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JFokus 2011 Day 2 wrap-up

Since I started with wrap-up day 1, I feel obliged to also wrap-up my second day of JFokus 2011 as well.  Basically all the points from the previous day still apply. Great venue, great organisation, good speakers, but no big THIS IS AWESOME moment (btw, I found the food was better than yesterday and I liked the fact that the water was from refillable water bottles instead of throw away plastic bottles. Intentionally or not, this was great :-)).

Getting into the actual presentations, this second day of JFokus was for me centered around JBoss projects. First I listened to The future of Java enterprise testing (Aslak Knutsen) and then Extensible Java EE (Dan Allen). The projects introduced there were Arqullian and CDI. Both technologies any halfway serious Java EE developer should be aware of, because they are the future of Java EE developement. Arquillian covers the Java EE testing side (Shrinkwrap should be mentioned here as well) whereas CDI is  used on the production code side. Key responsibilties for CDI in short: manage lifecycle, inject dependencies and binding beans to context.
I really liked Dan's slides and presentation style. They reminded me of a lot of Garr Reynolds and his Presentation Zen. This is the way to go. The code examples were at times a little to verbose and lengthy for my taste, but how do you make a technical presentation engaging (presentation zen style) if you also want to show actual code? I think we are missing some essential tooling here :-)

I was thinking about this "how to present" problem a lot when listening to Neal Ford's keynote at the end of the conference. For sure Neal is an awesome presenter and he is funny and engaging, but in the end his presentations are also about story telling. His presentations are more about experiences in the realm of IT than presenting frameworks and explaining technologies. I believe it is much better understood what makes a good story teller compared to a good framework presenter. The latter has a whole set of additional challenges.

While I am on it, I should also mention Jeff Genender who had an awesome talk about Everything you wanted to know about Open source that nobody told you. Jeff's story about how to get involved into Open Source reminded me a lot of how I got involved myself (fyi, by contributing some patches!) and he also reminded me on what it takes to be good citizen in the Open Source community and what is important in becoming and staying a successfull Open Source project. I also liked the suggestion to  run comapany internal projects Open Source style. This is definitely a challange for many organisations, but I am sure companies which fully embrace this idea will reap the benefits almost immediately.

This is almost it, except that I would also like to mention Staffan Nöteberg's quicky presentations about regular expressions. It was not so much about the content though. Personally I cannot believe that there are developers out there who haven't heard or in fact used regular expressions, but it seems I am wrong on this one. Anyways, what I really like about Staffan is his unique style of presenting. I think there is a lot to learn here and I would love to see more presentations in his style. Staffan uses a lot of storries and metaphors to explain things, gets really involved with a lot of body language and he uses small live coding examples. Well done.

That's it from me from JFokus 2011. Hopefully until next year. Maybe then with some really new topics. Personally I find that Scala, Ruby, git, etc are great languages and tools, but you really only want to hear so many times how great this technologies are.

--Hardy
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