Monday, July 29, 2013

Gr8Conf: what a great conference!

It's not just a pleonasm, it really is a great conf!
And do you know what makes it so good? People. It's an event where you meet smart people, and even better where you can talk to them. 

The conference started on Sunday 21st July in gorgeous Minneapolis. Sunday was dedicated to workshops. I was running the Grails Mobile workshop with Fabrice Matrat, my geek husband presenting in action the 3musket33rs Grails plugin. 18 attendees for our 3 hours workshops and it always ends up being too short! Fun to run a foursquare clone on your mobile.

Monday morning, conference started with Peter Ledbrook giving an inspiring talk on open source contributions. "Open source and you" makes you feel engaged.

As always, the most difficult part is always to choose your track, specially when you have four choices. I decided to stick to the Groovy track for the first day. I started my day attending Jim Driscoll presentation on "Turtle Graphics in Groovy", a talk on Groovy DSL so close in content to the one I gave in the afternoon with co-speaker Fabrice Matrat. Attending the second talk, Oracle ADF (Application Development Framework) with Jim and co-speaker JR Smiljanic, it turned out that our inspirations have some common roots. We've been dealing with very similar subjects. Oracle has been working on enforcing Security and Web debugging while integrating Groovy inside ADF to provide a customization platform. 

Whereas, when I was working in Amadeus, I was part of the business team (web based SellConnect) designing a Groovy DSL for travel agents to customize cryptic commands. I used to work closely to the architecture team (Fabrice Matrat &Vincent Bersin) in charge of implementing PaaS using Groovy for server side scripting and Aria Templates for UI customization. I certainly think there is some good ground for open source contributions here! Working on the open side is my motto. I am proud to be Red Hatter :)

Carry on Groovy, with “Type checking your DSLs” by Cedric Champeau. Using Groovy as a scripting platform you may want to get errors as early as possible, at compile time. Do you offer DSL to your end users? With Groovy 2, you can go a step further and type checked your DSLs. With powerful AST transform and the usage of a DSL (Groovy developers love DSL), you can hook into the compiler and makes it Grumpy :) Cedric also shows us a very interesting example on how to type check your builder. Suppose you have your XML schema, you can type check your custom XML Groovy builder.

I finish the day giving “Groovy DSL for kids” presentation with Fabrice, moving the Turtle around is always fun.

I started day 2 with “Lift-off with Groovy 2.1”,  to kick off the day. Next session I attended was BDD using Cucumber with Groovy by Marco Vermeulen. Quoting Dan Worth (from a tweet) to give a definition of BDD is just great! Live coding examples on how to practice it is fun too! I really enjoyed this session: packed with information, I even learnt about accelerated agile. You can have any doubt about it, Marco is for sure a BDD addict, his second talk on GVM was named “GVM: an example of BDD in action”.

Last, Vankat Subramanian’s key note was brilliant. Showing closure to talk about functional programming in  a Groovy conference because “off course I know you know Groovy” is just so gooood.

See you next year !