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Hi All,

Last night, we took a look at two exciting and upcoming technologies, Xtend and Xtext. It was a very interesting event and ran from 6.30 pm until 8.30 pm- there was a lot of great discussion so thanks to everyone that contributed to the night.

Xtend is a new programming language designed specifically for Java developers, whilst Xtext is an open-source framework for developing domain specific languages.

Here is the event page –

Some great feedback on there already, but if you have something else to say then please add it as a comment here –

The night kicked of with a few lightning talks from organisers and members of the London Java Community. First speaker was Matijn Verburg, who took to the stage to explain the benefits of adopting a JSR.

The other lightning talk was from Ged Byrne, who gave an excellent review of Ebin Hewitt’s book, Cassanda: the definitive guide.

We then moved on to our final presentation “Xtend and Xtext”, presented by Sven Efftinge and Sebastian Zarnekow.

The presentation showcased the two technologies very well and provoked a lot of debate. It’s very clear that Xtend and Xtext are going to have interesting futures in the world of software development.

Firstly, a massive thanks goes to Sven and Sebastian, who flew in all the way from Germany to give the presentation.

Big thanks also goes to both of our lightning talkers – there is a constant opportunity to get involved in these events – it’s a great way to escalate your profile which can lead to new opportunities and promotions, or just a way of sharing what you have learned with a group of enthusiastic developers. We can offer constructive feedback from experienced speakers so if you’re at all interested let me know.

Another big thank you to everyone that made it out last night. We are one of the most active Java User Groups in Europe and we’re keen to stay that way so if you have any feedback at all please let Barry or Martijn know.

We at RecWorks are proud to have been able to organise another event for the LJC. RecWorks is a specialist consultancy blending social networks and recruitment services to provide first class service to our clients. For a list of our latest jobs please see our jobs page here.

Finally, a big thanks goes to Skills Matter for hosting the event.

Here are a few words from SkillsMatter.

Skills Matter are very pleased to be able to continue to support the London Java Community. Follow us on Twitter and use the hashtag #javasm and see below for some upcoming Java related events we think you’ll love!

Progressive Java Tutorials (May 3-4, 2012)

The Progressive Java Tutorials will take place at Skills Matter over two days on May 3rd and May 4th! Experts including Jan Machacek, Tobias Ivarsson, Jon Jagger, Howard Lewis Ship, and Anirvan Chakraborty will be sharing the latest ideas and best practices in Java and Agile Development. To find out more, follow #progjava on Twitter or go here.

Scala Days (April 17-18, 2012)

Skills Matter and Typesafe are very excited to present Scala Days 2012, coming to London this April. Scala Days is the premier event for Scala enthusiasts, researchers, and practitioners. A central part of the Scala Days event will be the Third Scala Workshop, a forum to showcase and discuss a wide range of cutting-edge Scala research projects.

In addition to the Workshop, further Scala Days sessions will be devoted to technical talks, experience talks, and tool demonstrations, offering a comprehensive insight on all that is going on in the Scala world. We have also planned social lunches and an evening Scala Days Reception, which will offer further opportunities to meet and discuss with all the people that matter in the Scala world in a relaxed social context. To find out more, go here.

Once again, many thanks to all who came to the event.

See you at the next one!


The London Java Community’s next free event is – ‘Xtend and Xtext’  on Wednesday 1st February at 6pm.

Please see link for details and to sign up –

Xtend – A Programming Language for Java Developers (30 min + 10 min Q&A)

Are you waiting for closures in Java 8 or hoping for more type inference in Java 9? Thinking about switching to Scala or even holding your horses for Ceylon or Kotlin?
How about keeping Java where it seems fit, but replacing just its outdated parts with a concise and modern language? What about an enhancement to Java instead of yet another attempt to hire a killer.

Xtend is an an open-source programming language hosted at and built for Java developers. It reuses Java’s keywords, terminology and concepts as much as possible, but abandons some dead freight at the same time. Xtend is a very powerful alternative for implementing Java classes and works great with all the existing libraries. Since the language can be seen as a little complementary add-on to Java, it offers many modern language features that you are currently missing in your daily work. Xtend comes with a variety of goodies reaching from type inference over closures and extension methods up to smart string interpolation that make development great fun, again. And of course there is powerful Eclipse IDE integration available.

In this session we will demonstrate why Xtend is so great for everyday programming. You will get an in-depth impression of the seamless integration with the Eclipse Java IDE and you’ll get an impression of the expressiveness and conciseness of Xtend.

Xtext – Domain-Specific Languages for Java Developers (30 min + 10 min Q&A)

Programming is great fun. Doing so in your own programming language even more so! Seriously, inventing yet another general purpose programming language is rarely a good idea. However, as you can imagine, Java isn’t the best choice in every case either. A small language well-suited to solve a specialized task concisely can improve the productivity of a whole team by orders of magnitude.

In this session you’ll learn how easy it is to create a highly expressive, statically typed domain-specific language with the help of the Xtext framework ( . The good news is that you’ll end up not only with a fully-functional compiler but also a top-notch IDE as icing. All this and more for free, as in beer.

Who should attend:

– Java developers who are interested in writing code in a more concise and readable way but don’t want to switch to a completely new language.
– People who want to learn building nice little DSLs on the Java platform with little compromise and a sophisticated Eclipse integration in no time.

Please see link for details and to sign up –

Hi All,

This week we had our Developer Session social event –
The event ran from 6.30 till 10.00 and went really well – the free food and drinks were very welcome indeed so thanks to Atlassian for that.

Here is the event page – Some great feedback already, but if you have something else to say then please add it as a comment here –

As always, it was a very successful evening with a lot of fun had by all. The Developer Sessions are a great chance for socialising and networking – developers from all over London come to discuss the latest cutting edge techs, talk about personal projects and problems they are facing.

Also thanks to all of our greeters, they really did help ensure the night went by smoothly. There is a constant opportunity to take part in these events so do please let us know if you would like to be involved next time.

A special thanks goes out to everyone that made it out the other night. We are one of the most active Java User Groups in Europe and we’re keen to stay that way, so if you have any feedback at all please let Martijn or myself know.

Finally, here at RecWorks, we are working with many of the best companies in London who are looking for Java developers. If you’re not happy in your current role then feel free to give us a call/email for an informal chat. We are far more interested in building long-term relationships than one off placements, but if you do feel you need a change then we would be happy to help. Please check out for the latest additions.

See you next time.

Hey guys,

As an LJC New year’s resolution, we are going to try and keep everyone updated with what’s going on within the LJC each month, so here goes with the first newsletter…

The LJC reached exactly 2050 members when the fireworks went off over Southbank. It’s great that we hit such a high level in 2011 and we’re keen to keep growing. December is always a slow month for new people joining the LJC, yet we still managed to enlist just under 40 new members which is pretty impressive given our relative lack of events in December. We also received 139 RSVPs to upcoming events, under half of the 288 RSVPs we had in November.


December was a relatively quiet month for us; the organisers were due a break after the relentless organization that went into this years superb Open Conference at IBM Southbank. That said we still managed to pack two events in.

Our first was the JDK8 Warnings Cleanup day, in which apparently “many CPUs were harmed”. With just a days notice we managed to get 10 people along and craft some patches despite the difficulty in building the OpenJDK. Special thanks to Mike Barker for providing the VM and a ton of build advice.

Later in the month we had our monthly Code Share, which has become a regular feature on the LJC calendar and is run by Ged Byrne and David Snowdon. 20 people from the LJC got along to solve a variety of Java puzzles, mixing with graduates from the Graduate Developer Community at QM University London. Ged and Dave have a busy schedule booked for this year, including the already packed out event this month on Concurrency.

JCP news

December saw a good uptake in people joining the ‘Adopt a JSR’ program.  The LJC is now actively working on 6-7 JSRs and 4 other Java User Groups around the globe have also joined in the program. As the program is only 2 months old, this is really encouraging news for the Java platform and community!  The LJC JCP committee also had its monthly meeting of which you can find the minutes at


Jobs – RecWorks 

Firstly a word from myself and RecWorks, the LJC Founders. For those that don’t know RecWorks is a recruitment consultancy working as an integral part of the London Java Community. We work with many of the best employers of Java developers in London. We work in every sector from investment banking to social gaming, working with blue chips to startups.

We are entering 2012 with a number of new positions. December is usually a quiet time for recruitment but we picked up several new clients in the final weeks of 2011. Our first new position is a contract for a Spring, Hibernate developer within an International music publishing company

Another new role we have is for a mid level Java developer, perhaps someone looking for their second role with a few years of experience within the fundamentals of Java development. Ideally, someone familiar with good practices. The role is paying up to 45k and further details can be found here:

We also have a position for a seasoned Java developer to build and enhance their current software portfolio, including a cutting edge technology widely used by money managers and investors. The role requires no financial experience although you must have experience with multithreaded programming/concurrency. More details here:

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

There is a growing list of benefits of being involved in the LJC including the Aggrity site, the LJC Book club and discounts to conferences. For more information see our Benefits Google doc here:

Coming this month

We are kicking off the years events on the 11th Jan with our most popular Code Share to date (27 on the waiting list) on Concurrency. We then have our monthly Developer Sessions on Tuesday 17th, which will be sponsored by Atlassian so expect stacks of free chips, pizzas and other fried foods. Finally, on the 1st February we take a look in depth at a new Open Source programming language, Xtend.

We are looking forward to seeing you at one of the events.

Warm regards,

Barry Cranford & Martijn Verburg

It was a superb evening on Tuesday night, thanks to Trisha and Mike for giving the presentation ‘Understanding the Disruptor, a Beginner’s Guide to Hardcore Concurrency’ – 12 reviews and just shy of 5 *s!

I have to say it really is rare that we get as much positive feedback as we did on Tuesday night.

Thanks also to Somay, Ged and Peter for the lightning talks. If you have the slides available please upload them to the LJC meetup page, or if they’re available online somewhere please add the comment to the event:

Thanks also to Steve and PlayFish – as I said last night we couldn’t ask for better hosts, especially with the beer fridge open all night.

Thanks finally to JAX London for the pizzas and free tickets (congrats Dan/Richard). For those still to check out JAX London then visit 3 weeks to go and Trish/Mike and 60 other presenters will be speaking.

I hope you had a good night. If you are potentially interested in a new position please check out our latest roles on our job page:

Thanks again all,


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 – The LJC Code Share event on Thursday 25th August at 6pm.

Please see link for details and to sign up –

We are happy to announce the LJC Code Share for August.  It is the first in a series of events focusing simply on the code.  Not writing code, not code tools, but looking at the code itself.

The event is for anybody who cares about the code.  You may be a beginner, looking to improve.  You might be a grizzled old hacker who want to show how it’s done.  We all have something to give and plenty to gain.

We will be reading code rather than writing it.  Anybody who has something to share should just bring it along for everybody to see. 

Is it an elegant solution you’re proud of?  Let us all see it.

Are you facing a particularly knotty problem?  Perhaps we can help.

Are you nervous about the code you are submitting for job applications?  Get some positive feedback (and perhaps a little constructive criticism).

Do you have some have some other thoughts or ideas?  If it’s about the code then we want to hear about it.

The format is open, driven by what people want to share.  To help things along we will have a theme and a challenge.  This month the theme is “achieving flow” and the challenge is “pulling tables out of a Word document.”

Achieving Flow

Coding is all about achieving flow.  When programming we have to get ourselves into the zone.  We have to reach a state of flow where we can hold all of the objects, variables and statements can pour out of our heads, through our fingers and into the editor.

The code we produce also needs to flow through so many forms and states.  At one moment a person may be represented by a screen of fields.  Then as a set of key-value pairs held in memory or as url-encoded text.   Then as an XML document traversing an ESB finally to be bottled for weeks or months in the tables of a relational database.  The person is always there, but the forms and representations are in a constant state of flux.

In our code sharing meet up we want to get to the heart of what programming is all about.  We need to achieve flow to create code.  Code is created to achieve flow.  The moments when it all flows freely are the moments we are always seeking.

How do you achieve flow?  Do you have some code that flows nicely?  What impedes the flow? 

Let’s get together and let the sharing flow.

The Coding Challange: Pulling Tables from a Word Document

The challange for this month is Pulling Tables from a Word Document. 

Imagine that you have lots of Word documents and those documents contain lots of tables.  Write some code to pull the data out of those tables and make them available for your code.

You can save the document in any format provided by Word: .DOC, .RTF, .HTML or any other format that Word will save.

Please see link for details and to sign up –

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: 

There are those that have claimed that Java is getting a little bit long in the tooth.  This month’s selection of  Packt Publishing‘s books show just how fresh and relevant Java is for the future.  You can read more on our new  Book Club blog.     

Apache Wicket Cookbook
Android User Interface Development: Beginner’s Guide 
NetBeans IDE 7 Cookbook
BlackBerry Java Application Development
EJB 3.1 Cookbook
Oracle Coherence 3.5

To take part in the promotion all you have to do is send an email to me at with your name, your book choice and the address you would like your book to be sent. Please mark ‘Packt Publishing’ as the subject title.

Packt Publishing are a unique publishing company specialising in highly focused books on specific technologies and solutions – please visit their site to find out more about them:

Each month we run a promotion with Packt in which LJC members will be selected at random to receive free books. This month we are offering 2 LJC members the chance to win;

First Prize Winner will receive 1 print copy of his/her choice 
Runner Up Winner – 1 ecopy of his/her choice

Please visit the Packt site at

Congratulations to the winners of our June draw – Richard Melville and Kelvin Porter!

Good luck,

Barry Cranford

The London Java Community’s next free event is Infinspan, Data Grids and Cloud Storage on Tuesday July 26th at 6:30pm.

Please see link for details and to sign up –

Manik Surtani will present “Infinspan, Data Grids and Cloud Storage” – A use-case driven talk on Infinispan, an LGPL licensed data grid platform for use as a distributed data cache, low-latency in-memory object database and cloud-ready datastore. This talk will focus on several popular usage patterns, explaining how these usage patterns work their way into common software designs we see today, and how the use of a data grid can bring benefits. For each pattern, specific details on setting up and tuning Infinispan to serve such a purpose will be discussed. The format will include a presentation and some sample code.

Who should attend:

– Java Developers
– Technical Architects
– Technically savvy CTOs


18:00: Doors Open
18:30: A series of lightning talks from members of the London Java Community
19:00: Main presentation – Manik Surtani will present Infinspan, Data Grids and Cloud Storage
20:30: Networking


Manik Surtani is a core R&D engineer at JBoss, a division of Red Hat. He is the founder of the Infinispan project, which he currently leads. He is also the spec lead of JSR 347 (Data Grids for the Java Platform), and represents Red Hat on the Expert Group of JSR 107 (Temporary caching for Java). His interests lie in cloud and distributed computing, autonomous systems and highly available computing. He has a background in artificial intelligence and neural networks, a field he left behind when he moved from academic circles to the commercial world. Since then, he’s been working with Java-related technologies, first for a startup focusing on knowledge management and information exchange, and later for a large London-based consultancy as a tech lead focused on e-commerce applications on large Java EE and peer-to-peer technology. Surtani is a strong proponent of open source development methodologies, ethos, and collaborative processes, and has been involved in open source since his first forays into computing.

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/JBUG event. SkillsMatter are hosting this event and are handling the attendance – it is essential that you confirm your place at this link:


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.