No fluff just stuff


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I
spent most of my week-end learning new stuff, and I
also attended the Wedding of Marla and Lee. It has been
pretty busy and pretty fun.


Day
1.



It all started on Friday the 13th. Good day to start a
seminar with four "Dave Thomas" sessions that where
pretty impressive, especially that I just read two of
his "pragmatic" series book, namely



The Pragmatic Programmer



and



Programming Ruby (2nd. Ed.)



.
The talks are 1. OpenSource Ecosystems 2. Ruby for Java
Programmers 3. Ruby on Rails 4. and the Keynote du
jour. His first talk "OpenSource Ecosystems" highlights
the principles behind successful open-source projects
and how it could be applied to your enterprise
projects. His keynote presentation on Friday draws
analogies between the art in engineering and software
development. Of course his two Ruby talks where as
entertaining as instructive. Ruby is really worth
taking a look at…


Day
2.



Herding Racehorses and Racing Sheep by Dave Thomas. He
did it again, an excellent non technical people
oriented presentation, investigating learning/teaching
and knowledge mechanism based on the level of people
(from beginner to expert) based on experiences
extracted from other professions. (That description
doesn’t give justice to his presentation 🙂

The next talk was NakedObjects by
Eitan Suez. Model driven UI’s…just what I was
looking into for Flex. Foolowing was,



AJAX



by Justin Gehtland as a presentation going behind the
buzzword and showing many of the javascript techniques
used to make google-maps and other dynamic websites.


Day
3.






Hibernate
and J2EE Transaction Integration



by Mark Richards. Mark showed ways to make it work and
presented several gotcha’s to be aware of. Better to
use Hibernate just with Spring if possible. I attended
three presentations by Bruce Tate,



Beyond Java
and Ruby persistence



,



Introduction
to Spring



,
and



Beyond
Java



.
The Spring and Java talks where really interesting and
informative, his last talk on Ruby persistence, as
Bruce warned us, was the first time he presented it and
still a little refinement is needed. Other than that
Bruce is an excellent speaker worthwhile listening
too…


Reflecting
on The conference



First, you should attend one, it’s just a great way to
learn some of the latest stuff and interact with some
off the leaders and experts in the field.

I get really energized when attending these
conferences, so much to try out, so many new thoughts,
so many new projects I now want to do, but mostly they
confirmed a reflection and phase I started a couple of
months ago. A "Back to basics" phase. My goals was to
stop trying out everything and not finishing really
anything. Energy and simplicity are not contradictory.
I will just spend more time doing less, and more energy
simplyfing what I do. I just read several of the
pragmatic series books (automated build, subversion)
and have a few more to read (JUnit). Although I use
these approaches during my day job, I didn’t do it on
my midnight projects. Why? Well not 100% sure why, but
it would have saved me time and headaches. Most likely
I believe that outside of the constraint of work, I
used to like to get more creative and less organized,
but that is changing and I get a lot of satisfaction
trying to do less and more carefully.. So last month I
first purged many of my obsolete projects (the
WebObjets ones, the older java ones, the Cocoa ones)
and one by one decided what I wanted to keep based on
what I wanted to achieve…well I ended up with no old
projects…and just one new one. Yea, that felt good.
Then I moved the rest of my stuff into subversion.
After a little issues with French characters in some of
my documents I got everything working. Now I can trace
back everychange in my source even for my midnight
projects. On osx I use SnvX and the merge tool provided
by the osx dev tools. Pretty slick!!

So my only new midnight project is integrating Flex and
RubyOnRails. I will be working hard at ensuring that it
contains the minimal amount of code to achieve the
integration, that’s it is fully unit tested, and
integrated with an automated build tool. During my day
job I use cruisecontrol, I am still debating if I will
use DamageControl (a Ruby one)…I am currently
inclined going the Ruby way.

Well as you see these conferences get me going…