Archive for May 2012:
Hi Andres, welcome!
Tell us, who you are, and where you're from?
I come from the other side of the Atlantic, from the beautiful country that is Mexico (thought currently living in Switzerland). I jumped into the Java bandwagon in the year it came out. Years later I found Groovy, and as Dick Wall put it, I loooove the Groovy :-)
Today I'm happy to say I do Groovy and Grails for my day job at Canoo (Groovyiest company in Switzerland) while spending my spare time developing Griffon.
This is your fourth year at GR8Conf. What GR8 stuff will you cover at the conference this year?
Well Griffon has seen many improvements in the last year so Sascha and I we'll do our best to demonstrate what are the new capabilities of the framework.
We're excited to say that Griffon has truly gone beyond our expectations and is fast becoming the real alternative for multi-toolkit, polyglot programming desktop application development (yay buzzwords!) No really, it supports Swing, JavaFX and SWT from the get go, plus 8 JVM languages (Groovy among them of course ;-)
And how did you get to work with Groovy?
I have to thank Scott Davis and Venkat Subramanian for that. During the summer of 2006 I attended NFJS Austin where both Scott and Venkat presented, using their unique and characteristic speaking skills, compelling reasons to use Groovy code along Java code. I've been hook into Groovy since.
To you, what is the best part about GR8Conf?
To me GR8Conf is the best opportunity to meet and greet the people behind the libraries and frameworks that conform the Groovy Ecosystem.
We live in an age where technology can bring us closer no matter where we are, but nothing beats talking face to face and shaking the hand of that someone that built a piece of code that saves you tons of work and brings a smile to your face.
GR8Conf is all about the personal experience.
Any closing remarks?
Don't miss out the Hackergarten session! this is your chance to interact with other people that may share your same interests, pair up with project leads, have some fun hacking on a Groovy project. You'll learn new skills, make new acquaintances and have fun while at it, guaranteed.
I will definetly be there! See you there, and thanks for the interview.
Thanks to you for making GR8Conf happen in the first place. Hope to see you all in about a week :-)
This years GR8Conf Europe is warming up to be the hottest event in the Groovy Ecosystem. We got all you need to feed your brain with GR8 technologies.
The list of speakers is impressive, 24 international speakers, all bright minds from the GR8 Groovy technologies, all ready to braindump their knowledge to you!
We have a packed agenda, with two tracks and 28 sessions, covering technologies like Groovy, Grails, Griffon, Spock, Betamax¸Geb, GAELYK, Gpars and many others.
Attendees are coming from most of the world: Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Danmark, Belgium, Russian Federation, Norway, United States, Italy, Spain, Croatia, Lebanon, Finland and Palestine
And we treasure our sponsors and partners, because without them, there would be no GR8Conf.
Remember that you can still register to join this HOT event. We close registrations at the end of May!
See you at GR8Conf Europe 2012!
Hi Stefan, so nice to have you here!
I'm located near by Munich, Germany. For +10 years now I'm doing freelance consulting. My java experience is +10 year, the last couple of years I've focussed on the "G" technologies. During that period I've done couple of Grails projects ranging from very small to pretty large scale.
As a counterpart of always sitting and coding, I'll spent lots of my spare time as volunteer firefighter, that's why you see the helmet at my avatar image.
Let's hope, that you only have to use your "G" skills at GR8Conf. What will you be covering at the conference?
I'll be doing a 3 hour workshop titled "my 'Perfect' Toolchain Setup for Grails Projects". My experience in many Grails projects was that devs have successfully started working with Grails locally but when it comes to integrate this into a team workflow, their setup was not very efficient. The workshop will cover couple of "lessons learned" from practical experience. I'll cover usage of git with branching strategies offered by git flow, deal with IDE setup, integration of ticket system (esp. JIRA) and how to do automatic deployments.
The attendees should be familiar with the Grails basics and have their laptop with them to benefit from doing things instead of just listen to.
So how did you get started in G-land?
That was a long time ago (~5 years) when we've had the need for exchangable code at runtime in a java web application. After dealing with limited expression languages I've finally discovered groovy as "the thing I was looking for".
What's your favourite thing about GR8Conf?
GR8Conf is basically the family meeting of the Groovy ecosystem community. Since it's a focussed and rather small conference, the benefit of communication with other attendess and speakers during breaks and after the talks is very valuable; the talks are too - of course. It's always good to know people face by face instead only dealing with unpersonal nicknames on mailing lists.
Cophenhagen is a wonderful city, always worth a travel.
and a "A closing statement"? Ask this once more just after the conference ;-)
I will :-) Thanks for taking your time to do this interview. See you in a weeks time!
Yes see you!
Hi Joe, welcome to this interview. Tell the reader about yourself
I'm originally from New York City and I now work in Silicon Valley in California. One of my childhood dreams was to build video games. Since 2005 I've been developing JVM-based web sites professionally. Back in the day I was saddled with Struts and EJB 2.1 at a pharmaceutical marketing company in New York City. I was a tech lead pushing for more Selenium tests, maintainable CSS, and zero-downtime database changes. I'm happiest when I get to improve the full end-to-end stack of a web app, by polishing both the user experience and the developer experience.
Since 2010 I've been working exclusively in Grails in the Engineering Tools department at Netflix. If you don't know much about Netflix yet, there's a good chance that you'll be using it in the next few years for a lot of your TV viewing. We're launching in new countries all the time.
Yeah, I've heard that they're considering Denmark too. This is your first time at GR8Conf, and I know you'll be speaking about Asgard, but what is it?
Asgard is a Grails-based application developed internally at Netflix for deploying most of Netflix's massive set of components to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud.
Netflix embraces a philosophy of freedom and responsibility for all employees. This includes production deployments. It's my team's job to empower developers to perform their own cloud operations, and to automate complex tasks for them. If they mess something up, they need to be able to undo the mistake quickly.
My presentation will touch on how Asgard models the Amazon cloud and visualizes our deployments to make it easy and quick to push new code. It also needs to be just as easy to hit the panic button and undo the push right away. Instead of a conventional database, Asgard uses Amazon Web Services to store cloud state, mostly based on conventions. The back-end uses the AWS Java SDK. I'll show code examples and screenshots of how that code impacts the GUI.
If the demo gods are smiling I might run a real cloud deployment that the audience can verify.
Some other Grails tricks I'll show include how we externalize Netflix-specific configuration to keep it out of the open source Asgard code, how to add an additional dimension to your default URLs without breaking any existing links, and mocking parts of the Amazon back-end for offline development and testing.
I'll show how we established a visual language for the Amazon cloud using Tango open source icons and custom taglibs. The result was successful enough that other Netflix teams have adopted the same style for other internal tools.
Live deployment! I hope the Demo Goods are in a good mood that day. Tell me, how did you get into the Groovy and Grails world?
I first learned Groovy from Scott Slatin at a No Fluff Just Stuff conference around 2008. Groovy promptly became my go-to language for miscellaneous work like customizing Jenkins emails and automating Akamai configuration tests. After experimenting with Grails I started at Netflix in 2010 where I code in Grails full time, with all the joyous rapid development benefits Grails delivers. The Engineering Tools team at Netflix also heavily relies on Groovy and Gradle for our Jenkins jobs, data center deployment scripts, and builds for both open and closed source projects.
What are you going to look for, at GR8Conf?
Years of conference-going have taught me that the most useful and fascinating topics may turn out to be things I never expected. That said, based on the current session line up I'm most intrigued by the sessions about hidden gems, upcoming features, the security plugin, and Spock.
Other thought, you'd like to share with the reader?
Here are a couple of thoughts.
If you wear superhero t-shirts a lot, people will smile more when they talk to you.
The hardest parts of large-scale cloud computing are finding things and cleaning things up.
I was an English major and planned to be a novelist until I discovered that writing is harder and lonelier than software development.
Pictures and words together communicate better than pictures by themselves or words by themselves.
My current favorite podcasts are The Java Posse and StarTalk.
The goal of a slide deck should be to make people want to pay attention and remember what you said.
Nice braindump, a bit like our motto: Feed your brain with GR8 technologies :-)
Thanks for taking the time to do this interview. See you soon in Copenhagen.
I'm really looking forward to spending time with so many of the great minds of the Groovy community. See you all soon!
Hi Peter, welcome. Tell us about yourself?
I'm a software developer from Linz, Austria. I have been involved in the Java open source scene for a while. As an engineer for Gradleware, open source is now also a part of my day job!
What will you be covering at GR8Conf?
I'll be teaching a Gradle workshop and talk about what's new and hot in the Spock universe.
How did you get started with Groovy, Gradle and Spock?
I got involved in Groovy in 2007 or so. Soon I had the idea to write a testing framework that takes full advantage of the Groovy language. This is how Spock was born. In 2011, I made another step towards Groovy and open source by accepting a position with Gradleware, the company behind the Gradle build tool.
What are you looking forward to, at this years GR8Conf?
My interest is two-fold: Meeting old and new people in the Groovy community, and getting up-to-speed with the latest developments in the Groovy ecosystem. This year, I'm particularly interested to learn more about Groovy 2.0 (whose release isn't far off!) and beyond. Last but not least, what could be better than hanging out a few evenings in lovely Copenhagen?
It's hard to believe, but this year's Gr8Conf has 3 (in words: THREE) Spock talks! Make sure to be a part of "SpockConf" and attend at least one of the talks. Of course I can also recommend my Gradle bootcamp on the University day. With Gradle on the rise, it's a good investment to make!
"SpockConf" - not quite yet ;-) But it is a pretty neat testing framework :-)
Thanks for joining us, and see you at GR8Conf
Thank you for having me, and see you in sunny Copenhagen!
provider of programmers fuel for
It has become a tradition, that the University day at GR8Conf ends with a night of Hackergarten! This year is no exception.
This year, Sopra Group will provide the programmers fuel for the event: pizzas and cola.
Some might ask, what is Hackergarten? Here is an excerpt from the description of this year event:
Hackergarten is a craftmen's workshop, classroom, a laboratory, a social circle, a writing group, a playground, and an artist's studio. Our goal is to create something that others can use; whether it be working software, improved documentation, or better educational materials. Our intent is to end each meeting with a patch or similar contribution submitted to an open and public project. Membership is open to anyone willing to contribution their time.
You can read about the event here
Remeber, that this is a free event! Free as in free pizzas and cola. You do not even have to sign up for GR8Conf!
We do however ask you to sign up for this event here (It's a Google Form)
Here's a list of people already signed up (taken from Google Docs *):
*) If you signed up, it might take a moment for Google Docs to publish the result. Be patient, thanks.
Hi Russel, tell us about yourself?
Hi, I'm from London, UK.
I am an Ex-theoretical particle physicist, ex-UNIX systems programmer, ex-academic (teaching programming, software engineering and human--computer interaction; researching parallel programming languages, human--computer interaction, and psychology of programming). I ran a couple of (not so successful) startups -- looking to do more. Currently I'm an independent consultant, analyst, author, expert witness and trainer.
And then I'm interested in build. And parallelism. Concurrently.
Cool. So how did you get into Groovy land?
I was asked to do a due diligence on the Groovy system in early 2004. I liked the technology and so joined the development team in late 2004. In 2006 I created Gant which spawned Gradle and the Groovy front end to Ant.
In early 2009 I started discussions on concurrency coordination DSLs in Groovy. Václav Pech acted to create GParallelizer then late in 2009 a few people, including myself, joined with him to turn GParallelizer into GPars.
So you will cover GPars at GR8Conf, tell us a bit about it?
GPars is a framework for managing concurrency and parallelism on the JVM using high-level programming models: actors, dataflow, Communicating Sequential Processes (CSP), etc. GPars is realized using Java and Groovy.
The core goal is to provide applications and tools programmers with tools for concurrency and parallelism where there is never a need for a lock, a semaphore, a monitor, an atomic. Like memory management, thread management is infrastructure and should "just work". The programming model should manage the concurrency and parallelism, not the programmer.
Processor manufacturers are giving us multiple many-core processors in our hardware, our software needs to harness it. Easily. And without the need for use of a debugger.
What do you look forward to, at GR8Conf?
To meet with Groovy folk and hear about the latest directions in the Groovyverse.
Any other tidebits for the reader?
It's difficult to know what else to add that the reader might find interesting as I have no idea who is reading this and what it is that interests them.
The squirrels have eaten all the robin seed I put out. Again. Still the robins (and blackbirds, and their chicks) get up earlier so they're full by the time the squirrels get here.
Seriously: Concurrency and parallelism is not hard if you use the right models and technology.
We have been taught for 40+years that shared memory multi-tasking/multi-threading is hard. It is. So don't do it (unless you are the implementer of an operating system of concurrency and parallelism framework). Use the right tool for the job at hand.
Thanks for your time. See you at GR8Conf EU in June!
Yes, see you in June. I look very much forward to it.
Hi Hubert, welcome to this interview. Tell us a bit about MrHaki?
I am Hubert Klein Ikkink, 38 years old and live in The Netherlands. People might know me be my nickname mrhaki. I work at a company called JDriven, which is specialized in Spring related technologies. And my drive and passion is of course for Groovy, Grails and related technologies.
What topics will you speak about at GR8Conf?
This year I will be covering Groovy, Grails and Gradle. The presentations will be short snippets of code showing off some of the hidden features of each technology. When I encounter a nice little and nifty feature I try to write a blog post about it on my blog Messages from mrhaki (http://mrhaki.blogspot.com/). These blog posts will be the source for the presentations.
At the university day I will give a Groovy introduction where we will learn about the features Groovy offers and which make our development lives so much easier.
You cover quite a lot of material. How did you get so Groovy?
About 4 years ago I wanted to learn something new besides Java. In my daytime job I was only configuring Java applications through hellish XML (JEE) and writing and implementing useless boilerplate code. Groovy had a feeling of lightness and elegance I wasn't used to anymore with Java. And the good thing was I still could use it in a Java environment and mix it with my existing Java code.
I started to blog about the nice features of Groovy as a reminder for myself. These blog posts turned out to be also useful for others and the blog was picked up by the Groovy community. Along the way I was infected with more technologies from the Groovy eco system like Grails, Gradle and Spock. Each of them give me so much pleasure in my development life that I cannot imagine development without any of these projects.
Tell us, what you look forward to, at GR8Conf this year?
I am looking forward to meeting all the great people that make up the Groovy ecosystem. Everybody is always nice, friendly and ready to help. The atmosphere is always nice and laid back.
The presentations always are high level and mostly done by the creators of the projects and frameworks. So the information is really from the source and that means you always get the latest information first at the conference.
Why do you think others should attend GR8Conf?
If you are using Groovy, Grails, Gradle or any of the other Groovy-related technologies, or you plan to do so, you should really come to the conference. This is your change to meet the people that create the great products and use it in their daily development. You will get inside information and experience real-life usage of these technologies.
After the conference you will be inspired and ready to apply your newly learned knowledge in your daytime job or projects.
Anything else you want to add?
Copenhagen is a great city and the IT university where the conference held is an inspiring place. The Danish people re friendly and ready to help. You should really add another day to your conference visit and try to visit the city and do some tourist stuff.
Furthermore I appreciate the time and effort put into the conference by the organizers. They always can be reached for help and they do a great job.
Thanks, we look forward to having you on the show again this year!
Hi, Tell us about yourself?
I'm Corinne, I've been working in IT for over 15 years. I've worked as a IT consultant in UK, Canada and recently settled in French Riviera. I worked mainly with Java and I recently made my path to Groovy.
What will you be speaking about at GR8Conf?
I will do a presentation with Sebastien Blanc about Groovy DSL, we will talk about the different techniques that you can use to define an embedded DSL in Groovy.
How did you get started with Groovy?
I worked in the business team using Groovy scripting to customize a large scale web application for the last year. The need of a custom language was there: in this context, I've been using Groovy MOP/ and AST transform mechanism. The move to Grails was quite natural. I really like this platform!
What other sessions would you attend at GR8Conf?
Since I'm starting writing Grails plugin recently I am looking forward to listening to presentation on that topic like the one given by Peter Ledbrook.
What else can you tell the reader?
We're starting a Riviera GUG, in South of France, with a bunch of enthusiastic guys, first evening will be in May. We will be looking for speakers, do not hesitate to contact us if you want to join.
Thank you for your time - see you in June!
Thanks, I can't wait for it!
Hi Vladimir, thanks for taking the time to speak to me. Tell us about yourself?
I’m from Prague so get ready for my strong Czech accent. I’m running cloud computing start-up AppSatori with my friends there. We are focused on Google products including Google App Engine which gives me the opportunity to use Gaelyk on the nearly daily basis. Being a long time committer, I’ve become a core contributor to Gaelyk project recently. I focus on its Gradle and Spock integration as well as its plugin system.
What will you cover at GR8Conf?
I will hold a workshop about rapid web application development using Gaelyk which is lightweight toolkit for Google App Engine platform as a service. I would like to show that everybody can easily build scalable application which won’t cost them too much money unless they attract enough users.We are currently in the middle of preparing new release of Gaelyk and its support tools like Gradle Gaelyk Plugin and Gaelyk Spock to make the development even easier so I would like to cover those new features too as well as some real-life examples and best practises.
How did you get started with Groovy and GAELYK?
When I was picking right tool for my final thesis my tutor gave me an advice to use some weird script language called Groovy. I was little bit sceptic because you can imagine Java was the best language in the world to me at that moment but as soon as I discover how powerful Groovy is I didn’t want to use anything else.
Later then I wanted to do some web project but I never was good in Ops stuff so the only possible solution was to use some Platform as a Service. In fact in that time there was only one possible option for JVM projects - Google App Engine. I’ve seen some Guillaume’s slides about Gaelyk and realized that it is exactly the project I was looking for because it is so easy to use and you can have working web application done in a few hours.
What talks are you interested in at GR8Conf, and what do you expect from the conference?
Being DSL and TDD fan I’m looking forward to the DSL and Spock sessions. I’m also interested in the upcoming Groovy 2.0 release and I definitely want to see some Grails talks too because a lot of its new features had inspired the latest Gaelyk release. In upcoming release we are going to rely on Gradle heavily so I don’t want to miss Gradle Bootcamp.But at most I’m looking forward to meet all the great people because Groovy has one of the most pleasant communities I’ve ever met.
Anything else you would like to add, before closing this interview?
We’ve made a lot of changes in Gaelyk recently. Even if you haven’t been interested in Gaelyk before maybe now is the time to give it the second chance.
Thanks for this interview. See you in a months time!
Thank you too. I’m looking forward to meet you all.
After a weeks absence, the GR8Conf interviews are back. Today with Rob Fletcher in the "hot seat".
Hi Rob, and welcome. Tell the reader about yourself
I live in London & work as a freelance developer. I've worked on all kinds of projects from tiny startups to massive corporate websites. Outside of work I'm a dad of 2 boys who thanks to insomnia somehow finds the time to tweet, blog & develop open-source software.
What will you be presenting at GR8Conf this year?
I'll be speaking about Betamax and Spock.
Spock as anyone involved in the Groovy ecosystem will probably know is a Groovy-based test specification language. I'm going to attempt a live-coding demo where I'll convert a suite of JUnit tests to Spock specifications so that I can show off some of the reasons you should be using Spock. It's going to be a challenging presentation for me but I hope it will be a fun & engaging way to get a feel for what Spock can do.
Betamax is a tool I developed as a JVM port of a Ruby tool called VCR. It's a way of stubbing out your app's external HTTP dependencies in your tests. If your app makes web-service calls, relies on REST APIs or anything like that it can be a really useful way of both generating test data & isolating your tests from external dependencies.
How did you get started in the Groovy ecosystem?
I came to Groovy from a background of Java web apps. I'd worked with Struts, Spring MVC, Stripes and the like & Grails seemed like a natural next step. Over the last few years I've been working full time on various Grails projects & got involved with the Groovy & Grails community. I contributed some Grails plugins & did some work on the framework itself such as overhauling the scaffolding pages for Grails 2.
You were at GR8Conf last year. What do you expect from this years conference?
I had a great time speaking at the conference last year. It will be awesome to catch up with some people again & put some new faces to familiar names. I'm also hoping I can see some more of Copenhagen than I had the chance to last year.
Yes, it going to be great seeing you again in about a months time.
I'm really excited to have been invited to speak at gr8conf again this year & I'm looking forward to meeting everyone. If you want to be bored to death about Grails 2, TDD, music or how to mix the perfect Old Fashioned I'm sure I'll be glad to oblige.