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Ahead of our upcoming Kotlin and GraalVM event, we were lucky enough to catch up with both of our guest speakers Zan Markan and Chris Seaton to find out what we can expect to learn.


Zan is a Developer turned Evangelist at Pusher; he has over 8 years’ experience in software development. By day Zan educates developers across the world about the wonders of programming, realtime technologies, and good API design (and nights fighting crime). Before DevRel he used to dabble in mobile and SDK development, especially on Android. Currently he fancies Kotlin, Node, TypeScript, and the UX of APIs in general. His other hobbies include speaking at conferences and yelling at computers.

Chris Seaton is a Research Manager at the Virtual Machine Group in Oracle Labs; he leads the work to implement Ruby using the next generation of Java Virtual Machine technology (and other projects); he is also a Visitor at the University of Manchester. Chris completed his PhD at the University of Manchester and before that he completed an MEng at the University of Bristol on languages with mutable syntax and semantics.

Between his undergraduate degree and starting his PhD, Chris commissioned into the British Army, serving in training and operations in the UK and around the world. In his spare time, he’s now a captain in the Cheshire Yeomanry squadron of the Queen’s Own Yeomanry,

We started by discussing Zan’s presentation: ‘The State of Kotlin’…

1. Who do you think should come along?
This talk is aimed at all current Kotlin developers, or people interested or intrigued by the Kotlin programming language – whether they work in Android or not. Even Swift developers might be interested!

2. What do you think are the three most interesting questions that this event will answer?
How fast is Kotlin really growing?
How big is Android?
What are some of the reasons why Kotlin might not be ideal in some cases.

3. Why do you think this presentation is important for people?
I see it as an entertaining way to learn about Kotlin’s usage and adoption. My hope is that it helps convince some people to give Kotlin a go or help others (already convinced) to get it adopted in the wider programming communities.

4. Any advice for junior developers entering the industry?
Be curious, ask plenty of questions, and push to try different kinds of software work to find what you like the most. The tech industry is huge, and there are tons of different ways to prosper. Also – start building and shipping things as early as possible.

Our second talk is Chris’ ‘Top Ten Things To Do With GraalVM’, here’s what Chris had to say….

1. Who do you think should come along?

Anyone who has heard of Graal but doesn’t know what it is. Anyone who has heard of Graal and thinks they know what it is, because I’m sure it will have functionality that they had no idea about. Anyone who has no idea that Oracle is working on a new VM for Java, JavaScript, Ruby, Python, C, C++, and more. Anyone who wants to run Java without a VM, or to run Java in native applications. Anyone who wants better tools for working with polyglot programs.

2. What do you think are the three most interesting questions that this event will answer?

What actually is Graal and what is it going to do for me?

What is Oracle working on a new Java compiler?

Why would you be interested in GraalVM if you don’t use Java?

3. Why do you think this presentation is important for people?

Graal is a major project from Oracle Labs that has the potential to significantly change the way that people use the JVM. Graal is also a once-in-a-generation performance jump for some Java applications, as demonstrated by use in production at Twitter.

4. Any advice for junior developers entering the industry?

I work on compilers and virtual machines at Oracle, which probably seems like quite an inaccessible field to be in. In reality if you are interested in how VMs work there are resources and opportunities available.

If this has whetted your appetite come along on 26th July and hear the rest… you can RSVP here

On Tuesday 24th July, we’re delighted to bring you an evening focused on serverless. James Thomas, Lead Developer Advocate for Serverless at IBM Cloud, will lead a session focused on migrating from traditional applications to serverless cloud platforms. James spends his time speaking at conferences, writing blog posts or creating open-source code to share the awesomeness of serverless cloud platforms. James is a committer on Apache OpenWhisk, the open-source serverless platform. He wrote (and maintains) the official JavaScript client library. He also created the OpenWhisk provider plugin for The Serverless Framework.

Following on from James’ talk, Pratik Patel, CTO of Atlanta based TripLingo, will present a short introduction to Serverless, what it means to developers, and why it’s important to understand this technology. Pratik wrote the first book on ‘enterprise Java’ in 1996, “Java Database Programming with JDBC.” He has also spoken at various conferences and participates in several local tech groups and start up groups. He’s in the start up world now and hacks iOS, Android, HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, Rails, and ….. well everything except Perl.

Mail AttachmentWe were fortunate enough to catch up with James before the session. to get his views on what to expect from the event and who will benefit the most from coming along.

1. Who do you think should come along?

Anyone interested in learning more about serverless, whether they have just heard the buzzword or even starting using them, this talk will cover material for everyone! Serverless is going to be the default way to build cloud application in the future.

2. What do you think are the three most interesting questions that this event will answer?

“Does serverless use servers?” JOKE (It does).
“What is this serverless thing?”
“What else do you need to know about cloud platforms to use serverless?”
“When is it not appropriate?”

3. Why do you think this presentation is important for people?

Serverless is the most disruptive change in building cloud applications since “the cloud” began in 2006.

4. Any advice for junior developers entering the industry?

Never stop learning.

If you’d like to come along, the session is on Tuesday 24th July, 18:00 – 21:00 at IBM, SE1 9PZ. You can find all the details and register here:

On Tuesday 17th July, we’re hosting an evening focused on all things Kubernetes.

This session is not an introduction to Kubernetes, quite the opposite, it will highlight why Kubernetes is great, but not a magic silver bullet that will solve all your problems – you need to be ready to make some hard choices.

We’ll be joined at the event by 2 great speakers. Mauricio Salatino ( is currently the Activiti Cloud OSS ( Tech Leader at Alfresco. Previously, Mauricio worked for Red Hat / JBoss in the Drools & jBPM projects, where he authored 4 books about these projects. With more than 10 years of experience in Java and in the Business Automation field Mauricio is pushing forward to modernise a very conservative industry by following the Open Source Way. Ryan Dawson is a core member of the Activiti team at Alfresco, helping to drive forward the Activiti open source project. He has spent 10 years working in Java Development scene in London across a variety of industries.

Ahead of the event we caught up with them both to get the lowdown on what we can expect at the session.

Who do you think should come along?

Anyone interested in microservices projects where the domain is complex (communication challenges with domain experts/business); or needing to adapt to changes to business; or to model review/approval/escalation workflows.

Also, people interested in learning from the experience/journey of an Open Source project while we transition from a monolith design to a Cloud Native set of building blocks.

What do you think are the three most interesting questions that this event will answer?

How can we put the business domain at the centre of our microservices architectures?
What does a modern Java development stack for distributed systems look like?
How can business automation tools like Activiti best fit into the modern Java development stack?

Why do you think this presentation is important for people?

We’ve thought a lot about how microservices is being done and will be done in the near future. We think Activiti Cloud adds valuable new tools, but we can also share insight from our use of Spring Cloud, Kubernetes, Helm and Jenkins-X as well as tools we’re looking at for the future such as Istio.

Any advice for junior programmers entering the industry?

Learn Kubernetes!

The session is happening on 17th July, 18:30 – 21:30 at Skills Matter EC2M 7EB. If you’d like to come along you can register here:

Next week we’ve got a great event happening that we thought you’d find interesting.

Joe Schmetzer (@tumbarumba) will provide advice and guidance about nudging your career to maximise your happiness and success. Then Dr Holly Cummins (@holly_cummins) will take an in-depth look at what makes software development a roller coaster – culminating in a series of practical tips to help you rediscover the euphoria that you felt the very first time a metal box in front of you came to life and cried out “Hello World”.

Ahead of the event we were fortunate enough to catch up with Holly; here’s what she had to say…

1. Who do you think should come along to your talk?

This is a talk for everyone who’s part of a team, who’s leading a team, or who is working on their own and trying to identify strategies for being effective. So basically everyone!

2. What do you think are the three most interesting questions that this event will answer?

Am I allowed to ask my boss for fun?
How can I make my work more fun?
Are mushroom (“fun-gi!”) jokes about the subject of fun ever a good idea?

3. Why do you think this presentation is important for people?

Even though fun sounds really trivial, it’s such an important topic. There’s a lot of evidence that we are more productive and more effective in fun environments – as well as being happier. For example, your brain at positive is 31% more productive than your brain at negative, neutral or stressed.

But creating a fun work environment isn’t just a question of installing ball pits and mandating Hawaiian shirt Fridays – it’s about optimising away the tedious, wasteful tasks that drain team morale, and then creating an environment where people can find satisfaction in doing great work.

4. Any advice for junior developers entering the industry?

Life is too short to spend it doing things that are boring, that we’re not learning from, or with people who make us feel bad. Odds are, if you secretly hate your job, your job secretly hates you. As developers, our skills in demand, so we should invest in ourselves and find a role which lets us realise our potential.

If you’d like to come along and join Holly and Joe on 10th July you can find all the details and register here:

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.