Wednesday, 11 March 2009

QCon London 2009 Conference Day 1

Today was the first day of the conference proper at QCon London 2009, an interesting day all around and again a lot to chose from.

Opening Key Note by Tony Hoare

A contrast on Computer Science and Software Engineering - for me it was very interesting as I've often internally and occasionally externally debated as to whether what I do is really Engineering. I hold a degree in Electronic Engineering, but I have always worked in Systems or Software. A lot of what we do can be considered craftsmanship - and it was good to hear Tony say that this is part of the early life-cycle of an Engineering discipline.

Too much info to cram into this and I know it will be up on the QCon site in the near future if you are interested.

SOA with Ian Robinson

Really good insight into starting a big project especially in an already running system - good to see SOA talked about as SOA (the approach) and not SOA as a vendor pitch to buy their latest golden hammer.

Scala with Jonas Boner
Very interesting JVM based language with very good integration with Java. Provided an elegant mix of OO and Functional programming - and so provided a clean path to move towards more functional models. The session went through some of the language features, but one of the most impressive things shown was a demo of a web chat system written in 30 lines of code.

A really nice concept of Traits which could be added at either class or instance levels - so much information that I have no hope of conveying it. But has inspired me to take a closer look.

Clojure with Rick Hickey

A "Lisp" Functional Language that runs on the JVM. Was a very interesting presentation and the language has some really interesting features including how it dealt with concurrency. Again too much information to try and convey.

Building for Performance and Scalability with Alois Reitbauer

Outlined the cause of many performance issues, and very high level ways of detecting these issues - but there was nothing new here, and no practical demonstrations of the methods, and no hard data.

This is an area I am quite familiar with having spent time 'in the trenches' dealing with these problems, and having spent time developing ways to help mitigate them. So I was disappointed - I felt there is so much more on this subject, particularly how easily steps can me made to introduce ways and means of detecting performance deviations early on in the process. Big expensive tool-sets are not necessary to begin this process (or at all in my view).

REST-based Integration Architecture for a Financial Business Service Phillip Ghadir

This talk interested me as it was about moving from WS-* to REST and using the likes of ATOM/ATOMpub.

Must admit that brain fry had begun to set by now and I didn't take it all in. But was interesting to hear Phillip's view on - use REST at the interface boundary but don't try and use it internally as the latency cascade will bite you.

Unfortunately I missed the evening Key Note - but no doubt it will be available online soon.

No comments: