Follow-up to our Dev Brunch January 2010

Today was our first Dev Brunch for the new year 2010. We held a well-attended and very interesting session with lots of coffee. It was the last brunch in the old office, as we are currently moving to new rooms. The brunch ended with a sneak peek into the new office.

The Dev Brunch

If you want to know more about the meaning of the term “Dev Brunch” or how we realize it, have a look at the follow-up posting of the brunch in October 2009. We used notebooks throughout the sessions today.

The topics of this session were:

  • Agile done wrong – A project that was converted to be agile now tends to be even more conservative when management lost faith in their developers. A rather sad first-hand story, with lots of Dilbert-style humor in it.
  • Implicits in Scala – Scala introduces a powerful feature of implicit (hence the name) type conversion that can be used to greatly simplify work with complex type systems. Or to totally disturb your understanding of it.
  • Follow-up on the local XP-Days – The XP Days Germany of andrena objects ag are a small, yet powerful conference in Karlsruhe. We got a summary of the overall style and different presentations. Things like Pokens, Pecha Kucha (watch your pronunciation of it) and live code katas are all very promising stuff. Most presentation content itself was interesting, too.
  • Exception safety in Java – A classical topic of (not only) C++, ported to Java. This overview presentation highlighted the basics of exception safety and some insights for Java, mostly borrowed from Alan Griffiths.
  • Preview of an Eclipse based product – We won’t go into much detail here, but we got a glance of an upcoming product that will greatly ease the use of multi-site programming with Eclipse. The EclipseCon 2010 in March might get promising.

The topics ranged from first-hand experiences to literature research. We look forward to provide additional information linked in comments on this article, partially in german language.

Retrospection of the brunch

It was very entertaining to meet everyone after the long holiday season. Lots of news and chatter and stuff. The topics were interesting and thought provoking. If you weren’t there, you’ve missed something. Check out the comments for compensation.

Blog harvest, January 2010

Welcome to the new year. We started late to work again this year and will collect some overtime in the next weeks as we are in the process of moving to a new office. This might impact the additional blog entries, so here is a quick blog harvest. Don’t miss the anti-gadget gallery at the end – but beware, it will make you laugh out loud, so don’t read it at work (unless you are supposed to have fun at work).

  • Reasons to Use Google Collections – Recently, the google collections library went gold. It’s a really nice collection of… collections. If you haven’t met it yet, do it now. You might read James Sugrue’s teaser alongside.
  • How Programming Books Promote Code Smells – Finally, somebody shares my opinion on “code examples crippled for brevity”. I got disgusted by some java books because their code examples were so bad, it hurt. The situation eases a lot with the availability of “real” code in open source projects that you can read as recompense.
  • Test-Driven Teaching! – Another problem with bad code examples is to avoid them in live examples (like in lectures). Here is an interesting article by Peter Karich presenting the idea of integrating test code in your lectures. I’ll see if my students like the idea.
  • A performance tuning story – The best stories are real stories. This story has all that’s needed: a mysterious effect at the beginning, fast-paced action in the middle and an open end. The X files weren’t as thrilling as this one.
  • Maven and Ant guys: you’ll never agree. On anything. Period. Deal with it! – What would we do if we couldn’t join an eternal flame war at surf time? You can join on one side (there are always two sides, seldom more!) or stand in between and pick on both. Lieven Doclo chose the Maven side of builds.
  • Maven Mythbusters – The most prominent maven myths get busted by John Ferguson Smart to end the flame war mentioned above once and for all (or at least take out some misinformation). I’ve linked to the first busted myth, you’ll have no trouble finding the other(s). Read the comments, too!
  • The Top 10 Posts of this Blog Over the Years – Stephan Schmidt’s blog “Code Monkeyism” is a regular link target in my harvests. When he harvested his own blog for the most popular entries, I couldn’t resist linking him once more. Maybe this is called meta-harvesting.

This was the article side of this harvesting. Let’s continue to have fun by sliding through the gallery and then… sliding through your repository:

  • Gizmodo’s Worst Gadget Gallery – Oh yes, ten years full of technological crap, complete with pictures and a short description. If you spend 30 seconds on each gadget, you’re in for half an hour pure fun. My favorites are the DeathStar for personal reference (we lost 7 of 9) and the Eye-Track for its funny description.
  • Mining your source code repository – Part 1 – Yes, all your legacy repositories are still there. Discover the archeologist in yourself and perform some data mining on them. This article may be the starting point for your new career.