Interview with Mark Heckler

Brother Mark Heckler is one of the world's most passionate Spring enthusiasts. We are really happy to have him here in Sofia for the first time! But before that please enjoy a small interview with him:

Hello Mark! It is so great that you will come to Sofia very soon! Please, tell us about yourself.

I'm just this guy, you know? :)
My bio basically says this: Mark is a Professional Problem Solver and Spring Developer & Advocate, conference speaker, published author, & Java Champion focusing upon developing innovative production-ready software at velocity.
Which means that I love to solve problems, write code, deliver working software, and talk about it. That summarizes it pretty well, I guess. :)

Spring platform is often a pioneer in many Java/JVM technologies, which become de-facto standards with time. How do you achieve this?

Spring is both very innovative and very pragmatic, and that's because everyone working with Spring is both inquisitive and immensely practical. We also, as a general rule, are very open to collaboration and community. That results in a lot of great ideas and code being mulled, written, refined, and put to work in a pretty tight loop. And as you know, if good options exist to solve pressing problems, those options are widely adopted and eventually standardized upon, officially and/or unofficially. So I think it's just cause & effect. :)

Spring is putting huge effort in Kotlin language adoption. Why was that decision made? What makes Kotlin a good alternative to Java?

It wasn't a decision made lightly. Kotlin is a great language with much to recommend it: conciseness, null safety, elegance and expressiveness...and perhaps the aspect that makes it easiest to adopt, frictionless interoperability with Java. It's not an either/or choice! You can easily integrate Kotlin code with Java within a single application, making it easy to try out and easy to migrate existing Java applications, if you choose to do so...or of course, to write new ones.
Kotlin also provides new capabilities sooner than Java. Combine this with the capability to extend existing classes and to create DSLs and you have a very dynamic, modern, and powerful language.
Kotlin won't replace Java in many circumstances, but it's an excellent companion language that is a joy to use. It's great to have (great) choices!

You are an unstoppable traveller. How many days are you away from home? How do you spend your free time?

If you ask my wife, I'm never home! Seriously though, some times during the year are more hectic than others. It's safe to say I'm away more than I'm home, and some months the "home" days can be counted on one hand. Balance is...elusive. :D
For better or worse, many of my hobbies center around tech as well. I enjoy programming small devices for IoT applications, including robotics and drones. I'm also an occasional videogamer and musician, having played classical trumpet and guitar/bass in a past life. And of course, I'm always on the hunt for a good cup of coffee.

Thank you very much!

Thanks for inviting me, very glad I can finally be a part of the legendary jPrime!!!