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 https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-state-of-kotlin-and-ten-things-to-do-with-graalvm-tickets-47799950940

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 (salaboy.com) is currently the Activiti Cloud OSS (activiti.org) 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: http://bit.ly/2NE7RkM

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: http://bit.ly/2INrjYA

Hopefully you’re already signed up, but in case you’ve missed the invitation, on Thursday 21st June we’re running an evening of talks focused on Serverless and Microservices. In our first talk, Rafal Gancarz will be discussing ‘What is Serverless and why should you care’; our second speaker, Kate Stanley, will then present her talk ‘Securing Microservices: a practical guide’. Ahead of the event we managed to have a quick catch up with both Kate and Rafal to get the lowdown on what to expect.

Starting with our first speaker; Rafal is a versatile technologist with several years of commercial experience building high quality distributed systems; a technical architect with broad expertise in numerous architectural styles and patterns, as well as excellent hands-on developer. He’s also a Certified Scrum Master, experienced agile practitioner and evangelist, passionate about improving project delivery and building highly performing teams. We chatted about the questions we can expect to get the answers to and his advice for new developers.

1. Who do you think should come along?

Anybody interested in the future of software delivery or cloud computing. Serverless Computing has huge potential to be the new software delivery paradigm and now is the time to learn what the future of our industry may look like.

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

What is Serverless and Function-as-a-Service?
How FaaS integrates with other Serverless services?
How software is likely to be delivered in the future?

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

I believe that most IT practitioners are mostly familiar with OS runtime oriented or container based software delivery, and haven’t been exposed to Serverless Computing yet; but the industry is moving towards cloud-native architectures, beyond traditional IaaS based paradigm. While containerised application deployments are slowly going mainstream, the next step for many workloads will be Serverless Computing; many organisations can fast-forward their cloud adoption by adopting the Serverless delivery model rather than investing in labour intensive and rather complex container-oriented platforms.

4. Any advice for junior developers entering the industry?

I believe individuals new to the industry should first and foremost invest their time in cloud technologies. Serverless Computing in particular is one of the very promising areas that will have a massive impact on the future of the IT industry. It’s quite likely many junior developers starting their careers in near future will be exclusively working with cloud technologies including Serverless Computing and may not experience much of OS/IaaS based software development at all.

Moving on to our second speaker; Katherine Stanley is a Software Engineer on the microservices team for WebSphere Liberty. As a part of the Liberty team she has created samples to help developers get started with microservices and worked on the open source microservice project GameOn. Katherine has also given presentations and run workshops about microservices and GameOn at European conferences, including DevoxxUK and OSCon in London, and JFokus in Sweden. Katherine has been at IBM since 2014 and is based in the Hursley UK lab. We found what we can expect to learn and why the presentation is important.

1. Who do you think should come along?

Any developers who are starting to create microservice based applications and aren’t sure where to start when it comes to securing those applications in this new architecture choice.

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

This event will answer:
What parts of my application do I need to secure?
What techniques can I use to secure my application?
What libraries and platforms are available to make it easier?

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

The shift to microservices has meant that developers are owning the full stack of an application, which includes security. It is much more effective to add security as you develop your application, rather than trying to add it all at the end, so knowing what to consider as you build your application is very important.

4. Any advice for junior developers entering the industry?

There are lots of libraries and platforms available, so don’t write everything yourself, look for a library or platform to help make your life easier.

If you’d like to join us at the event, it’s happening on Thursday 21st June, 18:30 – 21:00 at Skills Matter, EC2M 7EB and is kindly sponsored by the folks @RecWorks and @skillsmatter. You can find all the registration details here:


You can also find both our speakers on Twitter @RafalGancarz and @KateStanley91

On Thursday 14th June, we’re delighted to be hosting an evening of talks with IBM- Towards a General Theory of Intelligence & What’s New for Java in the Cloud.

In our first talk, ‘Towards a General Theory of Intelligence’, Peter Morgan will take a look at the latest developments in AI research and implementation.

Peter MorganIn our second talk, Steve Poole will discuss how the application stack, open source technologies & the Java ecosystem is changing to meet the demands of Cloud. Whether improved memory footprint, new operating modes, different deployment models or even new hardware the future of Java in the Cloud is demanding more than ever before. This talk will help you understand the economic and technical forces driving the evolution of Java and will show you a future that’s even more amazing than you might imagine.

Ahead of the event we caught up with Peter to find out what we can expect during his talk and why it’s important.

1. Who do you think should come along?

Anyone interested in artificial intelligence (everybody?), and developments thereof.

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

i. What is intelligence?
ii. How much can we presently describe theoretically?
iii. How do we get to AGI (Artificial General Intelligence)?

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

It will get people thinking about the true nature of intelligence and how we might build it.

4. Any advice for junior developers entering the industry?

Learn as much about AI as humanly possible.

If this has stoked your interest, the event is happening on Thursday 14th June, 18:00 – 21:00 at IBM, 76/78 Upper Ground, London, SE1 9PZ . If you’d like to RSVP, you can find all the details and register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/towards-a-general-theory-of-intelligence-whats-new-for-java-in-the-cloud-tickets-46316998389

On Tuesday 12th June we’re running an event with a difference. Together with our guest speaker Barry Evans, we’ll spend a couple of hours solving fun Java challenges, getting a clear understanding of what causes the most stressful Java bugs, and having fun eliminating them from our projects.

wXUS8yMB_400x400We’ll use this series of Java puzzles and challenges as a way to learn concepts and save loads of time finding those tricky bugs.

This event is ideal for anyone with an interest in removing the pesky bugs that are a daily stress in their work as Java developers!

Barry is a seasoned web application engineer with over 10 years’ experience developing enterprise applications predominantly in the financial sector. Presently, he is an Oracle Certified Senior Applications Consultant at DubJUG partner Version 1, where he has been using Java SE, Spring, and ORM to build middleware for RIA apps written in Adobe Flex & AS3, Angular JS, and HTML 5.

Ahead of the event we caught up with Barry and found out all about the event and to get his advice for new developers.

1. Who do you think should come along?

I believe that Java developers of all skill levels can take something away from the session. There are challenges on a wide range of features the JDK has to offer; from Strings, to Threads, to OOP, and everything in between.

Newcomers to the language and veteran users of the JDK alike are sure to walk away a better bug hunter. Even if you know the Java language inside out, being able to read a short code snippet and determine the outcome quickly is tricky, but great for honing your skills, and most of all, fun!

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

i. Can I become a better Java developer, and have fun?
ii. Is bug finding a chore… or a joy?
iii. Is there a new feature of the JDK I can use on my current project?

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

It’s important to take some time away from your day to day job as a Java developer, possibly spending most of your time working on large-scale enterprise applications, and have some fun solving trivial problems.

The audience will be working on small coding challenges which makes for a highly interactive session. This introduces a unique approach compared to conventional presentations, which can end up being a one-way conversation between the presenter and the audience.

The Java Challenges turn the focus back on to the audience, and the most successful coders learn from doing, not listening.

4. Any advice for junior developers entering the industry?

Get Certified!

One of the main reasons I am giving this presentation is because I studied for the Java SE 8 OCA & OCP certifications. During that study, I was inspired not just by the technical topics covered, but also by the author’s writing style, and their approach to problem-solving.

My experience on the pathway to certification introduced me to many opportunities I would not normally have had, meeting and collaborating with very talented individuals along the way. Don’t consider becoming Java certified as the end, it is only the beginning.

If you’d like to join us at the event it’s happening on Tuesday 12th June, 18:30 – 21:00 at David Game College, EC3N 2ET and is kindly sponsored by the folks @RecWorks. You can find all the registration details here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/java-challenges-an-interactive-quiz-testing-you-tickets-46223847773

You can find Barry on Twitter: @Bazza_NI

On Tuesday 5th June we’re running a new event focused on Java Memory Leaks, and in particular, solving these in under 10 minutes (sounds good to us!). We’ll be using a consistent methodology to identify whether you have a heap memory leak, analysing the memory to identify the leak, and determining the cause.

JSWe’re delighted that we’ll be joined at the event by Jack Shirazi from the Performance and Reliability team at Hotels.com. Alongside his role at Hotels.com, Jack is the founder of JavaPerformanceTuning.com and author of Java Performance Tuning (O’Reilly); he’s been an official Java Champion since 2005 and an LJC member since 2009. As well as authoring his popular book, and contributing to several other books, Jack has published over 60 articles on Java performance for various sites and magazines; over 200 newsletters for JavaPerformanceTuning.com over 15 years; and, with these newsletters published around 10,000 Java performance and memory related tips.

Ahead of the event we caught up with Jack; he told us why the session is important, what questions we can expect to learn the answers to and gave us his advice for new developers.

1. Who do you think should come along?

Any Java developer of any level. I provide sufficient detail for any level of developer and this talk shows how to solve a problem that is intermittent, so even if you’ve analysed heaps before it’s useful to get a different point of view and a refresher

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

The event answers: what process you should follow for analysing any Java memory leak; which tools are most useful for analysing Java heap leaks; and how you can identify that you have a leak before (as well as after) a leak becomes an issue.

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

Memory leaks are one of the most common causes of downtime/server crashes/service failure. But, at least for heap leaks, they’re a solved problem – you just need to know what to do about them. But leaks don’t happen often enough that every Java developer will have or remember the skillset to solve the problem quickly. What I’m providing is a step-by-step procedure that you can easily understand then forget about until you need it – then just quickly refresh yourself in minutes and apply to solve the issue very quickly.

4. Any advice for junior developers entering the industry?

Come to this session and add this to your toolset. Then remind yourself before you have an interview, experience of fixing a memory leak is a cool thing to know for interviews.

If you’d like to join us at the event it’s on 5th June, 18:30 – 20:30 at WeWork Old Street, N1 6DR. The event is kindly being sponsored by the folks at Gridgain, WeWork Old Street and RecWorks. You can find all the registration details here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/become-a-guru-how-to-solve-java-memory-leaks-in-under-10-minutes-tickets-46143517503

What’s Jakarta EE?

Over on Jakarta EE you’ll see our new LJC logo as a Participant member.  This blog post details what Jakarta EE is and what the LJC hopes to achieve within its community!

Jakarta EE is the new brand name for Java EE. For those who missed it, the Java EE platform was recently donated to the Eclipse Foundation (as Eclipse EE4J), the FAQ gives the background to this.

The existing Java EE 8 platform is being migrated to the Eclipse Foundation.  There’s a lot of new build farm activity taking place and the end goals for 2018 are:

  • Q3 2018 – Release Java EE 8.0 by the Eclipse Foundation.
  • Q4 2018 – Release Jakarta EE 8.0 projects (which will be identical code wise to Java EE 8.0) by the Eclipse Foundation.

Both of these releases will be certified against the appropriate TCKs (which are also being open sourced and donated to Eclipse).

In parallel the community at large is looking to the future of Java for enterprise developers.  A future which is lightweight, fast, cloud native and micro services based.  This work has already started and vibrant discussions (for example, around the role of the Servlet container and what types of profiles make sense in a modern world) are taking place on several mailing lists. We highly recommend you sign up to the lists and join in!

LJC’s role in Jakarta EE

The LJC currently holds technical, legal/oversight and advocacy roles at the Java Community Process (JCP) which is the existing standards body for Java EE today.  We hope to continue serving the interests of the day to day Java developer in those capacities at Jakarta EE and have nominated ourselves for the corresponding working groups (Steering, Specification and Marketing).

Next Steps

Are you a day to day Java developer then please come and join us on mailing lists and have your voice heard.  If you’re unsure on what’s going on or are nervous about speaking up, then contact us at the LJC and we’ll be happy to help.


Martijn (on behalf of the LJC Standards Committee)

In case you’ve not been along to one of their events yet, or you’re entirely new to what they do, we wanted to draw your attention to the London In-Memory Computing Meetup. The group is open to everyone and is aimed at those already working with distributed systems or interested in doing so.


We caught up with Tom Diedrich, Director of Community Engagement at GridGain and one of the organisers of the Meetup. Tom told us about why the group was founded, their aims, future plans and gave us his advice for new developers.

What can you tell us about the London In-Memory Computing Meetup? Why did you set it up and why should people join?

I’m one of the organizers of the London In-Memory Computing Meetup, we founded it a couple months ago because we saw an unmet need. The need for a venue for data scientists, database architects, software developers, CTOs — and everyone else — using or interested in learning more about in-memory computing, Big Data, Fast Data, IoT and HPC solutions. This includes use cases, best practices, and more. It may be of interest to you if you are already working with distributed systems, planning or interested in doing so.

What about the future – What is your longer term vision for the group? Can you give us any spoilers about what to expect?

Well, this group is open to everyone and we’ve already had leading in-memory computing experts from Oracle, GridGain and VoltDB speak at the London meetup. My longer-term vision for the group is to have users share their challenges, successes and lessons learned from the trenches.

On the larger scale I’d love to grow awareness about in-memory computing in general. And this meetup will be showcasing, on a regular monthly cadence, the latest news in this rapidly growing ecosystem. So attending these meetups gives members an advantage in that they are informed about not only what’s currently available, but also what is coming up from vendors and users (companies using these technologies) from around the world.

I also see the meetups as a way of drawing attention to the annual In-Memory Computing Summit Europe conferences. The next one will be in London June 25-26. The conference is a natural extension of the London In-Memory Computing Meetup.

Obviously being in a community engagement role you meet with loads of the industries best developers – from your experience what advice would you have for more junior developers about how to get the best out of their career?

I’d recommend that they join the open-source Apache Ignite community, download the latest version and start by saying “Hello” to everyone in the community via the dev mailing list. The project has a very friendly and active group and it’s the perfect place for junior developers to learn. The volunteers are a very nurturing bunch and some of the best developers in the world.

For more information, please visit the London In-Memory Computing Meetup page – https://www.meetup.com/London-In-Memory-Computing-Meetup/

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.