Monday, April 26, 2010

Like speaking at a conference in my bath robe

On April 27th at 11:00am Pacific time, Mike Allen and I will be holding a free webinar on clustering and scaling grails applications the easy way. A webinar is a cool thing. It's like a tech conference session where you can't see anybody. So, while you're sitting at your desk at work or at home or in a coffee shop, Mike will be in California somewhere and I'll be sitting in my basement office in St. Louis, quite possibly still in my pajamas.

But that's not the important part. The important part is that we'll be talking about how easy it is to make a Grails application scalable. To demonstrate that we'll be using one of my favorite sample apps, TekDays from Grails: A Quick-Start Guide.

If you haven't already, go ahead and sign up at The whole thing will be recorded and posted later. So, if you can't make it on the 27th or if 11am Pacific is the middle of the night for you, register anyway so you can be notified when the recording is available.

If you can make it though, it would be great to have you.

See you there (in a figurative sense),

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


I am very excited about the upcoming ÜberConf - June 14 - 17, Denver, CO. Even before I found out that I'd be speaking at it, I was planning to attend. I've been to a lot of conferences, and I think this is going to be the best one ever!

I've been attending technical conferences for over 15 years. I've been to big ones and small ones, free ones and expensive ones. Just doing a quick count in my head, I think I've been to around 35 tech events. Most of these have been as an attendee and on my own dime, because I am convinced of their usefulness and value. More recently I've been speaking at some conferences. Over the years I've become somewhat of a tech conference connoisseur.

Of all these events, the best have been the ones put on by Jay Zimmerman of No Fluff, Just Stuff fame. The NFJS events and others, such as the Groovy/Grails Experience, the Agile IT Experience and SpringOne/2GX, have some elements that other conference organizers just can't seem to duplicate. CodeMash comes close, and the old Borland Developer Conferences were also pretty good, but neither of these are quite up to the level of an NFJS event.

JavaOne used to score real high on the technical content before it became JavaFX One, but the conference organization and overall experience was always lacking. The SD conferences usually had some big names that were worth the price of admission, but the rest of the sessions were hit and miss, and the mobs that were there just for the free expo floor made it so difficult to get to sessions that it often wasn't worth it.

The NFJS events have speakers who are well known, though maybe not as famous as some of the SD headliners. More importantly, they know their stuff, and they have tons of experience in presenting it to others. And since the event size is purposely kept small, it's easy to get to the sessions of interest and easy to get time to talk with the speakers. The schedule is always arranged with plenty of break time for the hallway discussions and questions after the sessions. And all of the little details that we don't really notice but that provide for a much better learning experience are taken care of.

But back to ÜberConf. This event will, I'm sure, have the quality experience and flawless execution common to all NFJS events, but with an expanded focus, expanded schedule and an amazing line-up of speakers (and me too :).

ÜberConf's technical content will be what JavaOne should have been over the last couple years. It will fully embrace Java the platform, with sessions on Java, Groovy, JRuby, Clojure and Scala. ÜberConf goes beyond just the languages and draws from the rich diversity of open source communities that have found a home on the JVM, with Grails, Wicket, Gradle, Maven, Gaelyk, Camel, and more. And since what we're developing with is only part of the story, ÜberConf goes on to bring together some of most important ideas in agile processes from speakers such as Esther Derby, Johanna Rothman, David Hussman, Michael Nygard, and others.

With a mix of 90 minute sessions and 3 hour workshops, and eight concurrent tracks to choose from, ÜberConf will be packed with great content. With attendance capped at 500, it will be easy to get time to talk with speakers and other attendees - and getting to and from the sessions will be easy.

I speak from experience when I say that you will leave this conference full of new ideas and inspiration. Check out the schedule. You'll find plenty of sessions that apply to your current work, but don't stop there. To get the most out of an event like this, you need to go to sessions about topics you know nothing about. You will be amazed at how much you can learn about what you are currently doing by learning about new tools and technologies.

Check out the site for details. There's much more than I've discussed here, including sessions on iPhone, iPad and Android development. For what's included, the full registration price is a steal, but if you register by Monday, April 12th, there's a big discount. So register now, or register later, but do register and attend this awesome conference.

See you there!