Dev of the Week: Dustin Marx
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Every week here and in our newsletter, we feature a new developer/blogger from the DZone community to catch up and find out what he or she is working on now and what's coming next. This week we're talking to Dustin Marx, software developer, writer, and presenter. Some of his most recent DZone posts include:
- Compiling and Running Java Without an IDE
- Contributions of Individual Programming Languages to Software Development
- Abstract Class Versus Interface in the JDK 8 Era
1. What have you been working on lately?
2. You've written a few articles about Java 8 recently. Are there any new additions that stand out to you? What are you most excited about?
There are many nice new additions to Java with Java 8, but some of the new features that stand out to me most are the new Date/Time API and the ability to provide default and static method implementations on interfaces. I think that lambda expressions and streams are going to fundamentally change the Java code we write, read, and maintain.
3. Are there any particular developer tools or resources you couldn't live without?
I really like Groovy for performing a wide variety of tasks in my Java development environment and use it almost daily even though I don't write production code in it. The Java IDEs have become indispensable to me, particularly NetBeans and IntelliJ IDEA. I also use the command-line JDK tools and JVisualVM frequently.
4. Do you have a favorite open source project (or projects) that you've contributed to recently?
I've never committed code to an open source project, but do try to contribute via DR writing, blog posts and articles, purchasing of books by significant open source contributors, and general evangelizing of my favorite open source projects. Besides Groovy and the open source IDEs I mentioned already, other open source products that I have used heavily include GlassFish, Spring Framework, Tomcat, and, of course, OpenJDK.
5. Do you follow any blogs or Twitter feeds that you would recommend to developers?
Although I do passively follow some Twitter feeds and have my own Twitter account (@DustinMarx), I only access Twitter on an occasional basis. I spend a few minutes each day browsing the headlines of DZone/JavaLobby, Java.net, Java Code Geeks, JavaWorld and the Java subreddit. I pick a few articles whose headlines stand out and read those and sometimes read other articles of similar interest that these link to.
6. Did you have a coding first love -- a particular program, gadget, game, or language that set you on the path to life as a developer?
I typed in BASIC code from code listings that came in magazines to my house when I was in Junior High before the Internet was around and I would change the scoring mechanisms and other constructs in the the BASIC games to allow me to easily beat my younger brothers when playing those games against them. I was hooked on programming at an early age. My first real application was a Pascal-based sports card inventory application that was significant to me because its menu responded to use of the up and down arrows using some PC/Windows APIs (the mouse was just around the corner at that time, but not yet available).
7. Is there anything else you'd like to mention?
It is amazing how much easier it is to be a software developer today than when I first started tinkering with code. When I first started, information had to be learned first-hand, through printed books or magazines, or from discussing an issue with others who were in the general vicinity. Today's programming-oriented social media sites such as DZone and StackOverflow have made information on just about any diverse topic readily available from a worldwide pool of talented and experienced developers. I greatly appreciate the software development community and our willingness to share information with each other via forums, blogs, Tweets, articles, and other freely accessible online venues. I appreciate DZone bringing a wide variety of relevant articles to my attention as well as some articles that may not be particularly relevant to what I'm working on currently, but are interesting and broaden my perspective.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.