Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, AppDynamics Blog, Pat Romanski, Cloud Best Practices Network

Related Topics: Java IoT

Java IoT: Article

Party! Party! Party!

Party! Party! Party!

I don't know about you, but these months are shooting by at a tremendous rate of knots. Here we are again, into the latter half of the year...and I was just getting used to being back after Christmas. It's all very exciting, racing up to the day that dare not speak its name: yes, the big millennium turnover. Boy, am I looking forward to that day!

But on to more important matters of state: churning out this month's column. This is the month after the biggest month in our developers' calendar: JavaOne. If I am a good boy and manage to finish the show report for this issue, you'll find it lurking somewhere in these pages not so far away from this column. That said, I shall not bore you twice and make you read the same drivel over again.

As my regular readers will recall, we're always on the lookout for developers who can do a day's work without our having to tell them constantly what Java really is. Well, this month we have a new recruit starting with us, and so far so good. He's performing a sterling job. The frightening thing is that he has a personality, which doesn't fit your typical hard-core programmer. I guess we'll have to beat that out of him!

Anyway, why am I telling you this? Before sending our new soldier to the frontline to battle with client code, we put him on some internal projects that needed attention. Nothing too taxing. Basically he had to create a couple of additional classes based on some established core classes. He performed admirably and well within the time allocated. I asked him how the testing went. He said wonderfully well, that all the methods worked. Fantastic.

Hold on...what do you mean all the methods worked? On closer inspection it transpired that our new man had merely called the top-level methods and never checked for anything going awry internally. Bless him. Such blind faith. Now this wasn't his fault directly. He had never really tested code before, and since his test case worked it didn't occur to him to test a scenario that might be a little out with the necessary parameters.

But who can really blame him? It reminded me so much of me when I started on my long journey to Java fulfillment. I was scared to test my code in case my beautiful creation didn't live up to my expectations. I just assumed - hoped is more like it - that it would stand its ground in all environments. Or was it more laziness? Hmmm...the more I think about it, the more I better leave this thread alone before my client base loses complete faith in me!

That Left-Out Feeling
I know. I promised I wouldn't mention JavaOne, but please excuse me. I have to get this out of my system.

Being located in one of the far-flung corners of the globe, Scotland, you sometimes feel left out. You know, the one that gets picked last for the school football team, or the one that never gets invited to the party. You know there's a whole world going on out there, but you're just never sure that you'll fit in. Well, running the n-ary empire from here, we sometimes feel the party is getting down somewhere else and the world has forgotten all about Java and has moved on without telling us. So when an opportunity like JavaOne raises its head, I make the annual pilgrimage to San Francisco.

It's not for personal gratification, you understand. It's for the good of the company (I just want to get that point across in case any of my directors are reading this and trying to figure out why I have absconded to California for a jolly).

There's really only one reason to attend JavaOne. Ironically, it's not to hear people talk, or to walk around booths packed full of vendors peddling their wares. No. It's to meet people or - as we say in the corporate jungle - "to network."

There's a rich tapestry of individuals that make up this wonderful Java universe we've chosen to partake of, and I had the privilege of meeting some of them. I'll introduce some of the more colorful ones to you here.

For those of you that attended and wondered which one I was, that's an easy one to answer. Think hard. Do you remember up in the Media Mall there were lots of big, stupid-looking costumes walking around, depicting scenes of Java (Java in the loosest sense of the word, let me assure you)? Well, I wasn't one of them. However, I was the one with the Scottish kilt loitering around the SYS-CON Radio panel. You may have been too scared to come up and introduce yourself - and who'd blame you? But for those that were brave enough, I thank you. It was indeed a pleasure to be able to put a face to a lot of you.

One of the first people I had the good fortune to meet and get to know rather well over the course of the week was one Rick Ross. Rick is a man I've shared column space with, being another JDJ columnist himself, but I had never met the man in the flesh. What a character Rick is! After meeting the man, I made a bet with myself that should he ever run for office, not much would stop him. He's a born talker, which is one of the reasons the Java Lobby is so popular. For those of you not aware of the Java Lobby, get yourselves to the Web site, www.javalobby.org/, and join the crusade. I see Rick as the thinking man's Jimmy Hoffa, rallying around us mere mortals, making sure Java is heading on a clear and set course. If you ever get the chance to meet him, pin the bugger down and ask him anything that concerns you about Java. I'll bet my grandmother's left leg that Rick has a thought on it. Go on, try it. And if he seems annoyed, you never read this. We never had this conversation!

But having a blether with Rick was a joy. He has many of the same thoughts that we outpost developers hold. Which assured me that maybe the party wasn't going on without us.

Back to My Pilgrimage
One of the things about developing so remotely is that, unlike our Silicon Valley counterparts, the chance of us literally bumping into the competition is highly unlikely. (Unless, of course, Dolly, our amazing cloned sheep, has had a Java chip implanted in there by those clever scientists at Edinburgh.) That aside, while standing at the SYS-CON booth waiting for something that at this point escapes me, a man sidled up and started to talk to me. I think he was complimenting me on my column, but I could be mistaken. Anyway, the conversation drew to a close and for some reason I asked for his business card. When I read it I was bowled over. It was probably the initial shock at seeing his contact information that has made the first point of contact so blurry. (You know who you are, so if I have this slightly wrong, then please forgive me.)

The card I held before me represented our biggest competitor. First time this ever happened to me. Of course, once I introduced myself and the particular project we competed with them on, he knew who we were. We then went for a sit-down while he fetched his CEO. It was all quite amicable. We danced around one another like male peacocks trying to prise information out of one another. So that's what the enemy looks like....I jest.

I have to give a big thanks to Mary Hancock and Clint Dalton for allowing me to hang with them over a number of evenings. Being European, I felt like a fish out of water at times in the throes of California, so these budding reporters from ServletCentral.com kept me on the straight and narrow. I'd like to give them full credit for trying. Mary had her camera with her all week and was clicking lots of showpieces. Every so often Mary and Clint attempted to get conclusive pictures of what really lies under a Scotsman's kilt. Well, I can proudly say the legend of what is underneath there remains a mystery.

So meeting people at JavaOne was the most important thing. Be proud of the industry you're in, and make sure you get yourself out there. There are some excellent characters about, and I could fill a whole magazine just chattering about them, but I won't. This would spoil the fun for you. But before I leave this, if you're ever around a Java Lobby meeting or up near Seattle, be sure to look up what have to be the coolest brothers in the world of Java: the Ramadan lads from 4thpass. Mazin and Zeyad are the Java equivalent of Bill and Ted, and I highly recommend you speak to these guys if you ever get the chance.

Mailing List
At JavaOne many of my readers and subsequent mailing-list attendees came up and said hello. They assured me they'd be inspiring the list with many new and varied topics of conversation. With that in mind, here's my monthly plug for the list. To join, send e-mail to [email protected] with subscribe straight_talking-l in the body of the message. From there you'll get instructions on how to participate.

Salute of the Month
There are many salutes I could award this month and some of them I mentioned earlier in this column. But one person I have to thank is Jim Driscoll, from the ranks of management at Sun. Now let me explain this. I met Jim in person over a year ago, and had been in constant e-mail contact with him for around eight months earlier than that. Jim is one of the original Java Servlet architects, and it is through this that we had gotten to know one another. For me, Jim was the embodiment of what we perceive a Silicon Valley geek to look like: long hair, unshaven, knee-deep in code and always going somewhere to check his e-mail. Well, I nearly didn't recognize him when he came up to me at JavaOne. He's gone all corporate. The hair is cut, the face is shaved and he's no longer coding. He's management now, climbing that corporate ladder. Jim's professional coding days are gone and he's now resigned to watching as others wrestle with the joys of threads and other goodies Java has hidden up her sleeve. So Jim, we salute you for a job well done. May the rung above you always be free!

Book Review
Last month I promised you a review of Larry Ellison's book once I finished it. Well, I finished it, and what a read it turned out to be! I can't even begin to tell you the sort of antics our man at Oracle has been up to.

Regular readers will know the problems I (and many of you) experienced with Oracle's JDBC drivers. Now I know why. If you read this book be prepared for an amazing tale. I was keen to learn if the contents of the book were true so I went off to the Oracle booth at JavaOne to get some insider information. I have to say I am rather impressed by the way none of the Oracle people I spoke to had any idea the book even existed, let alone the contents. They acted dumb very well. Or maybe they weren't acting, because the same people had never heard of the magazine you're holding in your hands now - the biggest Java circulation magazine in the world and they had never heard of it. Hmmm, not convincing, methinks. I think the brainwashing at Oracle has gone a little too far and way too much information has been erased. But I did manage to speak to some ex-Oracle employees, including a couple that actually were mentioned in the book, and they assured me it's true. So all I can say is read it, and get back to me on our mailing list. I'd love to talk about it.

Now that I'm safe and sound back in my corner here in the lowlands, I can start being paranoid again about the party that no one is inviting us to. Keeping my eye on these supercloned Java sheep, I bid you farewell. Catch you next month.

More Stories By Alan Williamson

Alan Williamson is widely recognized as an early expert on Cloud Computing, he is Co-Founder of aw2.0 Ltd, a software company specializing in deploying software solutions within Cloud networks. Alan is a Sun Java Champion and creator of OpenBlueDragon (an open source Java CFML runtime engine). With many books, articles and speaking engagements under his belt, Alan likes to talk passionately about what can be done TODAY and not get caught up in the marketing hype of TOMORROW. Follow his blog, http://alan.blog-city.com/ or e-mail him at cloud(at)alanwilliamson.org.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
Artificial Intelligence has the potential to massively disrupt IoT. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, AJ Abdallat, CEO of Beyond AI, will discuss what the five main drivers are in Artificial Intelligence that could shape the future of the Internet of Things. AJ Abdallat is CEO of Beyond AI. He has over 20 years of management experience in the fields of artificial intelligence, sensors, instruments, devices and software for telecommunications, life sciences, environmental monitoring, process...
Increasing IoT connectivity is forcing enterprises to find elegant solutions to organize and visualize all incoming data from these connected devices with re-configurable dashboard widgets to effectively allow rapid decision-making for everything from immediate actions in tactical situations to strategic analysis and reporting. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Shikhir Singh, Senior Developer Relations Manager at Sencha, will discuss how to create HTML5 dashboards that interact with IoT devic...
We’ve worked with dozens of early adopters across numerous industries and will debunk common misperceptions, which starts with understanding that many of the connected products we’ll use over the next 5 years are already products, they’re just not yet connected. With an IoT product, time-in-market provides much more essential feedback than ever before. Innovation comes from what you do with the data that the connected product provides in order to enhance the customer experience and optimize busi...
The IoTs will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and share the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development proc...
A critical component of any IoT project is the back-end systems that capture data from remote IoT devices and structure it in a way to answer useful questions. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle large data sets, but they are not well suited to many IoT-scale products and the need for real-time insights. At Fuze, we have developed a backend platform as part of our mobility-oriented cloud service that uses Big Data-based approache...
trust and privacy in their ecosystem. Assurance and protection of device identity, secure data encryption and authentication are the key security challenges organizations are trying to address when integrating IoT devices. This holds true for IoT applications in a wide range of industries, for example, healthcare, consumer devices, and manufacturing. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lancen LaChance, vice president of product management, IoT solutions at GlobalSign, will teach IoT developers how t...
Digital payments using wearable devices such as smart watches, fitness trackers, and payment wristbands are an increasing area of focus for industry participants, and consumer acceptance from early trials and deployments has encouraged some of the biggest names in technology and banking to continue their push to drive growth in this nascent market. Wearable payment systems may utilize near field communication (NFC), radio frequency identification (RFID), or quick response (QR) codes and barcodes...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus inter...
We're entering the post-smartphone era, where wearable gadgets from watches and fitness bands to glasses and health aids will power the next technological revolution. With mass adoption of wearable devices comes a new data ecosystem that must be protected. Wearables open new pathways that facilitate the tracking, sharing and storing of consumers’ personal health, location and daily activity data. Consumers have some idea of the data these devices capture, but most don’t realize how revealing and...
The demand for organizations to expand their infrastructure to multiple IT environments like the cloud, on-premise, mobile, bring your own device (BYOD) and the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow. As this hybrid infrastructure increases, the challenge to monitor the security of these systems increases in volume and complexity. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stephen Coty, Chief Security Evangelist at Alert Logic, will show how properly configured and managed security architecture can...
There is an ever-growing explosion of new devices that are connected to the Internet using “cloud” solutions. This rapid growth is creating a massive new demand for efficient access to data. And it’s not just about connecting to that data anymore. This new demand is bringing new issues and challenges and it is important for companies to scale for the coming growth. And with that scaling comes the need for greater security, gathering and data analysis, storage, connectivity and, of course, the...
The IETF draft standard for M2M certificates is a security solution specifically designed for the demanding needs of IoT/M2M applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Romansky, VP of Strategic Technology at TrustPoint Innovation, will explain how M2M certificates can efficiently enable confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity on highly constrained devices.
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, will provide tips on how to be successful in large scale machine lear...
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ericsson has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Ericsson is a world leader in the rapidly changing environment of communications technology – providing equipment, software and services to enable transformation through mobility. Some 40 percent of global mobile traffic runs through networks we have supplied. More than 1 billion subscribers around the world re...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Klein, CEO and Co-founder of Rachio, will discuss next generation communities that are using IoT to create more sustainable, intelligent communities. One example is Sterling Ranch, a 10,000 home development that – with the help of Siemens – will integrate IoT technology into the community to provide residents with energy and water savings as well as intelligent security. Everything from stop lights to sprinkler systems to building infrastructures will run ef...
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, will discuss how leveraging the Industrial Interne...
The increasing popularity of the Internet of Things necessitates that our physical and cognitive relationship with wearable technology will change rapidly in the near future. This advent means logging has become a thing of the past. Before, it was on us to track our own data, but now that data is automatically available. What does this mean for mHealth and the "connected" body? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Lisa Calkins, CEO and co-founder of Amadeus Consulting, will discuss the impact of wea...
You deployed your app with the Bluemix PaaS and it's gaining some serious traction, so it's time to make some tweaks. Did you design your application in a way that it can scale in the cloud? Were you even thinking about the cloud when you built the app? If not, chances are your app is going to break. Check out this webcast to learn various techniques for designing applications that will scale successfully in Bluemix, for the confidence you need to take your apps to the next level and beyond.