Greetings all Java and Technology lovers! Last week I attended J-Spring 2019 with my Blue Harvest colleague Sherief Shahin. The event took place in Tivoli Vredenburg at Utrecht on a beautiful sunny day which made us even more excited for the event!
The interest in this year’s J-Spring was high. Tickets were sold out a couple of days before the event and you could feel it from the attendance. We had to wait for some time to get into the venue.
While waiting, we checked the timetable. There were 3 halls used simultaneously for the talks. We only attended to the ones in the biggest hall of the event: Hertz. Therefore, we missed the talks happening in the other halls, unfortunately.
After getting in, we rushed to the Hertz hall not to miss the first talk of the day. The opening talk was made by a familiar face of the Netherlands Java User Group (NLJUG), which was Tech Lead, Bert Jan Schrijver.
Then he invited Wouter Oet, Software Engineer from Rabobank for the keynote talk: A life of working and learning in IT: challenge accepted! Wouter talked about our everyday lives as software engineers and struggles we are having to keep up with the latest technologies & concepts in the IT sector. He gave the best approaches to overcome the challenges and keep learning while working.
When the keynote was over, the second most important time of the event came: the first coffee break. Many one of us wanted to have a coffee to be able to wake up and focus more on the following talks of the day. We somehow ended up without getting any, because it was that crowded.
We started with joining technical talks My Kotlin is better than your Java by Paulien van Alst(Kotlin) and Brian Vermeer(Java). They compared Kotlin to Java in a surprisingly theatrical way. There were 6 topics in this epic rap battle like comparison: Yet Another Language, Less is More, Structure, Behavior, Security, and Laziness. Paulien won the hearts of some Java developers but at the end of the talk, Java developers were not very convinced with Kotlin. Hence, we should give applause to the speakers, especially Brian Vermeer for his acting and presenting skills. It was definitely one of the most entertaining talks of the day.
Then the next one: our favorite talk of the day: Supersonic, Subatomic Java with Quarkus by Burr Sutter. For many years Java developers were mocked by developers using other programming languages because of our frameworks being fat and slow, in fact sometimes too slow for serverless technologies. They were right. However, this time we have a promising new framework called Quarkus which is presented as A Kubernetes Native Java stack tailored for GraalVM & OpenJDK HotSpot, crafted from the best of breed Java libraries and standards.
In his talk, Burr got his hands dirty and implemented a simple ToDo web app by using Quarkus for his CRUD API. Then he deployed his code to a Kubernetes cluster and showed the results for Deploy Time, Boot + First Response Time and Memory Consumption. He compared those with a Spring Boot and a Node.js app. The numbers were impressive, Quarkus performed really well and got our attention! We decided on spending some time with Quarkus: we will do Proof of Concept projects using Quarkus and see the performance of it by ourselves.
We also would like to thank Burr for the cool Red Hat stickers and all the sponsors for the merchandise. But surprisingly, we didn’t meet many experts when we were visiting sponsor booths to discuss the latest technologies. The booths were very recruitment oriented. Of course, we have great respect for the recruiters and the marketing people, but there were so few engineers/developers in the booths that many of our technical questions were unanswered. In our view, this was the only main point of improvement of the conference.
Luckily, we found out a tasty lunch waiting for us. Feeling full and happy, we were ready for the second part of the day.
The second half started with NLJUG updates again by Bert Jan Schrijver. For those who are interested in giving talks, they announced Call for Papers is open for J-Fall 2019!
Later he invited Onno Schellekens and Barry Lagerweij for the second keynote talk of the day: Can we use mobile technology to leapfrog universal health for developing countries. It was an eye-opener talk on using mobile technology to leapfrog healthcare in developing countries.
The following talk Live exploiting your open source dependencies was again by Brian Vermeer, this time it was on the security track. He pointed out how scary open source dependencies might get by explaining security incidents happened in the past. I will personally think twice when using open source libraries.
Another talk that I want to remark is Are we really cloud-native by Bert Ertman. In his talk, he focused on what being Cloud-Native actually requires in terms of skills and experience for Java Developers and the impacts of it on traditional systems design.
The last talk we want to mention is Coding style matters: Why you should care about code style and what you should care about by Peter Hilton. When we left the conference, it had the highest rating among all talks.
After all, it was a long day, but the event was great. We had an awesome time at J-Spring 2019, and we are really looking forward to the next J-Fall. See you there!