Friday, 24 May 2013

At JavaOne 2013, HICC

It was two days of mingling with the Java world at the May 8 - 9 JavaOne 2013 at HICC, Novotel. Went there along with three other techies from 4S (Ramendra, Sowmindra, Krishna Reddy). We divided the sessions amongst ourselves so that there was no overlap and we get maximum coverage of the sessions.

Somehow, the techie sharpness of the Sun days was missing. Yes, there were speakers and speakers, there were sessions and sessions, but it all felt like the event was mechanically planned and dragged along. A lot of sessions were ppt-talk only and the moment one asked a slightly technical hands-on question, you would get a dodge like “that’s a too-much detailed question for this session”.

So, the overall impressions our group went back were that most of the presentations (50%) seemed to be sales pitches. In the remaining there was some value add, however many presenters were boring and just reading from the slides. In quite a few sessions, we were sure that 4S speakers will do a much better job presenting the topic. In the final analysis, the event was not so good as the early Sun Tech days, which was very technical oriented.

However, there are no more lingering doubts about Java after the Oracle take over of Sun. No one even talks about it now. The takeaways we had from the event in terms of applying in our work or looking at proof of concepts were: upgrading to Java 7 as early as app servers were available; JavaFx, WebSockets, Concurrency and Batch Update APIs; tools like gomez / soapui; and finally moving to database 12C to leverage the benefits of edr and the latest JDBC driver.

There were a couple of revelations for me:
Suraj Jagan : He came as the last performer at the entertainment session on day 1 and took everyone’s breath away. What a performance, what energy. Wondered how I missed this phenomenon who has sung so many songs in Hindi and even Telugu / Tamil films and personally enjoying "Giving me Some Sunshine" so many times. Give him a song like “Aaja, aaja main hu pyaar tera” or “Mere Sapnon Ki Rani“ and he would belt out a perfectly original-sounding heavy rock version of that song as if the original did not exist. You gotta see and listen to this guy to believe such a singer exists.

The Raspberry Pi : Once again, how on earth did I miss this device so far. Simon Ritter did a nice job of presenting the historical background of this arm-processor based device, describing its features and showing a few fun demos like the robot arm, brainwave mover, and voice translation. One of the speakers, Angela Caicedo told me after her presentation there was a video on the net which shows how one guy hooked up his coffee machine with the Raspberry PI and voice enabling it so that he could use it from his mobile phone. Apparently this can be ordered online here in India with home delivery, so would like to try a few cool thing myself, now that both the SE and ME development kits have embedded versions.

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