being important. It’s not enough to delegate these things to the security department of your company!
Trends I did not see at the conference were Angular2, TypeScript, reactive programming and flux-like architecture. Granted, there were talks about these topic, but not as much as I’d expected to see. Maybe that’s because the conference focuses a lot on Java. Still, it surprises me, because in my perception these topics attract a lot of attention in the Java world in particular and in the world of web applications in general.
However, two trends that were impossible to miss on the JavaLand conference were Docker and Microservices. This clearly shows in my co-workers report.
A closer look at a couple of talks
My co-worker visited Josh Long’s talk about the Spring cloud stack. Josh Long is well-known in the Java world and the Spring community, and he kept up to the expectations. His talk was awesome. Josh took the risk to do the talk without slides. 100% live coding. Apparently, the gamble payed off. Keywords are Eureka, config-server, API gateway and Zuul-client.
After that, my co-worker attended a series of talks about Microservices. Microservices are currently en vogue in the Java world, so it’s no surprise this trend also shows at the JavaLand conference. Lars Röwekamp held an interesting talk about „the perfect microservice“. Lars claims that Domoin Driven Design is a good match for Microservices.
Arek Czarnik and Alwin Mark talked about the „Big Pipe“ concept they use at Rewe Digital. They are working at a webshop in a highly competitive area, so they need a lot of flexibility. Their project setup may be too complex for many projects, but there’s a lot to learn from their slides.
BootsFaces and AngularFaces @ JavaLand
And then there was our talk. As you can imagine, we went there early. That was good luck, because the talk before our talk was about security, a topic I’m highly interested in. Plus, it was presented like a Shakespeare performance: a talk in five acts. Roel Spilker and Reinier Zwitserloot are great speakers. It was a lot of fun to listen to them, even if two-factor authentication is a fairly dry topic. Along the way, they busted quite a few popular myths. For instance, your security experts keep telling you that you must not tell the user whether they entered the wrong password or the wrong user name. Nonsense, Roel and Reinier say. Nowadays, this doesn’t stop hackers. It doesn’t even slow them down. But it does annoy users, so it’s the wrong approach to security, they say.
By the way, the conference hall we held our talk at wasn’t a conference hall at all. It was a circus tent. The home page of the conference location, the Phantasialand, may give you an impression. It was a great place to talk.
Our talk was about – guess what! – BootsFaces and AngularFaces. I goes without saying I could talk many hours about either topic. Currently a university student even is writing his thesis about AngularFaces. So you can imagine our 40 minutes talk was very compact. We didn’t use traditional PowerPoint slides, but decided to „eat our own dog food“. We wrote a small presentation application with BootsFaces and AngularFaces following the style of reveal.js. Mind you: in 2016, developer productivity has risen to such a high level, especially if it’s supported by powerful frameworks like BootsFaces and AngularFaces, that it can be a sensible decision to write your presentation software instead of buying it.
Roughly fifty, maybe even sixty developers took the opportunity to listen to Riccardo Massera, the founder of the BootsFaces, and myself. A good outcome, considering that we help our talk in the hinterlands of the conference. You had to walk roughly five to ten minutes through the windy chill of winter. In case you’ve missed our talk: you can see our slides at Slideshare. Plus, the BootsFaces version of our talk is hosted at AngularFaces.net/BootsFacesPresentation.
After our talk, we chatted a couple of minutes with a couple of attendees. Among them was Ed Burns, the JSF specification lead, who encouraged us to submit our talk to the JavaOne conference. Both BootsFaces and AngularFaces seem to have piqued his curiosity.
The future of Java and JavaEE
Needless to say, there were a couple of talks about the future of Java and JavaEE. Keywords are value types which may be part of Java 9 or later, the G1GC garbage collector, CDI 2.0, MVC 1.0 (aka Ozark). There was even a „JVM deep dive“ talk explaining such advanced topic like safepoints.
A talk I’d like to point out was „CDI 2.0 deep dive“ by Mark Struberg and Thorben Janssen. It was an interesting preview to the next version of CDI. But the really interesting thing was that Mark explained why they designed things the way they did. It was exciting to have a look behind the stages. He also asked us a couple of times to vote about open design decisions. So visiting a conference doesn’t simply make you smarter. Sometimes it also gives you an opportunity to influence the direction of the JavaEE ecosystem!
After the talk Mark invited me to have a cup of coffee with him. It turned out to be a very interesting chat. This guy clearly has something to say! It was a pity duty called so early. I had to do booth service at our company’s exhibition booth. This year, our principal goal was recruiting. It paid: Our initiative „ambitious geeks wanted!“ was warmly received, and our company managed to establish a number of interesting contacts. Even if you’re not a student looking for a job, the German readers among you may want to follow the link. It’s a fun read!
JavaLand is a developer conference. If you want to learn something about programming, it’s the conference for you. There’s a wide range of topics, from the introductory level to the advanced level, from live coding to talks about architecture. Highly recommended. Next year I’m game again!
Sneak preview to the JAX 2016 conference
Talking of which: if you happen to visit the JAX conference in April, don’t miss the opportunity to visit our booth. I plan to be there Tuesday and Wednesday, so if you want to have a chat about BeyondJava.net, AngularFaces and BootsFaces, the JAX conference is the way to go for you. Plus, I’m the head of our company’s competence center for modern clients and agile architectures. Would you like to learn about the impact of innovative UI devices like Google Glasses, Microsoft Hololens, the Myo wristband or the myriad of sensors of your smart phone? Head for the booth of OPITZ CONSULTING in the exhibition area. Oh, and we’ve prepared a surprise for you. Visiting our booth is going to be fun!
The slides of every talk (77 slides, 246 megabytes)
The 5 key trends of JavaLand 2016 by Bart Blommaerts
MVC 1.0 (aka Ozark) by Ivar Grimstad
Introduction to JVM performance by Rafael Winterhalter
A very disturbing keynote about Java Security (and the lack thereof)
Two days in JavaLand (2016) by Thorben Janssen