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.


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.


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