It has already been a week since Javaland 2016 started on Tuesday March 8th. Javaland is 3-day community driven conference in the amusement park Phantasialand in Brühl, Germany. I had the fortune to attend the conference this year and speak about Asciidoctor on the first day with my talk "Writing documentation in Asciidoctor is Awesome". The code and examples from the presentation are on Github. Also my colleague Rob Brinkman was at the conference for this talk about "Westy Tracking (turning a VW van into a Tesla)" and his presentation is online as well.
What I really liked about the conference is a lot of technical talks about all kind of Java subjects. Even for a non-German person there were a lot of talks in English to follow. Also the atmosphere was very nice, people are approachable and in between talks there was a nice community and sponsor exhibition room. The organization uses the knowledge and experience of 29 JUGs from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. And then the location is also great to have a conference. The amusement park wasn't open for the public so we as Java developers had part of the park for ourselves. The location of the talks were partially in theaters and in business rooms. And at Tuesday night we were allowed to go on rides as well. (Remember: first rides, then eat and drink, if you alter the order you might get in trouble).
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So this year I got the opportunity to speak and visit Greach 2015 in Madrid, Spain. I've never been in Spain before, but after visiting I definitely want to go back. Although the trip to Madrid was more cumbersome than planned, because of the strikes in France, I arrived at the speaker's dinner on time. Just go to mention that the Madrid metro is a very pleasant way to go around in Madrid. It was good to see old and new faces and to catch up and just have fun. Friday April 10th was the first day of the conference. The conference is held at the university in the south of Madrid. Jochen Theodorou, one of the Groovy core developers, opened the day with the keynote about Groovy's past, present and future. He gave a very nice overview of how Groovy evolved over the years and Groovy has been around already for a long time. Of course the latest news this year is Pivotal's hands off of Groovy and Grails. Jochen explained he first gets a good vacation and then decides what to do himself. Groovy is now in the process of getting an Apache project so the continuity of the development of the language should be saved. Then the rest of the day two tracks were presented at the same time. And there were difficult choices to make. Fortunately all talks are recorded and they will be added to the Greach Youtube channel.
I went to the talk Groovy and Scala: Friends or Foes by Marco Vermeulen. He showed how we can use Spock with Groovy to test Scala code using a Gradle build. So both worlds can live together and we can intermingle where possible. The application written in Scala was pragmatic and that is something I missed when I looked at Scala for the first time. This talk really got me interested to learn more about Scala. Next up was the talk AST - Groovy Transformers: More than meets the eye! by one of the conference organizers Iván López. He showed a lot of the (local) AST transformation that are already available in Groovy and that we can use everyday in our programs. Each AST transformation was clearly explained and he showed samples on how to use them. After his talk it was my time to present Grails Goodness. In this talk I live coded a selection of the blog posts about Grails I did write. Somehow there is always to little time to show everything I wanted, but still I think I was able to show some nice features of Grails.
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