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Up coming conferences
The autumn conference season is upon us and I have written a quick overview of the most notable events.  If you have never been to a conference before it can seem quite expensive, however it is cheaper than a training course and in terms of what it can do for your motivation and career development, the right conference is a very worthy investment in yourself.

Community events
After the summer  holiday, the number of community events is increasing again.  Here are some things to watch out for

Tonight the London Clojurians are have their monthly dojo at the Thoughtworks offices in High Holborn and its a great way to get a quick shot of functional programming experience in a very friendly and enthusiastic environment. Free sign up.

On Wednesday night the London Software Craftsmanship group are having a group code review.  This is a great way to experience different coding styles, get feedback on your code should you submit some and practise reviewing code so it becomes a natural and flowing task.

Monday 3rd October the London Clojurians have an intriguing “performance” on using Overtone, a Clojure front-end to the state-of-the-art realtime sound synthesis engine SuperCollider.  There will be sounds galore as the live coding session steps you through the architecture and some of the deeper computational questions that working in a musical context forces you to answer.  It sounds a blast, so sign up for free.

Not to be outdone by the Clojure community, there is a Scala Lift-off 2 day conference at SkillsMatter on the 13th-14th October.  If you want to practice your Scala with others, then TIMGroup (YouDevise) are hosting the London Scala user groups monthly dojo, this month on the 20th October.

For something lean and agile, Kevin Ryan is a great speaker on all things kanban and system thinking, drawing from many years experience working with teams and helping them become more effective.  Get your flow going and sign up to his talk on the 6th October.

New > UK Atlassian community
If you use JIRA, Greenhopper, Confluence or the development tools from Atlassian, there is an opportunity for you to get involved in this new community.  On 26th October they have the first event, a launch party and community kick-off, sponsored by Atlassian so there will be some swag on offer.  If you are interested, please join the UK Atlassian community and make your voice heard (or listen out for how you can bag some swag).

There are lots more events coming up so there are plenty of opportunities to learn and get involved with the community – making new friends and finding new opportunities.

The London Java Community’s next free event is – Clojure and Incanter: A joint LJC/LCUG event on Wednesday 3rd August at 6:30pm.

Please see link for details and to sign up –

This presentation covers the Clojure programming language and the Incanter system for statistical computing and will be presented by Ben Evans. Clojure is a Lisp dialect which runs on top of the JVM, and so our treatment is especially geared towards developers who are already proficient in the Java language and environment

Attendees will gain an understanding of:
* The pillars and fundamentals of Clojure
* Clojure’s novel language features and its powerful programming model
* Introduction to Incanter
* Why Clojure is a good language for statistical computing
* Exploring datsets with Incanter
* Interfacing with Excel and graphing and charting libraries

Who should attend:

– Java Developers
– Developers interested in modern implementations of Lisp or alternative JVM languages
– Technical architects, infrastructure engineers and others who need to deal with large amounts of data


18:00: Doors Open
18:30: A series of lightning talks from members of the London Java Community
19:00: Main presentation – Ben Evans will present Clojure and Incanter.
20:30: Networking


Ben is one of the leaders of the LJC and GDC. He has had a varied and interesting career in technology – he was the lead performance testing engineer for the Google IPO (the largest auction ever conducted), worked on the initial UK trials of 3G networks with BT, built award-winning websites for some of Hollywood’s biggest hits of the 90s, rearchitected and reimagined technology helping some of the most vulnerable people in the UK and has worked on everything from some of the UKs very first ecommerce sites, through to multi-billion dollar FX trading systems. He is one of the authors of “The Well-Grounded Java Developer”.

Please Note:

Nearest tube: Barbican
Nearest Coffee Shop: Sun Coffee Shop, 55-63 Goswell Road, London, EC1V 7EN for if you arrive early
For after event drinks: The Slaughtered Lamb – 34-35 Great Sutton St, Clerkenwell, London, EC1V 0DX

Please note this is a joint LJC/LCUG event. SkillsMatter are hosting this event and are handling the attendance – it is essential that you confirm your place at this link: 

Due to the extra bank holiday to celebrate the release of Ubuntu (and that little wedding), the Clojure dojo has been moved to the 3rd of May at Thoughtworks.  So no Clojure dojo on the three days short week.  I am really enjoy learning clojure as the syntax is very straight forward, has some nice abstractions for data structures and has pure functions by default (although you can change state using transactional memory for atomic changes).  Sign up on eventwax for some Clojure and quiche.

The London Software Craftsmanship are running another round table on May 11th at YouDevise.  Last month was a very heady mix of topics, from dynamic languages, cloud developer services and tools, to avoiding navel gazing in software craftsmanship and actually tell people clearly what its all about.  If you want to talk about your issues or challenges, bring them to the round-table meeting and get lots of ideas and options from a diverse set of friendly developers (and possibly one diabolical developer).

Jon Pretty from Scala Technology is talking at the London Scala user group on May 11th.  Jon is going to give a whirlwind tour of design patterns in Scala, including (but not limited to) Utility Belt, Pimp-my-library, algebraic data types, Concept and Cake.  Jon launched the very first commercial Scala applications in 2005 and named the Cake Pattern in an email conversation with Martin Odersky.  Sign up!

Skillsmatter are putting together an evening for tech companies looking for developers called ‘Find Your Ninja Project’, If you a Scala/Lift team looking for more people  then email with detail. If your looking for that next project, then this may be the place to go. Sign up!

Summary of Last weeks events

The London Continuous Integration meetup was packed out and even Dan North turned up for some flirtatious heckling of his colleague.  Chris Read presented some great ideas based on how he has been able to streamline deployment at DWR.  Some take-aways include:

  • Use a single source repository, even if you use distributed version control (git clients with svn, gatekeeper repository with git/mercurial) – JRocket: This is the basis of how the Linux kernel developers manage all there development
  • Every commit should build, if you leave failed builds around then it will breed more…
  • Test in a production like environment – consider where to draw the line though – how close can / should you get to be realistic
  • Keep builds fast as the developers need to know the code has correct behaviour (as defined by acceptance / unit tests).
  • Use information radiators especially in larger teams as you need to help the information flow – extend radiators beyond compile, testing, etc..
  • Automate your deployment as code has no value until its running in production and doing something useful

The Scala coding dojo got a good turn out considering it was right up against the bank holiday.  This time we worked on a maze generation problem as well as the mountain of sandwiches and quiche that Robert and Thoughtworks kindly supplied.  We split into two groups of four people and managed to get some interesting tests and code developed (see the LSug repository).

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.