Monday, January 19, 2015

Groovy and Grails

The biggest today (19.01.2015) news in the community is probably the announcement regarding Pivotal pulling Groovy/Grails funding. And there are a lot of sad reactions on this in all channels that I have seen.

This might start a panic reaction around Groovy and Grails. IMO, there's nothing to panic about. Groovy and Grails communities are the healthiest and there's a lot of big companies that use Groovy and Grails and who would definitely be willing to sponsor the projects further. I'm pretty sure they all will be in line to get the both projects under their sponsorship just in a few weeks :)

All-in-all, it might even be very good for Groovy since Pivotal didn't seem to leverage Groovy in their ecosystem with the focus on Cloud Foundry offering. So we might even see an acceleration of Groovy/Grails development once the projects get a new sponsor.

GeekOut 2015 Registration is Open!

As of today, the registration to GeekOut Java conference in Tallinn is open!

The focus of the conference is on all-Java but not only. For instance, this year we have talks on Dart and Go programming languages. Other talks cover developer tooling, solution architecture, programming methodologies. There will be a few talks on Java concurrency that you shouldn't miss in case you're into writing multithreaded applications in Java.

And here's what the conference is in numbers:

  • 2 days
  • 400 attendees
  • 18 excellent talks
  • and 1 kick-ass party!

We're also expecting Stephen Chin to visit us with his awesome Nighthacking sessions, so one should expect a lot of fun from the event!

BTW, If you haven't been to Tallinn yet, this is a great reason to consider visiting and June is just perfect month for this travel!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

My "fluffy" reading list for 2015

In 2014 I was kind of reluctant to reading and the queue of my "to read" books has grown immensely. I could probably spend full time reading the books instead of my actual job - it still wouldn't help to clear up the queue. BTW, I keep track of my reading list at Goodreads, that's a nice website!

Why is it a "fluffy" reading list, you'd ask? Because none of the books here are technical. That's a part of my reasoning - if something is not technical, I call it "fluffy". It doesn't mean that it's a bad thing ;) So I though I'd share a few of the "fluffy" books that I'm planning to read next. Maybe someone would see that I'm planning to read a crappy book and can suggest something instead?

The book I'm currently reading is The Inmates are Running the Asylum Oh man! I wish I would have read the book 5 years ago when I just started to work at ZeroTurnaround! I could have saved so much time by now. This is a must read book for every product manager and software designer. Well written, highlights the issues with software from the usability POV.

Next on my list is Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling Disruptive Products to Mainstream Customers. The author shows that in the Technology Adoption Life Cycle there is a vast chasm between the early adopters and the early majority. The challenge is to narrow this chasm and ultimately accelerate adoption across every segment. I've heard good things about the book, so I think I should give it a try. Nice cover, btw :)

How Google Works. I don't even know what to expect. The title is kind of abstract and the potential reader could assume different content depending on how the title is interpreted.

How Google Works is the sum of those experiences distilled into a fun, easy-to-read primer on corporate culture, strategy, talent, decision-making, communication, innovation, and dealing with disruption.

The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement was suggested to my by colleagues. One of the reviewers wrote about this book:

The best process improvement novel I've seen, this classic work explains the all-important Theory of Constraints through real life examples and a surprisingly good story. Most books of this nature are exceptionally unrealistic, but this one manages to keep the reader engaged, which is key for an instructional text like this.

The Connected Company. The title is intriguing :) And good reviews also. I think it's worth reading.

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products is probably the last "fluffy" book on my immediate reading list. Again - suggested by colleagues. The title implies one very interesting topic for discussion "Why do some products capture widespread attention while others flop?"

Friday, January 16, 2015

Technology predictions for 2015

It is popular to announce predictions for the upcoming year. I though it would be fun to try predicting some stuff too :)

Disclaimer: my predictions are very subjective and are based on my not-so-huge awareness of the IT industry. Feel free to leave your opinions in the comments. So here it comes:

Big Data.

"How big is big?"- one would ask? I leave this question unanswered. But the term "big data" always reminds me of some data set that should be queried/calculated/analyzed etc. The thing is - enterprises are becoming data hungry. Even a small company internally generates huge amounts of data - website visits, emails, sale events, product releases, commits to version control - anything that comes up to your mind. This is all valuable data that can be analysed.

And it is a huge data lake that could be generated by data-intensive companies. Trying to keep the information structured was common just a few years ago - with data warehouse approach. Now we have technology that enables us to process so much data that the retail banking data warehouse would seem a child's play compared to the amounts of data processed today.

Now, where was I? Ah, yes... I you are an engineer and you still haven't learned about Hadoop, Spark, Storm, Kafka, Samza, Typesafe stack, or R, do yourself a favour pic one and start learning it! The demand in the skills for building data processing system backends will be huge in the upcoming year(s).

Want examples? How about Hortonwork's IPO? Startups being created to support Kafka? Or look at the awesome services being created for analytics!

It is just all about data now (it has always been). Business depends on it.

JavaScript and front end.

Business as usual. Every day a new batch of JS frameworks will be appearing. Nothing special. The efforts to make JavaScript better are definitely welcomed, but doesn't it bring some uncertainty - which JS framework would you pick for the new project? Angular? What do you think about Angular 2.0 then? What about Atscript? Dart?

Crazy stuff.. Don't get me wrong - the improvements and the progress are amazing in front-end tech. Compared to the time when I had to do JS coding the current work of front-end engineer is just pure pleasure! The problem that I see here: it is just never stable. Almost any front-end technology that is popular today might easily turn into unmaintainable in a few months. And it doesn't seem to get better, at least from my impressions. And this trend will continue.

JVM languages

Scala continues to grow, Java continues to decline. We will probably see more reports on Kotlin and Ceylon being used in real commercial projects. Despite all the recent efforts that have been done in Nashorn, I have lost my belief into dynamic languages, although Groovy remains my GTD programming language for JVM.


Blah, blah, microservices, blah, blah, blah... The ESB of our time :P

The reality is, there are just a few companies, like Netflix, who would really benefit of microservices approach at a big scale. Others - just use the fancy term - microservice - and isolate some functions of the silo application into a dedicated service. That's it - "so micro, much service". So it's just a SOA reinvented. The community will realize it this year, I hope.


Docker is probably the biggest hype of 2014. Even bigger than 'microservices'. Well, now there's a competing effort - Rocket. I'm almost sure that in 2015 we would see some more challengers in this space - other competitors to Docker. Given the support of big vendors, however, Docker will continue the hype in 2015. I'm still not convinced by the technology though.

Technology marketing

Haha! You didn't see that coming, did you? :) Why technology marketing? Oh, because the most effective sales are not happening during a golf match any more. Even big vendors are now more developer-oriented. Hence marketing. The problem here - developers hate marketing.

But have no fear! Marketing guys are crafty as well - the new ways to deliver the message to developers about some new cool and shiny thing are being invented every day. How? Content. A huge effort is being put into creating content for software developers. Look, Voxxed have just been launched. Why? Answer - marketing.

So in 2015 you can expect even more content being pushed by the vendors related to the technologies I've mentioned above.


OK, I think this is enough of predictions, it was a fun exercise :) Let's see how it turns out in a year.

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