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The London Java Community’s next free event is – ‘The London Developer Sessions’ on Tuesday 15th May at 18:30.

Please see link for details and to sign up – http://www.meetup.com/Londonjavacommunity/events/52293702/

This is our monthly social gathering, which incorporates members of The London Java Community and Graduate Developer Communities. This is an informal social evening most of the evening will be spent having ad-hoc informal discussions in small groups.

We are at our usual venue this month – The Slug and Lettuce, 19/20 Hanover Street, London – http://www.slugandlettuce.co.uk/hanover_street/. We have had some fantastic feedback from those who have attended the event at this venue and will be holding this month’s event in the same great location. The venue has a nicely sized function room with its own private bar, there are some great offers on beer, there is free wi-fi and it’s easy to move around and chat to lots of people. Most importantly it is a friendly and relaxed environment where developers can get together to chat and network.

The event will kick off at 6:30 PM and usually goes on until around 11:30 with members coming and going at all times throughout the evening. We usually attract 50 – 70 members so it is a lively event in which members, both junior and senior, can connect in a relaxed atmosphere and set the development world to rights.

Barry or another RecWorks team member will be onsite so if anyone is looking for free recruitment advice it’s a great chance to come along for a chat.

Developer sessions sponsored by Atlassian, creators of JIRA, Confluence & Greenhopper.  Tools for developers, by developers.

Please see link for details and to sign up – http://www.meetup.com/Londonjavacommunity/events/52293702/


The London Java Community’s next free event is – ‘User’s Guide to the Disruptor’  on Monday 30th April at 5:30pm.

Please see link for details and to sign up – http://www.meetup.com/Londonjavacommunity/events/60924382/

Trisha Gee will present “User’s Guide to the Disruptor”. The Disruptor is an open source concurrent programming framework developed by LMAX, a financial exchange based in London. While it is currently fashionable to talk about using languages or frameworks to hide away concurrent programming, the Disruptor provides a way to do quite the opposite – to enable developers to think about how to parallelise their architecture in a straightforward and easy to code fashion. In this presentation, Trisha Gee from LMAX will use her infamous diagrams to demonstrate how to dissect a problem into pieces in such a way that you can identify which parts are can run in parallel and how to manage dependencies between them. She then shows how you can translate this into an implementation using the Disruptor.

This is another chance to see the session given at QCon London and premièred earlier this year at Skillsmatter.

Please see link for details and to sign up – http://www.meetup.com/Londonjavacommunity/events/60924382/

Hey guys,

Here is our monthly newsletter. Apologies we’re already half way through April but better late than never.

Last month was the first month we’ve had over 100 new members (101 to be precise), so the LJC closed March with 2279 members, our active membership continued to grow to almost 700 active members for the first time, including a massive 707 RSVPs. We had 6 LJC events (5 organised by us at RecWorks), and promoted a few others too, so all of these figures beating last months record numbers. It’s worth checking out the stats page for the LJC as our popularity is certainly increasing and we’re reaching new corners of the market every month! We had some good competitions too well done to Abhijit (CouchConf). Other winners are being contacted regarding the other draws that were run. As always we’ll keep our feelers out on other give aways that we can get for you, if anyone knows of upcoming conferences we could sponsor/promote to get a free ticket for you just let me know. We have reached out to more communities too to bring you more events through Aaron’s LJC Partner Event email – as always if you know anyone that we should add let me know.

Events

March 1st was Trish’s QCon Disruptor talk. For anyone that still doesn’t know what the Disruptor is it’s worth checking out the video of the presentation. The talk and the project have won several awards. “It was a great talk and I will definitely be having a play with it next time we need to implement a quick multi-threaded pipeline.”

We then had the regular code share on First Expressions. Again great to get students together with experienced programmers in these events. Hats off to Dave and Ged who are doing a fine job at keeping them interesting. If you haven’t already been to one of these I would highly recommend checking them out.

Next up we had a rather busy event at QCon – three speakers lined up, Rich Hickey, Adrian Cockroft and Gil Tene. There was some great subject matter being covered and good to have been invited by QCon to hold the event there, following their competition earlier in the year. Check out the feedback and photos on the site. “Three great speakers. I was initially most interested in seeing Rich’s talk because he always has an interesting perspective, but both Adrian’s and Gil’s presentations also provided excellent food for thought.” from Stu White.

We then had Will Louth over from Holland to speak on low latency performance measurement and monitoring in his presentation at SkillsMatter. “I really enjoyed how the speaker tried to convey a lot of the concepts that reasoning behind them rather than just sell a product. And even though it was actually quite an advance topic I managed to pick up some points to read up on. It was definitely inspiring.” from Lim Sim.

And we’re not even half way through the month…

We were able to help Marc promote the Spring of Code event. Activists, campaigners and mentors join together to build the tools needed to support the movements for social change that are sweeping round the world.  Definitely a good cause and something worth having a look at if you didn’t get along. We also helped promote the third event on 29th March. Check out the photos and more details on the official site

We then had our monthly Developer Sessions – always a good social event. We are looking at new ideas and potentially a new venue for the Developer Sessions that should make it a really interesting place to be – so watch this space.

Finally on the 19th we had the Emergence of NoSQL with Rags Srinivas. It was planned a bit last minute, but we just about pulled it together and had some great feedback “Interesting talk from a very knowledgeable presenter” from Martin Anderson “A practical hands on presentation from somebody who knew his stuff” from Ged Byrne.

Sponsors

Jobs – RecWorks

As for the recruitment side we work with many of the best Java employers in London and cover every sector from investment banking to social gaming, working with blue chips to startups. It starts off all about Functional Programming this month.

Our first client have some great growth plans this year, based in Old Street and with a typical startup culture… but they are not your average startup. They are developing cutting edge products in the media space using a combination of lean and agile development practices. They stand out as they recruit ‘software craftsman’ style developers, those with a genuine enthusiasm for constantly improving both software and the processes around them. They are extremely focussed on TDD and pair programming too, you can see from this that development is extremely highly regarded rather than the classic startup approach which can have time favoured over quality. Whist Java is the core language, they are getting involved in a functional programming style. Salaries between 50k and 80k – let me know if you’d like more information bc@recworks.co.uk.

For anyone thinking about moving to Scala, or at least starting to, we are also working with a major name in the social gaming industry. They are interested in anyone who is asking questions around Scala or Functional Programming. They are looking for people that are extremely interested in joining a relaxed/vibrant culture rather than a corporate environment, those looking to really make their stamp on the gaming world. If it sounds interesting let me know bc@recworks.co.uk.

We also have a few other roles that are a bit different at the moment, so if you would like the chance to work work from home, join a charity or relocate to Edinburgh, Australia or Germany then please let me know and we can make some introductions.

A word from myself and RecWorks, the founders of the LJC. For those that don’t know RecWorks is my company, we are a specialist consultancy working as an integral part of the London Java Community. We are hoping to reinvent the Java recruitment industry by blending Recruitment and social netWorks. Our intention is to integrate ourselves within the fabric of the community in the hope of building long term trusted relationships to source talent, whilst developing talent in everyone from students to senior developers. One thing that we have been working on for the past few months as part of the Graduate Developer Community is the Meet a Mentor program, an effort to get experienced developers into universities to help students decide on their path through software, experiment with open source software and find their passion. You can read more about this on the GDC Blog

As for an update from what’s happening inside RecWorks, we have recently recruited a new Account Manager. Dominic French has joined us and you will be able to meet him at one of the upcoming Meetups, Kenric Starr who I know many of you have met through the group was promoted to a Team Lead after highly impressive results and continual strong feedback from candidates and clients. We are now at a headcount of 12 and looking forward to another good year of growth thanks from all the continual support from LJC members, any feedback or anything more we can do for you let me know.

PLEASE NOTE: As always we are most interested in candidates that contribute to open source projects or have their own pet projects on the go, are involved in the LJC or another user group. It’s worth noting that almost every company we are invited into asks for our services because they are struggling to connect with passionate candidates who are engaging with collaborative projects in some way – I stress this to almost every developer I meet, working with open source projects, blogging or getting more involved with the LJC will have a deep impact on your career. We will offer constant opportunities to make this as easy as possible, see below for a list of ways you can get involved.

Training – Skills Matter

SkillsMatter are the premier European training organisation who run courses in Central London. They host many of our free evening events. They have upcoming events on a host of technologies including Spring, TDD, Groovy and Grails. More details can be found about all their courses here

Member benefits

As always, you can check out our growing list of benefits of being involved in the LJC including the Aggrity site, the LJC Book club and discounts to conferences. This month we started working with the O’Reilly User Group, meaning we can get free review copies of books, all you need to do is speak to Anji ac@recworks.co.uk and she’ll sort it for you. For more information see our Benefits Google doc

Coming this month

We have lots more coming in April/May. The NoSQL event has now been announced which should be a big one and we have a performance tuning event which we’re hoping to announce very soon. Along with more on the LMAX Disruptor and a host of other events. Please check out our events email which was sent out at the weekend from Aaron Braund.

Final note

Over the last four years, we have watched as the LJC has developed and even transformed the careers of developers in London. There is a long and growing list of speakers that did their first lightning talks with the LJC and are now being invited to speak at international conferences, we have people that are organising their own user groups, starting businesses they love or working within OSS projects they would never have known about. Software development is a career like no others, you can have a massive effect on your career in your own spare time and we are happy to make it as easy as possible. We are always looking for more of you to get involved with what we are doing so if you would ever like to get involved in:

– Organising an event,
– Giving a lightning talk
– Adopting a JSR
– Contributing a book review
– Attending a mentor event

…or just being an opinion for which direction we should take the LJC in next then let us know. At the very least, please forward this post on to anyone you know that may get some value from our events.

We are looking forward to seeing you soon.

Warm regards,

Barry Cranford

Hi All,

On last Wednesday night, we had another great London Java Community event with Jan Machacek. It was a packed room, the feedback I have had so far has been great. If you managed to make it along, thanks for coming, for those that couldn’t make it along, you can catch the podcast here.

For those that aren’t yet members of the London Java Community, we organise regular events (3-5 a month) and competitions. You can read more about it here

This is the third time Jan has spoken to the LJC, he’s a fine speaker and always delivers an interesting event. This time it was on Spring and Scala. Jan compared Scala to the other languages on the Java platform and went through how Scala code gets compiled to regular Java bytecode, making it accessible to your Spring code. He also went through functional programming, what it means and how to see & apply the patterns of functional programming in what we would call enterprise code.

After the event we all headed to the White Lion for some drinks. It was also nice to see a good bunch in the pub afterward, we often have a very small percentage coming on for a drink so it was a pleasant surprise to see the event able to continue on into the night.

Special thanks to Cake Solutions and Jan personally for coming down from Oxford. You can follow Jan (@honzam399) and Cake Solutions (@cakesolutions). Cake Solutions are very involved within the community, they are the founding members of the Open Source Journal. They are highly involved in several key Scala projects, I know the MD and the company really well, so if there is any casual interest in getting in touch to discuss any upcoming projects or requirements then let me know and I’ll set up an introduction, or contact them directly at www.cakesolutions.net

We at RecWorks are proud to have been able to organise another event for the LJC. For those that don’t know RecWorks is a specialist consultancy blending social networks and recruitment services to provide first class service to our clients whilst making real efforts to improve the passion and talent in the industry. Rather than spend heavily on SEO or new business cold calling, we focus our marketing efforts on doing good in the industry, e.g. organising regular industry events and building communities. As an example we’re currently heavily involved in trying to connect students with mentors to help decide their career path. We then spend time networking and proactively seeking referrals and recommendations, we are most interested in connecting with any talented developers. As you can probably know, our approach is not to push or harass, more to build long term relationships and help out where we can.

If you do like the way we do things, and do know anyone that may be interested in a new role I would be delighted if you could pass our details on or get in touch personally.

Finally, a big thank you goes to Skills Matter for hosting the event.

Once again, many thanks to all who came to the event.

See you at the next one!

Barry

The London Java Community’s next free event is – ‘The London Developer Sessions’  on Tuesday 17th April at 6:30pm.

Please see link for details and to sign up – http://www.meetup.com/Londonjavacommunity/events/48009612/

This is our monthly social gathering, which incorporates members of The London Java Community and Graduate Developer Communities. This is an informal social evening most of the evening will be spent having ad-hoc informal discussions in small groups.

We are at our usual venue this month – The Slug and Lettuce, 19/20 Hanover Street, London – http://www.slugandlettuce.co.uk/hanover_street/. We have had some fantastic feedback from those who have attended the event at this venue and will be holding this month’s event in the same great location. The venue has a nicely sized function room with its own private bar, there are some great offers on beer, there is free wi-fi and it’s easy to move around and chat to lots of people. Most importantly it is a friendly and relaxed environment where developers can get together to chat and network.

The event will kick off at 6:30 PM and usually goes on until around 11:30 with members coming and going at all times throughout the evening. We usually attract 50 – 70 members so it is a lively event in which members, both junior and senior, can connect in a relaxed atmosphere and set the development world to rights.

Barry or another RecWorks team member will be onsite so if anyone is looking for free recruitment advice it’s a great chance to come along for a chat.

Please see link for details and to sign up – http://www.meetup.com/Londonjavacommunity/events/48009612/

Last month we had a new JSR vote, which was an initial approval vote for JSR 357. As noted by the Java community at large, we voted no on this JSR and this blog post explains why as per our openness and transparency policy.

The vote itself was an initial ballot approval vote. This kind of vote happens at the very start of the JSR process in order to determine whether or not to accept the concept of a JSR from the initial specification. The JSR 357 proposal defines a social media API for use by Java programs.

Our vote shouldn’t be construed as a negative comment upon the medium term benefits of standardization in the social media space, but rather the immaturity of the area and potential issues within the initial specification of the JSR. The key problem that we see is that the API contains a high degree of domain modelling which is too inflexible to easily accommodate the evolving space.

The lack of focus on mobile is also a significant drawback – in 2012, social media is increasingly being driven by mobile applications – it makes no sense to have a social JSR which is not co-ordinated with the ME standards process. Fundamentally the scope of this JSR is quite wide and its our belief that focussed JSRs make better standards than specifications that are very broad in scope.

These initial concerns were raised by the LJC with respect to this JSR and feedback was given to the Expert Group leads about these concerns which they failed to address within the appropriate time. It was therefore decided that it was inappropriate to assume that these concerns would be addressed during the lifecycle of the JSR so we voted No. A majority of other EC members also voted no to this proposal, thus ending the JSR for the time being. The only EC member who had a direct business interest in social media, Twitter, abstained and echo’d the concerns outlined by the LJC. Furthermore some of the EC members who voted yes, for example Goldman Sachs and Oracle, agreed with the concerns raised but simply felt that the JSR would be able to evolve away from its initial specification during its lifetime and that these issues could be considered again at an Early Draft Review.

We’re very please to see that the Spec lead Antoine has taken the feedback on board and is looking to run a OSS project in order to flesh out this space.  Please do join him and the other project members on their Google Group.

Cheers,

Richard (On behalf on the LJC JCP Committee)

Over the last year the LJC has been involved in JSR 348 – a JSR reforming the JCP itself, and is also becoming involved in its successor – JSR 355. Despite the benefits that JSR 348 presents, due its complex and technical matter it is quite hard to read the specification itself – so here’s my layman’s take on the key developments in this space.

Transparency – a key improvement put forward within JSR 348 is improving the transparency of JSR development. In practice this means that Expert Group business is to be carried out on public mailing lists, requiring issues and comments to be tracked through a publicly viewable issue-tracking mechanism, and requiring EGs to respond publicly to all comments. It also requires that Spec Leads disclose their licensing terms and terms of use in advance and requires them to be compatible with the JSPA.

Maintenance – some JSRs have become inactive or are moving very slowly. JSR 348 introduces timeouts for these processes so that JSRs that aren’t functioning properly can be clearly identified and either their problems resolved or the JSR closed.

Ambiguities – this JSR also removes some technical ambiguities, for example the legal review of proposed licensing terms and makes guidelines within the old private EC Members Guide into a publicly readable EC Standing Rules document.

Governance – At present the Executive Committee of the JCP is split into two groups – the SE/EE committee that the LJC is part of and the ME Committee. JSR 355 will follow on from these reforms by merging the two committees into one committee, and reducing the overall number of elected seats.

The combination of these changes will make the JCP leaner and more reactive, as well as continuing to lower the barriers for day to day developers to get directly involved with the language and platform that they love!

Minutes for 29th March, as always, questions, comments etc are welcome!

Attendees

  • Ben Evans
  • Trisha Gee
  • James Gough
  • Richard Warburton

Developments
We voted no to JSR 357, one of the spec leads will be investigating the core concepts of this JSR in an open source, community setting and then may reinvestigate standardisation after the issues that we pointed out are corrected.
Richard Warburton to writeup why we voted no.

Membership
With several committee members presently expanding their families we’re not as numerically strong as we were late last year.
James Gough to investigate the situation.

Oracle Meeting
We’re meeting Cecilia Borg, from Oracle, on 17th April in order to represent community interests.
Ben Evans to book a table for this.

EC Relations
We should invite Scot Baldry to a future JCP Committee meeting in order to facility relations with other non-vendor EC memembers.
Ben Evans to talk to Scot about when he’s free.

RI Licensing Issue
We’re unsure as to whether OCSL Appendix D licensing rules apply to open source projects.
Ben Evans to confirm with Oracle as to the status of this.

Trello Review
Richard Warburton to adopt JSR 308 and try to encourage user participation.
Richard Warburton to write up a blog post on why JSR 348 is an improvement.

Hackdays
LJC should run monthly adopt an openjdk hackdays, and needs more instructor level people in order to be able to achieve ethis.
Ben Evans to talk to community contacts about locations.
Instructors to meet and skill-up on 16th April.
Next hackday scheduled for 23rd April.

(Apologies, this has been stuck in draft form for a while, and we missed that it hadn’t actually gone out).

The January 2012 face-to-face meeting of the JCP Executive Committee was held at Oracle’s Redwood Shores campus.

This two day meeting gave the committee a chance to discuss a variety of matters. These included the forthcoming merge-the-ECs JSR (JSR 355) – but we were also able to cover updates to some important forthcoming JSRs – including JSR 335 (Lambdas), JSR 308 (Type Annotations), JSR 353 (JSON API).

The JCP team gave an interesting presentation about statistics related to the JCP sites:

  • 65% increase in non-member page views across JCP sites in 2011
  • 2/3rds investment in JSRs was made by Oracle (but we need to take into account the cost of platform JSRs, which are disproportionately expensive)
  • 32/48 JSRs led by Oracle in 2011 – but is this due to acquisition of active JCP companies by Oracle?

In the roundup of open JSRs, a number of other interesting points came up:

  • JMS 2.0 spec lead (Nigel Deakin) wants help from Adopt-A-JSR (Update: We are putting together a group on this)
  • Lambda on jdk8 mainline: looking at April for a functional build (Update: This has now landed)
  • JSR 353 is very open to additional help – either from Adopt-a-JSR or as additional EG members (Update: Adopt a JSR group has formed)

From the point of view of the LJC’s participation, gratitude and encouragement was expressed from several sides, and I took away a list of takeaways – both action items for us, and ways to improve our process and participation:

  • We need to review TCKs and RIs (and licenses) as part of our voting decisions (Update: Implemented)
  • The LJC should add an official “check the TCK” step to our criteria (Update: Process updated to include this step)
  • I reached out to Brian Goetz to see if there’s anything the community can do to get lambda builds working sooner than that (Update: Henri Gomez was able to release the first OS X build supporting lambdas sooner than Oracle – another point proving the value of community involvement)
  • I suggested that Adopt-a-JSR could be expanded to include monitoring participation in JSRs (the number of subscribers to observer aliases, number of messages posted, activity on issue trackers, etc.) – Bruno Souza (from SouJava)  may well have some screen-scraping tools that can help here, or we may be able to ask the java.net folks (e.g. Sonya Barry) for an API.
  • I made the point that the Adopt-a-JSR groups may well want to help with TCKs but lack guidance. Patrick Curran is going to follow-up and see how we can close this gap.
  • I volunteered us to reach out to the Czech user groups to help organize some value-add events for the September 2012 EC meeting in Prague (Update: In Progress)
  • I committed us to adding more detail to the Adopt-a-JSR page to give Spec Leads more detail about the programme and to encourage two-way communication between spec leads and Adopt-a-JSR groups (Update: DONE).

The next F2F meeting will be in May – we promise to get the writeup out quicker after that meeting. Please contact myself, or any other member of the LJC JCP Committee if you’d like more detail about any of our work, or if you’d like to get involved – we always have extra tasks for the willing! 🙂

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.

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