The highlight reel

JAX London day one roundup


As well as the big-name keynotes, there were tens of other sessions going on during the first day of JAX London.

Away from the big-name keynotes at JAX London like
Brian Goetz
Doug Cutting
, there were tens of other sessions going on in the
six rooms at Park Plaza Victoria. Even between our three writers
Elliot Bentley, Chris Mayer and Anna Kent, we still only managed to
catch just a small number. Here’s our picks of the first day.

Ted Neward’s first talk of JAX London, introduced with an epic
movie-like soundtrack, was on node.js, the fashionable new
application for running server-side Java. Living dangerously,
Neward downloaded the latest version of node.js as he opened the
talk – but thankfully his live demos went off without a hitch. The
talk itself was mostly a crash course in JavaScript and its quirks,
as well as a quick tutorial in setting up a basic but function
node.js server. Although a rich ecosystem has already begun to
emerge around node.js, said Neward, it’s still nowhere near as
mature or reliable as existing alternatives.

John-Matthew Holt used his presentation to showcase the features of
Waratek Cloud VM for Java, which we
profiled on JAXenter last month
, and to announce the opening of

new offices based in London and New York
. (eb)

To start off Big Data Con, Tim Berglund provided an excellent
introduction to the scalable potential of Cassandra. From the
outset, Githubber Berglund explained that much of the head
scratching surrounding the key-value database had come from the
array of explanatory blog posts containing misinformation.

Berglund showed that Cassandra’s data model was, in fact, pretty
simple to grasp once you get going. Once the grounding was in
place, Acunu’s Tom Wilkie ramped it up a notch, showcasing some of
Acunu’s analytics products that were in use at black cab app Hailo
and at MixCloud. Those who came away from the two talks now had the
ideal introduction to the possibilities that Cassandra holds.

A talk called ‘Curing Agile Hangover with Craftsmanship’ saw Sandro
Mancuso and Mashooq Badar bouncing back and forth ideas and
solutions to many problems that they have come across. Starting
with a brief history of the company and how it has come to adopt
Agile in its daily working routine, they then ventured into the
problems which were created as a result of adopting Agile,
especially when it got to the testing stage.

One major problem they found was that teams working on the same
projects across the globe has resulted in a low morale. The lack of
communication has meant that the teams are often extremely
competitive, which means it then becomes less about their passion
for Agile, and more simply a sense of trying to outdo each

They noted that at times there was a lack of focus on quality, poor
ROI and low quality software. We need to adapt a new culture of
learning, said Badar – “writing code is not all that we
[developers] do”. (ak)

To round up the day of sessions, the London Java Community trio of
the Diabolical Developer Martijn Verburg, Richard Warburton and
James Gough deciphered some of the buzzwords and in our industry in
a humourous roleplay. Verburg, donning his obligatory shades and
beanie, played the role of a CTO of a trendy startup, but was
quickly found out as a bluffer. Fortunately, the straight-talking
Gough and Warburton were on hand to guide through financial,
technical and computer science jargon. (cm)



All Posts by ElliotBentleyChrisMayerandAnnaKent

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