JBCNConf & Voxxed Days LU

Wow, that was a busy and inspiring week! In one week, I’ve visited two conferences in two different countries to give talks on two different subjects. But the most inspiring part came from attending other sessions. I’ll highlight one session from both conferences.

JBCNConf 2017

On JBCNConf, I’ve attented a session by Burr Sutter about Vert.x. This was a session full of energy, as Burr is really capable of making your enthusiastic of whatever he is talking on. As he walked us through the various options you have to build and deploy Vert.x-based applications, he also showed a lot of demos. One of the demos involved “simple” temperature sensors over MQTT on miniature computers (aside: the size of these computers was largely dominated by their batteries… impressive!) to his MacBook showing you can run Vert.x in multiple languages that still communicate with each other. It also illustrated how to handle events coming in at this pace, introducing the concepts of streaming events.

The second demo was even more impressive: it featured a balloon popping game. Since everyone in the audience could participate, and the room was quite full, the audience quickly generated some tens of thousands of events! Those were all flawlessly handled by the architecture, which has multiple Vert.x servers, Drools and some dashboards.

His talk at least made me curious about what I could possibly do with Vert.x. Together with my colleague Willem I decided to give it a try. He was playing with the idea to build a chat bot, and although you don’t really need Vert.x for that we decided to give it a spin. Might be continued…

Voxxed Days Luxembourg

In Luxembourg (or technically, in Mondorf-les-Bains, which is just a few meters from France, but hey, who cares?) I attended a talk by Sebastian Daschner. I’ve heard a talk from him before, which was on Java EE testing, and as an aside touched Java EE as well. This talk was entirely devoted to Java EE, with the somewhat provocative title “Java EE – the most lightweight enterprise framework?”. And indeed, Java EE has this prejudice against it that you cannot write “light” applications with it. But this is not the year 2000 anymore, and things have changed. In 45 minutes, he showed some very powerful examples using just Java EE and nothing else. From REST interfaces to event-driven business logic to easily accessing configuration files (one of the things I really love in Spring), it all turned out to be there! And the good part is: your built artifacts are really small: the final application WAR was just 12 kB. Yes, that’s 12.288 bytes; all the rest is provided by the application server. This has the nice advantage that also Docker builds and deployments can be pretty quick, due to it’s layered filesystem. I was really impressed by the speed and “less is more” approach that Sebastian demonstrated, although we need to have another talk on the “do not use logging” claim ;-).

In general

Both conferences where really warm and friendly places. Luxembourg was a bit closer, and I personally had less of a language barrier there since I do speak some French and German, but no Spanish at all. Yet, in both cities, I met very kind people who had interesting things to tell - not only the aforementioned stuff. And both organising teams had worked really hard to make their conference a big success. If you’d ask me, they even exceeded that: both of them did a terrific job!