No Fluff, Just Great Stuff

About seven months ago I won free tickets to No Fluff Just Stuff at a raffle at CJUG. NFJS is like a Java One that comes to you. They have also provided speakers for Java User Groups, including CJUG. I went, and it was great.

I did not mingle as much as I wanted to or talk to as many people as I should have. For one thing: I have a few upcoming expenses and not much income, so I was really depressed about that. I was in a better mood on Saturday and Sunday that I was on Friday. Plus there were a lot of people from the same company who were there in groups. (The organizer said that not many companies can afford to send groups to Java One.) I really do not feel comfortable interrupting a group of people to introduce myself. But I did talk to a few people.

Plus: I went into software because I am not Senor Schmooze. Now I have to do all the stuff that I went into software to avoid. And schmoozing with a bunch of people who hate it as much as I do AND are as bad at it as I am is really difficult.

I was also depressed because I have been slacking off on studying Java and other technology. But now I am more excited. Also I got a tip from one of the speakers, Venkat Subramaniam. He said that studying consistently starts a virtuous cycle: the more he learns, the more he learns. He had a talk on testing with dependencies that I liked.

Ted Neward talked about collections and generics in Java and using them to write Java applications that incoroporate concepts from functional programming. He said Ruby people like to brag that they can print out the lines in a file in one line. In Java, you have to instantiate a few classes, put them in try/catch blocks, and close the fine in a finally block (since closing the file can throw exceptions and those have to be in a try/catch block too). He used generics and collections to put most of that in a class that did all that stuff. Then in his main Java class he instantiated the class, using the path as the constructor argument, and in the for loop printed out each line.

Granted, he earlier said that every time you write a for loop god kills a kitten.

But he made up for it by referring us to a few good websites: Functional Java and Apache Commons Functor.

Mark Richards talked about JMS. There are a lot of trading firms in Chicago that want people with JMS knowledge. He also talked about JMS and Spring. I asked him if he would be willing to come out to Chicago to speak at CJUG and he said he would. He also used some Scala and Groovy in one of his talks. I did not like the look of Scala. But I will look into Groovy, since I need to look into other languages.

Matthew McCullough gave a talk on Maven. I will definitely look into it.

First I go to a talk by Matthew McCullough, then Tim O’Brien hands out books: I encounter two guys with Irish names in one week who are connected to Maven. Coincidence? I think not.

I also saw a talk on Java concurrency by Brian Goetz. It would be a cliche to say, “This guy wrote the book on Java Concurrency in Practice,” but he did. You can get it at Amazon. Sun thought it was so good, they hired him.

So I will be more diligent about studying. If you have a chance to go to No Fluff Just Stuff, you should go.

 Image from Wikimedia, assumed allowed under Fair Use. Illustration of Zechariah from Alexandrian World Chronicle, 5th century Greek chronicle.