You are currently browsing the monthly archive for November 2010.

JRebel maps your project workspace directly to your running application. When a developer makes a change to any class or resource in their IDE the change is immediately reflected in the application, skipping the build and redeploy phases. For further information see their site: http://www.zeroturnar…

We have two personal licenses of JRebel including their Enterprise Add-on (a combined value of $159 USD) to offer this month.

To take part in the promotion all you have to do is send an email to me at with your name and email address. Please mark JRebel as the subject title.



Packt Publishing are a unique publishing company specializing in highly focused books on specific technologies and solutions – please visit their site to find out more about them:

Each month we run a promotion with Packt in which LJC members will be selected at random to receive free books. This month we are offering 2 LJC members the chance to win;

First Prize Winner will receive 1 print copy of his/her choice,
Runner Up Winner – 1 ecopy of his/her choice

Here are the books on offer this month, the winner will be picked at random and announced at the end of the month:

Net beans Platform 6.9 Developer’s Guide
Liferay Portal Enterprise Intranets
Alfresco 3 Web Services
JSF 2.0 Cookbook
Blogger: Beyond the Basics
Building Websites with OpenCms
Tomcat 6 Developer’s Guide
Seam 2.x Web Development
JBoss AS 5 Development
BIRT 2.6 Data Analysis and Reporting

To take part in the promotion all you have to do is send an email to me at with your name, your book choice and the address you would like your book to be sent. Please mark ‘Packt Publishing’ as the subject title.

Please visit the Packt site at

Congratulations to the winners of our October draw – Somay and David B!

Good luck,

Barry Cranford

The LJC have now been confimed as added to the O’Reilly user group program.

Here are a recap of the benefits of user group membership to the LJC
* 40% discount on all O’Reilly books free postage & packing.
* Review copies of O’Reilly products – requires a review to be written and distributed for each book
* Donations of books and other promo items
* Speaking engagements with O’Reilly authors when possible
* Electronic Newsletter – monthly

Special thanks to John Stevenson for making the arrangements.

I recently asked for your personal thoughts on recruitment via the London Java Community.

I received a response that I thought was interesting and (after getting permission of the candidate) wanted to open up to you all….

“Good morning Barry……I spend a lot of my spare time learning or touching on Java related frameworks, JUnit, Hibernate, Spring and anything that I see coming up on jobsites as ‘Requirements’…….My answer to your question is from the perspective of someone who hasnt been out in the Java job market and is this;  Its very hard for me to judge what level i’m at and the thought of going in to the job market not knowing what to expect at all is a little daunting.  I see some of these jobs and think, Yeah I can do that, and that, but as I’ve always worked alone its hard to know what level I could pitch myself at.  For me, personally it would help if there were some sort of ‘pre – pre-interview coding tests’ where someone like myself could get a better feel for what level they are at from maybe a recruitment consultancy or agent or even if there were any refresher courses to get more up to speed, things like that would certainly help me.

Im sorry if I’m replying to the wrong end of this question and you were looking for more experienced programmers thoughts but this is my 2 cents worth.”

I see two questions here:

What am I worth?

How important are Spring & Hibernate?

Regarding finding your worth – It’s easy with houses, type your postcode into Rightmove, see what the neighbours are selling for and add a few thousand but it’s very difficult to judge this and there is definitely no ‘one size fits all’ rule. I have worked mainly in the London Java Market focussing mainly on permanent placements for over 5 years, so I have as clearer idea as any, and if I have noticed one thing, it’s that someones true value doesn’t come down to the amount of time they have had in industry. I have known candidates recently with just a few years of experience (outside of banks) be offered between 25k and 55k, a huge range.

So if it’s not time spent developing, it must be your level of ability at coding. Unfortunately “how good am I at coding” is another difficult thing to measure. I recently attended the first Software Craftsman Community meeting in London and there was a discussion at the end for half an hour to try and decide how you can judge a ‘master’ developer. I certainly left none the wiser. In my opinion there isn’t really a ‘how good am I’ test because there isn’t really a universal scale… and if there is please someone put me out of my misery. Rather than trying to judge your worth, I would try to make yourself worthy, if that makes sense.

This brings me onto the Spring/Hibernate point – Instead of using the job boards to find out what the industry wants right now, then learning the skills, then trying to join the race… Try to work out where the industry is going (just come along to a few events and discuss with some ThoughtWorks employees), work out what skills are going to be in demand tomorrow and find some technologies that motivate you and inspire you to learn them (if not a technology then an industry/sector). Then focus on learning those skills. Get passionate about it – become involved in User Groups, Open Source projects and the wider international community, become a specialist in this area, as you build knowledge give lightening talks and do whatever you can to progress down this route. I have found that this is the approach the best developers follow and have seen it throughout my career. In my opinion it is the best way to get the top salaries/positions in the market, and the best part is you are working with a technology that you love (personally I believe it applies to any position in any industry – but in the software industry it’s easy to apply purely because it moves so quickly and you can be a specialist in just a few years).

I know this doesn’t really answer the question on what you’re worth and I’m more than happy for you to send in your CV to give you my opinion on it, but I’ll offer this advice at any point I can (Sorry to all those that have been bored in the pub over the years)

Keen to hear the communities thoughts too though.



What is the LJC

The London Java Community (LJC) is a group of Java Enthusiasts who are interested in benefiting from shared knowledge in the industry. Through our forum and regular meetings you can keep in touch with the latest industry developments, learn new Java (& other JVM) technologies, meet other developers, discuss technical/non technical issues and network further throughout the Java Community.