jPrime 2016 recordings available (2016)

All jPrime 2016 recordings are now available.

You can find them in the Bulgarian Java User Group youtube channel.

Regards,
The Bulgarian Java User Group

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jPrime 2016 slides (2016)

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Interview with Kees Jan Koster (2016)



Driven technical architect, coach and Java expert Kees Jan Koster will speak at this year's JPrime Conference in Sofia, Bulgaria. Here is an interview him.

Hi Kees! Can you please introduce yourself?
Sure. I am a freelance technical architect in the Netherlands. I like to move from customer to customer. For each customer I bring the things that I learned at my previous customers, but I also come to learn something new. What I bring and what I learn is slowly changing. I used to bring Java and learn Java. Recently, soft skills have been added to that. I still bring Java and technical concepts, but I also bring time management and planning to development teams.

It’s all about monitoring. Is Java and JVM actually good for monitoring and configuration management? Is there something you actually would like to add?
The JVM is very good at telling you when it is unhappy. It is just that nobody seems to really listen to the JVM. Luckily there are many tools that can help you listen better. Some come with the JVM, such as VisualVM. Others are on-line or paid products. I would advise all Java developers and sysadmins to invest time into learning about JMX and Java monitoring.

You pay great attention to soft skills and organizational activities. So what should be the proportion of soft skills and technical knowledge to make a perfect combination?
Given that many in Bulgaria will work for International customers, I think there is a great need for soft skills in Bulgaria. Remote team work is very demanding on communication skills. Reading body language is hard enough when done in person. Mix in instant messaging and bad video quality, and it becomes very easy to get into a misunderstanding. I think this is easily overlooked, both by managers and developers themselves. When I do interview with candidate developers, I find that I look at soft skills only. How does he or she react when I ask things they do not know? When they explain something, how well do they express themselves? Do they notice when my face tells them they are not answering my question? Soft skills are hard to learn. By comparison, Java is a lot easier. Soft skills are harder to learn because they ask you to change your habits. On the other hand, learning soft skills can be hugely rewarding. Improving your ability to listen improves both your work and personal life.

What do you think would be the next steps in the evolution of the JVM?
Soft skill support? ;-) For the JVM, I think that the evolutionary steps should now be small. Java is a solved problem, even if there is plenty to improve left. The JVM is solid and pulls some amazing tricks to eek out extra performance. I would suggest for developers to learn more about the internals of the JVM, possibly help improve it by joining in the community process.

Is there something you monitor in the real life?
Not much, to be honest. I watch my kids grow up, not sure if that counts? :-)


Thank you Kees Jan! See you in Sofia!

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Intereview with Kai Kreuzer (2016)



Developer Evangelist at DTAG Kai Kreuzer will bring the spirit of IoT to the JPrime Conference in Sofia, Bulgaria. We are delighted to make a short interview with him.

Hi, Kai! Can you please introduce yourself?
I am a Developer Evangelist working for Deutsche Telekom on the QIVICON smart home platform. I have been a fan of Open Source software for a long time and when starting in the field of home automation 7 years ago, I decided to directly open source my newly created hobby project openHAB. Since then it was a fascinating journey with a rapidly growing community and the creation of the Eclipse SmartHome project, which has become the foundation of professional smart home solutions as well as of openHAB 2.0.

So you work at Deutsche Telekom and are the lead of the OpenHAB and Eclipse Smarthome projects. What do you think be the role of Java in the future of smart homes?
Java is facing a difficult situation on end devices that are usually highly constrained in terms of CPU and battery power. JavaME is trying to address this, but it is a challenge to compete against C and other natively compiled languages here. For more powerful devices such as TV sets or home gateways and routers, the costs for powerful CPUs are rapidly decreasing, which makes Java a good option. Its natural strength is its easy portability through abstracting the underlying hardware. Java is mainly suitable for higher level functionality like serving as an integration point, hosting and running applications etc. and not so much for low level connectivity on transport the layer.

What is the adoption and the current state of progress of OpenHAB? What about Eclipse SmartHome?
As for any open source project that does not require any registration or „calls home“ it is difficult to know details about its adoption. As a rough figure, there are at least many ten thousands of users and I am often told that it is one of the most popular open source home automation solutions out there. I also see it being heavily used at universities for research and education, which is cool. Eclipse SmartHome - being the underlying framework for building smart home solutions - has naturally a much smaller target audience, but also here I see increasing interest from companies that are building commercial offerings.

How do you think will home automation impact the lives of people on the planet in the upcoming months/years?
I have honestly no idea. Despite the fact that home automation is around since more than two decades, we are still in a very early market phase with a lot of activity and frequent changes. The great thing is that anything is possible and therefore predictions will most certainly fail. Due to the fragmented market landscape I believe that it will nonetheless still take a while before we see any bigger effects on the way most people are living. My hope is that it will really serve the people and not only the companies - data privacy is a big issue in this respect and a strong focus of all my work.

Home automation is also your personal hobby - can you tell us how do you apply it in real life?
Well, openHAB was born out of my personal needs. I am using it for many different aspects, for comfort, security and energy saving alike. „Remote controlling“ is probably the least important feature, the possibility to integrate different devices in different personal use cases is what brings most value for the daily life. These can be so simple things as the shutter not automatically closing at dusk, if the terrace door is open (and hence likely someone is still outside). Notifications are also an important piece of the puzzle, e.g. to be reminded that windows are left open when leaving the house or to have callers being announced in the house through text-to-speech.

Thank you very much! And see you soon in Sofia!

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Interview with Simon Ritter (2016)



True legend of Java, former head of Java Technology Evangelism at Oracle, currently CTO of Azul Simon Ritter be a speaker in the second issue of the JPrime Conference in Sofia, Bulgaria. We have the pleasure to make a short interview with him.

Hi Simon! Can you please introduce yourself?
Having spent nearly twenty years at Sun Microsystems and then Oracle I recently took on the position of Deputy CTO at Azul Systems. We are the only company that is entirely devoted to the JVM, so it's a really good fit for me.

Actually Java was born and has evolved before your eyes. Its now 21 years old and is the most used programming language on the planet. What made it so special?
I think the biggest feature that has lead to the success of Java is how easy it is to use. James Gosling always described Java as a "Blue-collar programming language". It was designed to enable developers get the job done with as little fuss as possible. This has continued over the last 21 years. Although Java is sometimes criticized for being too verbose this can often be an advantage, since it makes code more readable. A lot of developers spend most of their time maintaining code rather than writing new code. Being able to understand what was written by someone else makes life a lot easier.

How do you think, will Java dominate the next 21 years? What could stop it from doing so?
I firmly believe that Java will continue to be one of the most popular programming languages there is. The fact that the language is not static (look at the introduction of Lambdas and Streams in JDK 8 to provide a more functional style of programming) means that Java continues to evolve to meet the needs of developers. I doubt there will be a new language that will suddenly replace Java; people have tried most ways of creating languages, so it's unlikely a new language will be massively better than Java. The only thing that will affect the popularity of Java is if it starts to stagnate and not change to add cool new features. JDK 10 promises some interesting things in the form of value types that will again add freshness to Java.

You are now working for Azul, famous for its alternative JVM. What makes alternative JVMs more preferred? Is there a big market for them?
In the case of Azul our commercial JVM, Zing, is targeted at applications where you don't want to have to worry about long pauses caused by a full compacting garbage collection. This can happen with all other commercially available JVMs because of their design. We use a different algorithm that can compact the heap concurrently with application threads still doing work. This is very appealing to companies that need low-latency and low-jitter GC for their applications. We also provide a free binary distribution of the OpenJDK project called Zulu. This makes sense for customers looking for an alternative when considering support costs for the JVM. This is also available for embbeded systems (both Intel and ARM based) with no licensing fee required.
There certainly seems to be plenty of companies that think our JVM technology provides value to them, so I would say that there is a pretty big market for alternative JVMs

As far as we know Java and UNIX is something you do the whole life. Maybe you like doing something else in your spare time?
Between the extensive travel that I do and spending time with my family there's not a whole lot of 'spare' time left! My other big passion is cars; I really like watching Formula 1 and keeping up to date with the latest technological advances like hybrid power systems. If I had more time (and money) I think I would like to try some form of motor racing.

Thank you very much for the interview! See you quite soon in Sofia!

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Interview with Hadi Hariri (2016)



Hadi is a developer and creator of many things in OSS, JetBrains evangelist, and this year's jPrime Conference speaker. We have talked to him about his vision on the domain.

Hi Hadi! Can you please introduce yourself?
I'm a Developer, Speaker and Developer Advocate at JetBrains.

So you work for JetBrains, which is famous for it's IDE. But its not only limited by the IDE, it has some great contributions to Java. Which of them you like the most?
Well we're mostly known for ReSharper, our .NET Visual Studio plugin and IntelliJ IDEA, our Java IDE. But we've expanded to over 20 tools, including IDE's for almost any language out there, as well as server-side tools and of course Kotlin, our OSS language for the JVM and JavaScript.

What interests you the most in the Java evolution tendencies?
For me, one of the most powerful aspects of Java, isn't Java the language but Java the ecosystem, Java the virtual machine. It's a platform on which openness has thrived, where many languages have appeared. This for me is a statement of the openness and reach of the ecosystem.And I'd love to have that continue.

Post Java community driven languages tend to raise. How do you see the Kotlin’s future?
Kotlin tries to address some of the issues we've had with Java as well as others. We're betting on its future and hope that adoption will continue to increase. We're actually pleasantly surprised by the sudden increase we've had over the past year and even more so once we hit 1.0.

Is there something else you do beside coding?
Quite a bit, which unfortunately means often I have less time for coding. In addition to my role as a developer advocate and somewhat managing the team, which doesn't require much given that it's a great self-driven team, I also work on things that are internal to the company, mostly around awareness, communication and collaboration between different teams. As the company has grown, and hitting over 600 people, it's important to keep the communication flow going.

Thank you, Hadi! See you in Sofia in May!

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Interview with Andres Almiray (2016)



Andres is a Java/Groovy developer and a Java Champion with more than 16 years of experience in software design and development will be a speaker in the second issue of the JPrime Conference in Sofia, Bulgaria. We have the pleasure to make a short interview with him.

Hi Andres! Can you please introduce yourself?
I'm Andres Almiray, Java Champion and true believer of Open Source. I've been writing Java code since the early days, half of that time has been spent contributing back to several open source projects, most notably the Groovy, JavaFX, and Asciidoctor ecosystems.

You are the JSR377 lead, actually what is the main motivation on working on it?
Java developers know there are many choices to choose form when it comes to writing web applications; sadly that's not true when it comes to writing desktop applications. This JSR aims to solve this problem by delivering a standardize API that can be used to build desktop applications, also targettng embedded devices where JavaSE and Java Embedded can run. Why? Because writing an application that targets either environment (or both) most likely follows the same principles.

Now even embedded devices have quite productive browsers capable of showing good graphics, so how does the Desktop/Embedded API compete here?
As much as browser applications have advanced in the last couple years it's still impossible for them to reach certain level of functionality that only desktop applications can have. In terms of security there's also a limitation, as you not only have to secure the application itself but also the tool used to interact with the application: the browser. There are many organizations out there (research, financial, exploration, military) that simply won't take the risk of deploying a web application for these and other reasons. For these organizations a desktop application is the way to go.

We are very excited about running the Hackergarten during jPrime 2016. How do you motivate the developers to participate?
What happens in Hackergarten does not stay in Hackergarten. We're a very open bunch of developers and we welcome everyone that would like to spend some time with use hacking on a particular open source project. Whether it may be fixing a bug, providing a new feature, adding missing tests, writing documentation or creating a podcast; every contribution matters. Many developers in the past have wondered how can they contribute to Open Source projects but never took the first step. Hackergarten meetings are an ideal place to take the first step. We're usually surrounded by project leads and open minded people. You always learn something new at a Hackergarten, that's a guarantee.

What about some real life hobbies?
I like to spend time with my wife hiking on mountain trails and enjoy the country side.

Thank you very much, Andres! We are looking forward to seeing you here in Sofia soon!

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