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Iga Stepniak
JVM

Geecon 2017: Less hype, more diversity

Another year, another Geecon: of course I had to be there. For the fascinating JVM-related lectures, for networking, seeing familiar faces and taking a stroll around Kraków as an added bonus. Here are my highlights!

updated August 2017

I’ve been to a few Geecons in my life already, and I can safely say its quality as an event for devs is still solid. On the other hand, I think there were fewer completely new concepts, like microservices or the Big Data hype of a year or two years ago. But it’s not a bad thing – thanks to that, the whole event was more diverse. After all, the JVM world is diverse by nature. There were two presentations that stood out for me, and two runners-up.

The standout presentations

For me, Josh Long – the Spring Guru – is one of the best speakers our there. He truly is a man of exceptional technical skills and oratorical talents! His presentation on Reactive Spring has shown us how to build new types of web endpoints, functional reactive endpoints and how Spring 5 integrates an MVC-like component model so it is adapted to support reactive processing.

His presentation was also extremely funny and to-the-point. It inspired me both to buy his book “Cloud Native Java” as well as to visit (again!) his “favorite website” spring.io.com (actually it’s start.spring.io) ;-).

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Each lecture was 50 minutes long, and sometimes it feels like a challenge to fit a wide range of issues in that time limit and to actually attract viewers. But some speakers achieved that anyway, like Krzysztof Kudryński. In an exciting and very funny way, he described and showed work done on a drone’s API.

On many fantastic examples, he showed how he taught his drone to fly (and see almost like a human being) by using a neural network, and, at the same time, react much faster than humans do. The whole process was shown from the beginning: from the first line of code, through algorithmic struggles to the complete system. See it all here and here.

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Notable mentions

There were also presentations which were perhaps less up my professional alley, but they touched upon very interesting subjects.

Adam Dubiel from Allegro talked about the most popular HTTP clients. It turned out that many of the commonly used clients may make the application not work the way we want it to if they’re using their default configuration. It’s very important to set the right properties and options. This presentation proved it in a very clear and interesting way.

Another interesting one was Michael Plöd‘s speech on caching. It was a talk for developers and architects who are considering adopting a caching solution for their business application. Michael presented 15 caching patterns and best practices, explaining how caching works in specific applications and why. He mentioned that there are some questions that need to be asked before you choose a caching method, such as:

  • “What data can I cache?”,
  • “Which cache provider to choose?”
  • “How do I integrate a cache provider in my application?”.

Michael also showed a cross-section through the available caching implementations and promoted the view that we should never (ever!) use our own cache implementation. Why? There will always be people who sacrificed all their professional lives to that topic. They’d do this so much better than we ever would.

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In conclusion, these were 3 days well spent! We evaluated all lectures using the Geecon mobile application, drank beer provided by the organizers and talked about new trends in the JVM world. I returned as always, motivated to develop and apply the knowledge I acquired during Geecon in the applications I create at Espeo.

By the way, if you’d like to listen to the talks yourself – head over here, they’re all up on YouTube!

With our good friend and Geecon co-organizer Łukasz 🙂

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