I am sitting in the alumni lounge, waiting for the sessions of day 2 to begin. I was thinking about attending the Oracle General Session, but decided to take it easy for a while instead.
So, where were I yesterday? Well, the Technical General Session was really interesting. As I mentioned yesterday, Charles and Tor did a great demonstration that was very well received. We also got some more on the technical side of JavaFX. Very nice.
After that, I attended Web Algorithms. It was a very accomplished presentation, detailing a few important things you can use to make life in computing easier, beginning with swap-XOR and credit card validation, going through public key cryptography and looking at Google MapReduce. It was a good presentation, but nothing new in it for me though, which was sort of sad.
The next presentation I went to was about the next generation of Web support in Java. The Servlet 3.0 specification and so on. The presentation was quite vague and didn't say much new things, really. Ok, so next generation servlets will use annotations, and there will be support for Rest style things and better security and more non-idiotic defaults? Not surprising.
After that presentation I was feeling really tired, so I went back to my hotel and tried to rest some. That didn't go so well so I finished writing chapter 11 instead. Then it was back to Moscone center to see a BOF on web development in Java EE compared to Ruby on Rails, with tool support. This talk was quite disappointing; it wasn't that well executed, and it was very un-nuanced in detailing the good and bad parts of Ruby on Rails. It seems that when people do these comparisons they just talk about how easy it is to do CRUD-style applications, but seems to forget that Ruby on Rails can do harder things (http://studios.thoughtworks.com/) and that the benefits from the Ruby language in development productivity scales. If you compare doing a small-sized web app in Java and Rails to each other, you will get some kind of percentage. But if you do a comparison between a medium-sized app in Java and Rails, that percentage will be greater, since the Ruby languages scales development time in a totally different way from Java. Not to mention maintainability after the fact.
Last I went to Neal Gafters BOF on Closures in Java. I really like the way Neal does presentations, but we couldn't really get into the meat of stuff, since half the people on the BOF didn't know closures from their elbows. So most of the presentation was spent rehashing what they are and why they're needed in Java.
After that, I was beat. And now it's a new day, started with breakfast meeting with Roy Singham. Very interesting and entertaining. I'm more and more convinced that I'm going to love working for ThoughtWorks.