Monday, August 1, 2011

NFJS Experience - What I gained from it (Part I)

I had the opportunity to be at NFJS from Jul 22-24 sponsored by Griffin Solutions Group. It was my first experience and an experience that is difficult to describe in words. There were so many great sessions, so much to learn from a myriad of speakers covering different technologies.

I aim to cover the technologies that I learnt about in more detail in future blogs. Here I will cover a few main points that spoke to me / I learnt / I noticed :

a. I noticed a lot of momentum being gained in JVM languages. There were a lot of sessions covering Groovy, Scala, Clojure and related technologies around these languages. For example: Spock, Geb (pronounced Jeb) for better unit and functional testing using Groovy.

It's exciting. I just hope that more companies adopt these technologies or at least use them in addition to Java being their primary language (doesn't have to be that way though ;-)).

b. A couple of sessions had great ideas about how to be a better programmer. Specifically the session "Hacking Your Brain for Fun and Profit" from Nathaniel Schutta blew my mind. It had a lot of useful information on how to be more productive. If you happen to be at a conference where Nathaniel is presenting the talk, please do not miss it!

c. Related to JVM based languages again: In general I feel we are evolving towards higher level languages. Java was a breath of fresh air as compared to C++. No more managing memory allocation. That in itself was worthy of gold for me :-). Now, it's time to move away from handcuffs that Java puts around us and start concentrating more on business level logic. Groovy, Scala provide a lot of freedom from writing boiler plate stuff in addition to providing powerful features like "Closures", Meta-Programming (more on them in a later post).

Personally, I gained a lot from conversing with fellow attendees and the speakers. I would highly recommend NFJS to any programmer who cares about his trade. It will reinvigorate you to learn new technologies that in turn will help you solve problems more efficiently!

In a later post, I would share a couple of things I am trying that I learnt from the conference, that are making a difference in my life!

Were you at NFJS or any other tech conference? What did you learn? What spoke to you personally? Have a different opinion than mine? Please share. I would love to hear from you!

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