My company sent me to this year’s No Fluff Just Stuff conference, and I really enjoyed it. I haven’t been to a lot of conferences, so I don’t have much to compare on, but I learned a lot of interesting things. There was a very nice range of applicability–I attended a couple classes that were theoretical pie-in-the sky kinds of topics, a number of topics that dealt with my current line of work (services) that I could start researching and using in the next few months, and a few talks that were programming techniques and tools that I started using the next time I went in to work.
It’s Just Who We Are
A coworker told me how he explained a little bit of programming culture to his wife: “I told her how we attended this software conference where the presenters–the gurus and experts… well, one of them was wearing dockers and a faded Flash Gordon T-Shirt, and another wore a black T-Shirt that said simply GEEK with a fishing vest over that.”
Another thing that I thought was kind of funny was the USB drive that we were given (containing presentation notes etc). Now I don’t want to be one to look a gift horse in the mouth…
The size certainly made it harder to lose, but I confess it’s not something I plan on putting on my key chain anytime soon. It does hold 4GB, which is decent. The bag and binder they handed out were both pretty nice though…
Is Java dying?
One of the major focuses of the conference was on JVM languages. While no one out right said, “Java sucks” (that I’m aware of), that was rather the impression that I got. The topic even came up during the Experts Panel, and the response was along the lines of, “No, we don’t hate java at all… the JVM is really cool, and there are a lot of neat languages built on it besides Java.”
Java does seem to be losing popularity. I’m not sure if there is any real merit to that, or if it is simply the fact that Java is rather old at this point and/or the fact that it is now owned by Oracle. It’s not exciting anymore, so we naturally want to find the next really neat thing.
For Further Reading
This conference also got me rather excited to learn more about my profession. Here are the books that were suggested in the classes I attended:
- Restful Web Services
- Restful Web Services Cookbook
- Rest in Practice
- Refactoring to Patterns
- Clean Code
- Working Effectively with Legacy Code
- Lean Software Development
- Pragmatic Programmer
- Continuous Integration
- Domain-Driven Design
And there were lots and lots of websites and blogs…