Welcome!

Java Authors: Patrick Carey, Jack Newton, JP Morgenthal, Craig Ferril, Trevor Parsons

Related Topics: Java

Java: 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
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...

An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Technology is enabling a new approach to collecting and using data. This approach, commonly referred to as the "Internet of Things" (IoT), enables businesses to use real-time data from all sorts of things including machines, devices and sensors to make better decisions, improve customer service, and lower the risk in the creation of new revenue opportunities. In his General Session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Dave Wagstaff, Vice President and Chief Architect at BSQUARE Corporation, discuss the real benefits to focus on, how to understand the requirements of a successful solution, the flow of ...
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, and physical persons. In the IoT vision, every new "thing" - sensor, actuator, data source, data con...
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Focused on this fast-growing market’s needs, Vitesse Semiconductor Corporation (Nasdaq: VTSS), a leading provider of IC solutions to advance "Ethernet Everywhere" in Carrier, Enterprise and Internet of Things (IoT) networks, introduced its IStaX™ software (VSC6815SDK), a robust protocol stack to simplify deployment and management of Industrial-IoT network applications such as Industrial Ethernet switching, surveillance, video distribution, LCD signage, intelligent sensors, and metering equipment. Leveraging technologies proven in the Carrier and Enterprise markets, IStaX is designed to work ac...
C-Labs LLC, a leading provider of remote and mobile access for the Internet of Things (IoT), announced the appointment of John Traynor to the position of chief operating officer. Previously a strategic advisor to the firm, Mr. Traynor will now oversee sales, marketing, finance, and operations. Mr. Traynor is based out of the C-Labs office in Redmond, Washington. He reports to Chris Muench, Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Traynor brings valuable business leadership and technology industry expertise to C-Labs. With over 30 years' experience in the high-tech sector, John Traynor has held numerous...
The 3rd International @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. 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.
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada. Our partner network encompasses some 300 of the world's leading systems integrators and security s...
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. He also discussed how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics discussed were barriers to success, what is new, what is old, and what the future may hold. Mike Kavis is Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Pa...
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world. The next @ThingsExpo will take place November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, in Santa Clara, California. Since its launch in 2008, Cloud Expo TV commercials have been aired and CNBC, Fox News Network, and Bloomberg TV. Please enjoy our 2014 commercial.