[NFJS Atlanta] Expert Panel Discussion

Panel members are:
Venkat Subramaniam – founder of Agile Developer
Keith Donald – one of the Spring junkies
Neal Ford – ThoughtWorks
Scott Davis – co-author of JBoss at work
Andy Glover – Vanward Technologies
Jared Richardson – author of “Ship It!”

Question on the Ruby phenomenon – the panel is a bit more sedate on this topic than I expected. No foaming at the mouth yet. Most of the panel members are fairly balanced, suggesting that Ruby is worth our attention to learn, but hasn’t wrested the crown from J2EE as the “it language”, as some people seem to believe lately.
Question on simplified web development, lowered development cycle time – lots of excitement over productivity on Ruby on Rails. Good mention of the Java alternative to RoR – Trails.
Question on goods and bads on Java 5 and Java 6 – one positive is JConsole with Java 5, and the level of instrumentation that comes with a standard JVM. Neal’s concerned about over-engineering in Java, including generics, the addition of Javascript into Java 6. He mentions Bruce Tate’s recent “Joe the Monkey” entry. Scott Davis jokes he won’t upgrade to the next version of Java until they deprecate something.
A decent discussion of agility in architecture. One interesting observation is that the lack of an analog for the DAO in MVC/web frameworks makes the choice of web framework a much bigger committment than a committment to a persistence solution.
Now we have some light references to test-driven development. It’s all fine and dandy, but I have yet to hear people provide a compelling approach to testing our sort of application. We have a heavily interactive web application that loads all of its pages based on user context, and has handshakes and signals to a back end server, sometimes out of sequence. We have pages and pages of Javascript includes. We have a matching engine that requires numerous active entries, and a non-deterministic outcome.

That’s about it. Interesting, but nothing unexpected.


Where am I blogging from? No Fluff Just Stuff’s Greater Atlanta Java Software Symposium.