Attending SpringOne 2GX – Spring, Groovy and Cloud Conference

This is my perspective on SpringOne 2GX Conference held in Washington DC, 2012. The conference included 9 simultaneous tracks and it was impossible to attend all interesting sessions.
Major themes at the conference were:

  • Different projects under Spring umbrella
  • Cloud
  • Big Data (Hadoop mostly)
  • Groovy and Grails
  • Spring Batch and Spring Integration
  • VMWare specific topics -vFabric, CloudFoundry

On a Spring side I would like to highlight the following projects:
Spring Data – very interesting project to simplify database access to different data stores –Oracle, MySQL, MongoDB, Neo4J. It works on top of JPA for Oracle for example. Emphasis was on a productivity and easy to use. Spring team also announced latest versions release dates and new book.
Interesting part was exposing REST API for CRUD operation. It means we don’t have to write controllers for JSON:
Spring Data – REST project

Resources:
Book: Spring Data: Modern Data Access for Enterprise Java
Spring Data Project: http://www.springsource.org/spring-data
GitHub examples: https://github.com/SpringSource/spring-data-jpa, https://github.com/SpringSource/spring-data-mongodb

Spring Batch – couple sessions were dedicated to Spring Batch project. In modern enterprise it’s hard to find application that do not use batch process of some kind. Spring Batch project may save tons of development hours and frustration, especially where we expecting to process a lot of data. It has a lot of interesting features build in.
Book available: http://www.manning.com/templier/

Code quality and TDD, BDD: Ken Sipe and Luke Daley demonstrated writing unit and acceptance test in Groovy for Spring / Java applications using Spock framework. I have not attended the talks but from distributed slideshows can see a lot of new, interesting features Spock provide. Writing test in Groovy is definitely a way to go. Developer get following benefits:

  • No ceremony language. No boilerplate code. In java, by the time we done with all boilerplate code, we may forget why we are writing the test for! Not so in Groovy.
  • Excellent support for BDD style testing with Spock Framework
  • No need to learn any Mock library (Mockito, JMock,…) Powerful mocking capabilities are build-in into Spock
  • Excellent support from IDE and build tools
  • Lerning new language in safe environment
  • Testing is fun again

Wesley Williams presented Implementing Domain-Driven Design with Spring and vFabric: This is an interesting approach for complex project. How to build modern SOA application and deliver what business want? To help practitioners he is writing a book on the topic – Implementing Domain-Driven Design
which is available on Safari Books Online.
Interesting reference application from VMWare: https://github.com/vFabric/springtrader/wiki/Application-Overview

Build Process. Another very important topic for most java teams. Overall consensus was that Gradle = Maven –PAIN. Can’t add any more to this. Another Gradle book is coming out this month.

Creating DSL (Domain Specific Language). Groovy Project lead Guillaume Laforge presented Creating DSL. He also presented how to use Eclipse to enable rules authoring.

What’s New in Groovy. Groovy 2.0 has some interesting features, including static
type checking and compilation, making it almost like Java for people who want compile time type checking. It also improves performance

I have spend more time on Groovy track, learning about language and how and when to use it.
Speakers: Most of the speakers were good, but I found Venkat Subramaniam to be an outstanding speaker.
He managed to provide very interesting talks and keep audience engaged and laughing. Imagine people laughing when talking about concurrenc or java beans.. And he did not use any slides. None. Only live coding. I highly recommend to check his website agiledeveloper.com and compilation of his videos: http://blog.agiledeveloper.com/2012/01/collections-of-presentation-videos.html

Overall: great conference and great content. Jay Zimmerman and his team did outstanding job organizing this event. I got lot of ideas and knowledge to take home and apply. Plus I have made some personal connections with very talented people who drive our industry and Spring community forward.

Did I mention that Washington DC is beautiful at night?

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