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A couple of weeks ago we (Trisha and Martijn) were fortunate enough to represent the LJC at JavaOne in San Francisco.  There has already been a lot said about JavaOne 2011 (and our talks etc there), so this post will focus on the LJC activities. There were two main areas for us to focus on:

  1. Our seat on the Java Community Process (JCP) Executive Committee (EC) gave us opportunities to meet the right people in order to discuss the high level problems facing the Java platform today.
  2. Getting to know the other Java User Groups (JUGs) that are out there, learn from what they’re doing and tell them about the cool stuff we get up to!

After User Group and community Sunday, which had several sessions on both user groups and the JCP, it was clear that the involvement of two major communities (us and the Brazilian JUG – SouJava) in the JCP EC had woken people up.  We both had many conversations with people from organisations who had previously seen the JCP as largely irrelevant, but now were not only taking notice but contemplating getting involved themselves!

It’s pure speculation, of course, but it seems that our involvement along with SouJava’s sparked a number of the current list of candidates to nominate themselves.

Oracle provided plenty of opportunities to get to know all the players in the JCP, and they were also trying their best to understand the ecosystem of the community.  There were sessions, lunches, BOFs and dinners giving us plenty of opportunities to mingle, get to know people and share ideas. And lots of free drink.  We like to think that the Developer Sessions have provided us with the training required to maintain a professional, technically-minded conversation after a small glass or two :-).

It was great to be nominated for the JCP awards, and we got a nice nod from a couple of the winners who acknowledged that we’d shaken things up in the space in a good way.

The Thursday keynote brought together a lot of the themes from the week around community, Martijn represented us up on stage.  We announced the intent to launch our ‘Adopt a JSR’ program globally across all JUGs and other organisations which was well received by the crowd and generally extolled people to join their local JUG and make things happen. It was a really great way to round off the conference, to highlight that ultimately without us, the developers, the whole platform would be pretty pointless.

People were genuinely impressed with the number of members we have in the LJC (over 1900) and even more so by the numbers who actively participate, either coming to events or on the mailing list (or both).  It made us feel proud to be part of such an active and diverse community.

However it did get us thinking about even more things we could do – in particular, lots of these people want to see the cool events we organise and get involved even though they’re not in London.  It’s something we’ve always wanted to provide but seems like a lot of work, but we’re hoping to make this happen with streaming and /or recordings of our events via Parleys.com.

The other thing that inspired us was being present at two different live podcast events.  We’re totally excited about the whole podcast thing, even though listening to one on Trisha’s way to work would probably result in Certain Death for her (she bikes to work).  It’s a great way to build a community. Literally having a voice and a tone is a great way to engage people.  It’s a natural extension of the aggregated blogs (which, incidentally, people we spoke to loved). Needless to say our first podcast will be coming soon!

What the LJC can take away from JavaOne is:

  1. Oracle is definitely committed to regular, on-time big-number releases for the Java platform, and have a reasonable release plan with rough ideas of what could be in 8 and 9.
  2. Java has a community that other languages can only dream of (that’s us), and Oracle is also keen to support that.
  3. The JCP, after years of floundering in the wilderness, is finding a purpose in life, and other organisations are seeing this and want a part of it
  4. We, the LJC, have an amazing community with some great events, great ideas and great members.  We have even more ideas we can implement.
Cheers,
Trisha and Martijn
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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.

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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