|By Alan Williamson||
|August 1, 1999 12:00 AM EDT||
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.
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!
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.
Containers are not new, but renewed commitments to performance, flexibility, and agility have propelled them to the top of the agenda today. By working without the need for virtualization and its overhead, containers are seen as the perfect way to deploy apps and services across multiple clouds. Containers can handle anything from file types to operating systems and services, including microservices. What are microservices? Unlike what the name implies, microservices are not necessarily small, but are focused on specific tasks. The ability for developers to deploy multiple containers – thous...
Sep. 5, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 232
Contrary to mainstream media attention, the multiple possibilities of how consumer IoT will transform our everyday lives aren’t the only angle of this headline-gaining trend. There’s a huge opportunity for “industrial IoT” and “Smart Cities” to impact the world in the same capacity – especially during critical situations. For example, a community water dam that needs to release water can leverage embedded critical communications logic to alert the appropriate individuals, on the right device, as soon as they are needed to take action.
Sep. 5, 2015 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 192
The Internet of Things is in the early stages of mainstream deployment but it promises to unlock value and rapidly transform how organizations manage, operationalize, and monetize their assets. IoT is a complex structure of hardware, sensors, applications, analytics and devices that need to be able to communicate geographically and across all functions. Once the data is collected from numerous endpoints, the challenge then becomes converting it into actionable insight.
Sep. 5, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 161
Manufacturing connected IoT versions of traditional products requires more than multiple deep technology skills. It also requires a shift in mindset, to realize that connected, sensor-enabled “things” act more like services than what we usually think of as products. In his session at @ThingsExpo, David Friedman, CEO and co-founder of Ayla Networks, will discuss how when sensors start generating detailed real-world data about products and how they’re being used, smart manufacturers can use the data to create additional revenue streams, such as improved warranties or premium features. Or slash...
Sep. 5, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 130
While many app developers are comfortable building apps for the smartphone, there is a whole new world out there. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Narayan Sainaney, Co-founder and CTO of Mojio, will discuss how the business case for connected car apps is growing and, with open platform companies having already done the heavy lifting, there really is no barrier to entry.
Sep. 5, 2015 08:45 AM EDT Reads: 245
As more intelligent IoT applications shift into gear, they’re merging into the ever-increasing traffic flow of the Internet. It won’t be long before we experience bottlenecks, as IoT traffic peaks during rush hours. Organizations that are unprepared will find themselves by the side of the road unable to cross back into the fast lane. As billions of new devices begin to communicate and exchange data – will your infrastructure be scalable enough to handle this new interconnected world?
Sep. 5, 2015 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 301
Through WebRTC, audio and video communications are being embedded more easily than ever into applications, helping carriers, enterprises and independent software vendors deliver greater functionality to their end users. With today’s business world increasingly focused on outcomes, users’ growing calls for ease of use, and businesses craving smarter, tighter integration, what’s the next step in delivering a richer, more immersive experience? That richer, more fully integrated experience comes about through a Communications Platform as a Service which allows for messaging, screen sharing, video...
Sep. 5, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 773
Consumer IoT applications provide data about the user that just doesn’t exist in traditional PC or mobile web applications. This rich data, or “context,” enables the highly personalized consumer experiences that characterize many consumer IoT apps. This same data is also providing brands with unprecedented insight into how their connected products are being used, while, at the same time, powering highly targeted engagement and marketing opportunities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nathan Treloar, President and COO of Bebaio, will explore examples of brands transforming their businesses by t...
Sep. 5, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 323
The 3rd International WebRTC Summit, to be held Nov. 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 15th International Cloud Expo, 6th International Big Data Expo, 3rd International DevOps Summit and 2nd Internet of @ThingsExpo. WebRTC (Web-based Real-Time Communication) is an open source project supported by Google, Mozilla and Opera that aims to enable bro...
Sep. 5, 2015 07:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,656
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Sep. 5, 2015 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 522
SYS-CON Events announced today the Containers & Microservices Bootcamp, being held November 3-4, 2015, in conjunction with 17th Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, and @DevOpsSummit at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. This is your chance to get started with the latest technology in the industry. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the Containers and Microservices Bootcamp, led by Janakiram MSV, a Microsoft Regional Director, will include presentations as well as hands-on demos and comprehensive walkthroughs.
Sep. 5, 2015 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 456
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
Sep. 5, 2015 06:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,734
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts, GM of Platform at FinancialForce.com, will discuss the value of business applications on wearable ...
Sep. 5, 2015 06:00 AM EDT Reads: 163
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lee Williams, a producer of the first smartphones and tablets, will talk about how he is now applying his experience in mobile technology to the design and development of the next generation of Environmental and Sustainability Services at ETwater. He will explain how M2M controllers work through wirelessly connected remote controls; and specifically delve into a retrofit option that reverse-engineers control codes of existing conventional controller systems so they don't have to be replaced and are instantly converted to become smart, connected devices.
Sep. 5, 2015 05:00 AM EDT Reads: 302
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Sep. 5, 2015 01:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,012
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo, November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be.
Sep. 5, 2015 01:00 AM EDT Reads: 271
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies leverage disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevOps to advance innovation and increase agility. Specializing in designing, imple...
Sep. 5, 2015 01:00 AM EDT Reads: 425
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome,” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Sep. 4, 2015 06:45 PM EDT Reads: 461
With the proliferation of connected devices underpinning new Internet of Things systems, Brandon Schulz, Director of Luxoft IoT – Retail, will be looking at the transformation of the retail customer experience in brick and mortar stores in his session at @ThingsExpo. Questions he will address include: Will beacons drop to the wayside like QR codes, or be a proximity-based profit driver? How will the customer experience change in stores of all types when everything can be instrumented and analyzed? As an area of investment, how might a retail company move towards an innovation methodolo...
Sep. 4, 2015 04:15 PM EDT Reads: 539
WebRTC services have already permeated corporate communications in the form of videoconferencing solutions. However, WebRTC has the potential of going beyond and catalyzing a new class of services providing more than calls with capabilities such as mass-scale real-time media broadcasting, enriched and augmented video, person-to-machine and machine-to-machine communications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Luis Lopez, CEO of Kurento, will introduce the technologies required for implementing these ideas and some early experiments performed in the Kurento open source software community in areas ...
Sep. 4, 2015 03:45 PM EDT Reads: 155