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SoftShake 2010

Monday took place the first Soft-Shake event in Geneva, Switzerland. You’re probably wondering what a Soft-Shake event is. Basically, most events focus on one area: Oracle Technologies, Java, Apple, PM methods, what have you. Most of us, however, have multiple interests. Since even in the pure science field, the trend is to decompartmentalize, it is only natural that computer sciences should take the same path. The answer is Soft-Shake: a cocktail of sessions that mixes different but connected interests: Java, Agility, iPhone and Incubation.

I had the opportunity to attend to the first event and I must say I was favorably impressed. Everything went smoothly, thanks to the organisators, and there were numerous occasions to do some networking due to spaced sessions. The following is some feedback on the sessions I followed:

NoSQL also means RDF stores by Fabrizio Giudci

I’m by no means a NoSQL expert. I’m not even close to be aware of the pros and cons of the concept, so I lost many of the key features of this session base on a real life project. I kept something though: you should consider using NoSQL when faced with changing schemas or when you have to aggregate miscellaneous data sources in your own store.

Cloud Computing by Marc-Elian Begin

Nice introduction to cloud computing, with some manipulation of virtual machines. I choosed the session because I was lost. During the session, I realized the concepts explained in one hour were on par with my knowledge.

Vaadin a Rich Web Applications in Server-side Java without Plug-ins or JavaScript by Joonas Lehtinen

The session with "da man", Joonas and its Vaadin framework. I presented the framework already twice with the slideshow, so no real surprise here. Yet, it was amazing to see Joonas code a simple application with only 20 lines of code that would have taken hours to code in JSP or configure in JSF. Components integrate data sources naturally, you have to see it to believe it. Anyone not knowing the framework and interested in web applications should take a look. Long live Vaadin!

From left to right

JAX-RS and Java EE 6 by Paul Sandoz

A tutorial on JAX-RS, aka REST in Java. What it can do, what it cannot do, its implementations, its dedicated books. Clear and concise, with nice illustrated examples, live. Too bad my awareness was not at the top after lunch…​

Write and automate your functional tests with jBehave by Xavier Bourguignon

I did have some interest in functional testing in general (or more precisely how to make your stakeholders write your functional tests) and jBehave in particular. I tried the product, with only the site’s documentation and it was not a piece of cake. I even tried to blog about it, with only partial success (in my eyes). I ran to Xavier’s session and it was an epiphany. It would have merited another hour.

The feel of Scala by Mario Fusco

Mario is the man behind LambdaJ, the DSL on collection in Java. As he told us himself, he codes in Java on working days but his real treat is Scala. LambdaJ is an attempt to bring functionnal programming in Java (restricted to a collections API), but a great one. He brought us his enthusiasm for the language, and since I tried to learn Scala on my own, I asked him some questions which were brilliantly answered. Thanks Mario.

Conclusion

A great moment, I can’t wait for the 2011 edition!

Nicolas Fränkel

Nicolas Fränkel

Nicolas Fränkel is a Developer Advocate with 15+ years experience consulting for many different customers, in a wide range of contexts (such as telecoms, banking, insurances, large retail and public sector). Usually working on Java/Java EE and Spring technologies, but with focused interests like Rich Internet Applications, Testing, CI/CD and DevOps. Currently working for Exoscale. Also double as a teacher in universities and higher education schools, a trainer and triples as a book author.

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