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Events coming up

This week there is the talk on ScalaZ by the London Scala user group and the Developer round table by the London Software Craftsmanship community.

Tonight (Monday 7th) I am running a games night to help people learn and explore kanban, lean and system thinking.  I am joined by Karl Scotland who is another experienced practitioner with experience of delivering agile and kanban practices to many organisations.  If you are new to kanban and the ideas behind it, then its a great opportunity to learn more in a practical way (no kanban experience required).  Many teams are starting to adopt kanban, so its a good time to learn.  If you have been using kanban for yourself or you team, then you can share your experience as you play the games and learn some ideas from others.

The LJC are running a Getting Started session on OSGi by Simon Maple (IBM) and Zoe Slatery (IBM) soon and you may want to read the blog post Martijn wrote on OSGi as a warm up.

From Martijn Verberg blog post – As OSGi matures as a technology for application developers and with Jigsaw also coming into the mix around Java 8, now is a good time to learn about modularisation technologies in the Java space.

For those of you who want to practice your test driven development skills, there is a code retreat on 12th March down in Winchester.  You will get a full day of TDD coding in a collaborative way and get to share ideas as a group.  If anyone wants the LJC to run another code retreat in London then why not suggest it as a meetup event.

If you want to practice your Clojure skills and learn more about functional programming, the March Clojure dojo (29th) is almost full, so sign up soon.

On Monday 14th I am running a workshop on distributed versus centralised version control, comparing git / mercurial / bazaar with subversion.  The workshop is mainly aimed at students and graduates, so if you know anyone who would benefit from this workshop, please let them know.

Full Circle magazine #46 is now out, full of useful guides and news on Ubuntu.  A special python programming edition has also been published to help get you started with the language.

Last week there was a major release of GlassFish Server 3.1.  This release extends the Java EE 6 Reference Implementation with new application development capabilities, centralised administration and high availability features.  Also including improved OSGi support for Java EE Applications, OSGi web console and Apache Felix 3.0.6 (Apache Gogo shell).  Another good feature is that when applications are re-deployed, GlassFish maintains HTTP session and EJB state, enabling rapid iterative development.  If you are new to Glassfish, also have a look at the community website.

Last week was also the first release (war) of Jenkins Continuous Integration server, since moving from the Oracle trademarked name Hudson.  There has been a flood of developer activity on GitHub and the project is looking very healthy.  There are also packages available for Ubuntu and Debian.  I’d be really interested in hearing from anyone else who has tried Jenkins CI, especially migrating from Hudson.

Summary of Last weeks events
There was a good sense of camaraderie and sharing of painful experiences as I discussed the frustration of working for a company with a Mafia-like culture.  It seems that there are still a great number of companies out there that have problems looking at the way they work, with everyone too busy getting on with today’s work (problems) without knowing if its really benefiting the organisation.  I had lots of questions in the pub afterwards and lots of feverish scribing during the talk, so I hope I imparted some useful survival tips and maybe the seeds of change. 

JAX London Preview night was a little wobbly, due to the fact we were on a boat on a busy Thames river.  I think the wavey nature of the boat added to the ambiance of the evening though.  There were two great talks that evening, one on event driven architecture with Comet and the other on lots of new things in spring 3.1 (features just released that day).  Everyone that braved the cold had a good evening and we were treated to drinks at the bar by the JAX London team (on Facebook now).  I had all the vitamins and minerals I needed for the rest of that week from the Guinness that was bought for me.  Thanks everyone.

I had my first book review published on after a lot of trial and error.  The book was on Inkscape, a really great example of open source software which can be used to create all sorts of graphic design work, from simple buttons and logos to complete web site designs.  The submission process is a bit fiddly and not quite so clearly documented as I’d like, so I wrote my own guide.  Thanks to Packt Publishing for supplying the Inkscape book.

If you have write-ups of any events, please let the list know or send them directly to me.
Thank you.

Those of you that are members of the LJC and have been with us for more than 6 months may remember that in November we had a large mailing list chat titled “passion, passion, passion” about inspiring passion for development, specifically within undergraduates. I thought I would give you a follow up on how this idea has progressed….

(As a reminder, here is a quote from the initial email):

[i]“I want to find ways to ignite passion into more graduates. From research I have conducted – people have said they feel that many grads don’t finish their degrees with a true passion for development and I’m interested to find ways to address this.”[/i]

We received a lot of suggestions from the email which gave me food for thought. A few weeks later we had our first London Java Unconference, during which I held a small discussion group to cover the subject of passion within undergraduates and we discussed several of the points raised from the email. A few people within the group stood out as sharing my enthusiasm for creating sparks of passion within graduates. Open Source Software was one of the recurring themes from both the emails and the discussion so we started to think about how we could get undergraduates more involved. After much discussion a small group of us decided to organize a full day event to give undergraduates an introduction to Open Source Software by getting them to work on real projects with actual committers. 

After months of planning, last Saturday we held the ‘Graduate Open Source Jumpstart London 2010’ and the results and following feedback have been extraordinary.

We had 9 projects in total, with 35 graduates attending from across the country as far as Edinburgh. If you are interested to read more about the event then please read the following post written by one of the undergraduates that attended the event:

We are exceptionally grateful to all the mentors that came along (many of them members of the LJC) and everyone that helped out on the day. A special mention must also go to Zoe Slattery, Ben Evans, Martijn Verburg & Mark Hindness who worked tirelessly to make this event a possibility.

If you are interested in becoming more involved in the graduate development community either as an OSS project committer, a mentor or in any other capacity then let me know. We are also constantly looking for new ideas so if there’s something you think of then get in touch.

Barry Cranford



James Ward: The RIA Cowboy

We have just confirmed a new Free Meetup from Adobe’s James Ward: Click the above link to RSVP.

RIAs with Java, Spring, Hibernate, BlazeDS, and Flex

Java developers want to use what they already know to build great software.

Rich Internet Applications allow us to build better software but with many of the options out there developers have to replace what they know with a new software stack. This session will help you learn how to use what you already know to begin building RIAs. For those new to Flex the session it will cover the basics of connecting a Flex application to a Java back-end powered by Spring and Hibernate. There will be tons of code aimed at those looking to make the move to RIA.

As usual we will find a suitable bar to frequent after the presentation for a free sponsored drink from myself.

James Ward is a Technical Evangelist for Flex at Adobe and Adobe’s JCP representative to JSR 286, 299, and 301. Much like his love for climbing mountains he enjoys programming because it provides endless new discoveries, elegant workarounds, summits and valleys. His adventures in climbing have taken him many places. Likewise, technology has brought him many adventures, including: Pascal and Assembly back in the early 90’s; Perl, HTML, and JavaScript in the mid 90’s; then Java and many of it’s frameworks beginning in the late 90’s. Today he primarily uses Flex to build beautiful front-ends for Java based back-ends. Prior to Adobe, James built a rich marketing and customer service portal for Pillar Data Systems.

Design by Daniel Smallman –

Barry Cranford

Some of our members have agreed to present on a variety of subjects. Here are a selection so far:

– How to introduce Scala into your project/business/enterprisecrowd
– OSGi
– Real Time Java and related tooling
– Running a Successful Open Source Project
– A “Better Code”
– A “How to be a true Rock Star Developer”
– Financial Data Warehouse project

Click here to sign up:

Core Java, J2SE, SQL, Gaming, Server Side, Central London, 45k

I have a number of positions working within a rapidly growing gaming company. My client are looking to grow by recruiting server side Java developers with exceptional design and development skills in Core Java & SQL. The role will involve focusing on core programming requirements around performance, reliability, scalability and security.

The ideal candidates they are looking for will need to have at least 4 years experience in Java J2SE & SQL. They are looking for people prepared to work as part of a hardworking focused team. The role is based in Central London and paying up to 45k.

For more information send me an email at

Have you got something interesting to say about Java? Want to talk to other people with similar interests?

The London Java Community are pleased to announce that their first ‘unconference’ will run on Saturday November the 28th 2009.

What is an unconference? It is defined on Wikipedia as a “facilitated, participant-driven conference centered around a theme or purpose” http://en.wikipedia.o… Our theme will be Java….

We know that Java is a fairly broad subject area – but we didn’t want to limit creativity by narrowing the scope. This leaves people free to talk on the Java language, Spring, Hibernate, Open Source and Java, OSGi, perhaps even JVM languages, anything Java that you want….

As is traditional with this type of event, the content will be provided by the audience. To help us ensure that we have enough conference rooms, we are asking you to indicate whether or not you intend to speak at the event. We are also charging a small fee to attend – this is simply to cover costs (lunch, coffees etc), the aim is to break even on the event. Any profit will be put behind the bar after the event.

Thanks to a LJC member Zoe Slattery and our own Martijn Verburg for the organising of this.

To sign up please visit our official site

barryicon (2)I also help companies in London find Java developers. If you’re looking for a position currently you may want to check out the latest positions I’m working on. You can apply directly through the link below.

Barry Cranford – ClearView ITRS Ltd

Here is our new long overdue blog. I’m hoping to use it to let people know what’s going on in the community and help reach out to new members. I hope you all enjoy.

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.