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General Java

Geecon 2014

GeeCon logo

Thanks to my employer – Sabre,  I was able to attend GeeCon conference, which was taking place in Krakow, 14-16th May 2014. This event was organized in big cinema with multiple different rooms. Usually there were 5 speeches at the same time.  I think that this conference is getting too big. It was very crowded specially during coffee brakes, when everybody was going from one room to another. Also eating lunch on your knees is not nice thing. I know that it is hard to put in one place tables for 1000+ people, but maybe organizers should consider choosing different place for next year. The good thing was that, as in good cinema, chairs were very comfortable.

Besides that I enjoyed it. It was great pleasure to meet other developers form different parts of the world and also to meet my colleges from previous company.

Some of presentation I attended:

Day 1

Jurgen Appelo – The 7 Duties of Great Software Developer

Very interesting speech about things we should thing about in order to make our careers move forward. Jurgen is a person with experience in management and he wrote book “Management 3.0”. During his speech he mentioned following key points, for each he added most important question every developer should answer.

  • Motivate yourself – Are you aligning your work with your intrinsic motivators?
  • Direct yourself – What do you see in your future?
  • Educate yourself – How have you decided to learn?
  • Measure yourself – How do you track your growth as a professional?
  • Connect yourself – How do you diversify your personal network?
  • Brand yourself – How are you developing your personal brand?
  • Improve yourself – Are you improving by adapting, anticipating and experimenting?

Whole slideshow is available here.

Marek Matczak – AngularJS: Java developer’s real-life experiences

Very well prepared introduction to AngularJS, specially for Java developer’s point of view. Marek described basics and showed how to use directives and templates, how to create simple widget and extends html with own tags.

Ken Sipe – Go – The Language of the Cloud

Ken described Go language by comparing its features with Java. For me it appears that this language is step backward. For people used to Java it is less readable and more complicated. Unfortunately it allows programmer to do simple things in many different ways (like for example returning multiple values from function can be achieved by assigning value in the middle of the function and it the end). In my opinion in can be very error prone.

Gleb Smirnov – Mutation Analysis or What Code Coverage Doesn’t Test

Very interesting speech about using PIT – mutation coverage tool to improve quality of unit tests. Gleb was showing example of Apache commons-math analysis and time needed to run mutation tests for that library. Results are very promising, I hope I will be able to use PIT in my projects.


Tim Boudreau – Everything You Were Taught About Java Is Wrong

First speech of day 2. Tim Boudreau was talking about few issues which he finds problematic in Java world.

  • Inheritance is evil
  • JavaBeans are an antipattern
  • ORM tools are solving the wrong problem
  • Threads for managing I/O are a mistake

Very interesting presentation, but I feel that some ideas are not applicable for big, enterprise solution. There are really cool for small projects.

Peter Lawrey – GC Free Coding

GC is always a very interesting subject. This time speech was about dealing with GC in system for which latency is main concern. Peter has shown few tricks (two of them were easy, one was hardcore – override String class). Basically I think it was good presentation by subject is much wider and can be explored more.

Kevlin Henney – Seven Ineffective Coding Habits of Many Java Programmers

Kevlin Henney is an author of book “97 Things Every Programmer Should Know” and he had some interesting ideas about habits, that we have. Just to show some examples

  • IllegalStateException – why do we need Exception in name of this class – we know it is exception by its inheritance tree.
  • UserEntity – if this is entity we should name it User, that should be enough.

Kevlin also focused on layout of code, because he thinks that it has big influence of perception. Good look and feel of code can highlight important things to person reading it.

 Kevlin Henney – Worse Is Better, for Better or for Worse

Worse Is Better is really bad name for quite good idea. This idea was defined before agile started its race to glory. There is a point where less functionality (“worse”) is a preferable option (“better”) in terms of practicality and usability. Software that is limited, but simple to use, may be more appealing to the user and market than the reverse. (wikipedia).

Day 3

Jakub Kubryński – Spring Boot – and it is lightly again

Jakub presented Spring Boot – this tool can be called Spring Light, because it allows developers to create Spring based application really fast. It contains many predefined configurations and supports other Spring components out of the box. Great tool for starting new projects. I will describe details in future posts.

Tom Bujok – 33 things you want to do better

Tomek mentioned many different useful technics, to make our software better (like Lombok, Byteman, Guava, etc.) Most of them were used to reduce amount of boilerplate code. He also found practical usage of System.exit. When he finds //should never happen comment in code, he immediately adds it there, like on this example:

try {
} catch (Exception e) {
	//should never happen

Sam Newman – The Practical Implications Of Microservices

Microservices is very hot topic right now. Sam has given his 14 tips which can help everybody build, deploy and maintain microservices.

Michael Feathers – Beyond Error Handling

The final keynote of the conference was about error handling. Main point of this speech was that we should consider error handling as bad design. In some cases I agree with him, but there are situations where error handling is required. Few important notes:

  • Null passing is wrong – avoid it by using Optionals or NullObject pattern.
  • Having noticeable exception handling is wrong – basically error handling should be separated from business logic because in many cases it makes code less readable.


I think 2014 GeeCon was quite good conference. Of course there were some minor issues, but with event that big it is impossible to make everything perfect. Every such event is great opportunity to meet with other passionate developers (I don’t think others come to conferences). As organizers said at the end, GeeCon 2015 will also be placed in Krakow, so see you there next year.


Greg Young speech at JDD 2011

Recently I was an attendee of JDD – very nice conference placed in Kraków, Poland.

One of the first speech was about some general ideas. Greg Young pointed some really important things about developers and development process. read more »