This past weekend I attended the Greater Wisconsin Software Symposium in Milwaukee. This might seem strange considering I just went to the Groovy / Grails Experience (2GX) last weekend, but it's all part of my master plan. You see, at the 2GX there were 5 concurrent tracks and it was quite difficult to decide which sessions to miss. However, six of the 2GX speakers were also scheduled to speak at the GWSS, I knew that I could safely skip the sessions that would be repeated there. Most notable among those were Scott Davis' pair of talks entitled "Groovy: The Blue Pill" and "Groovy The Red Pill" which I caught on Friday afternoon. These sessions were worth the wait! In the first one Scott focuses on the smooth integration between Groovy and Java; using examples such as creating an interface in Groovy and then creating a Java class that implements that interface. Since, once it's compiled, a Groovy class is a Java class, there's really no limit to the ways you can intermingle Java and Groovy classes. One of my favorite lines in this talk was when asked the question 'will Groovy replace Java?' Scott answers 'No more than icing will replace cake.' That's classic!
The Red Pill talk dug into some the really cool stuff you can do with Groovy once you're ready to take it to the next level. He covered things like method pointers, closures, named arg/var arg constructors and operator overloading. Then he got into meta-programming and,well I don't want to give too much away. You'll just have to catch an NFJS event near you and see for yourself.
Next up was Scott Davis again with “Grails for (recovering) Struts Developers”. This was basically an introductory Grails talk (and a good one), but targeted at developers who were used to the Struts way of doing things.
The next day I can't report on because I went, with my family to the Milwaukee zoo. Well I guess I could report on it but it probably wouldn't be very interesting for someone reading a Groovy/Grails blog. Except that they did have some very groovy apes there.
Sunday morning Venkat Subramaniam gave a presentation on TDD/BDD that was very motivating. He showcased FIT, FitNesse and easyb, by the oh so hip, Andy Glover.
Then on to more testing stuff, Jeff Brown gave a talk on TDD in Groovy and Grails. Testing is another great showcase for the power of Groovy and Jeff did an excellent job of highlighting that.
Then came a hearty lunch, visits with a bunch of fellow Madisonians and the speaker panel. The speaker panel is always a high point of a NFJS event and this one was no exception. Brian Sletten continues to improve his ability to turn almost any question into a discussion of the Semantic Web. (go Brian!). There were two more sessions in the afternoon but I had to catch a flight out to California for SD West, where I will be presenting on “Agile Web Development with Grails” this Friday. Speaking of which, I better get back to work on my slides. But firs I want to mention how great it was to see so many members of the Capital Java User Group at the Milwaukee conference. We could have held a meeting there and it might have been one of our best turnouts. Also I have to give a big Thank You to the good folks at Smart Solutions who offered to send all of their Java developers to this conference. Now that's a forward thinking consulting firm. As well as a great company to work for.
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