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J-Spring 2018 Impressions

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J-Spring 2018 Impressions

One developer shares with us his thoughts on the recent J-Spring 2018 conference in the Netherlands, including his views on the most impressive talks.

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On Thursday, the 31st of May, I went to the J-Spring conference in Utrecht, Netherlands. J-Spring, organized by the NLJUG (Dutch Java User Group), is the largest one-day Java conference in the spring. The title of the event may be a bit misleading, as you may think that it is only about Pivotal's Spring, but it is more than that. In this post, I want to share my experiences from that day.


First of all, why should you attend a conference? This is a common question, since you can read articles at home, view many conference talks on YouTube, and read books and articles on the subjects that most strike your interest. So, why bother going to a conference? One way to look at is is listening to music at home versus going to a concert. One important aspect to learning is the atmosphere. You can see and experience famous speakers live, which is very different from watching them on YouTube. During a conference, you grow more and more enthusiastic about all the great things you are hearing. Besides that, you will absorb interesting information that you might not have found on your favorite tech websites. Besides, information doesn't come solely from prominent Java speakers. You spend your day with like-minded people and colleagues, who also have their own experiences and information to share.

That being said, J-Spring was a fun event. There were nearly 600 attendees and 18 speakers all located at the beautiful heart of Utrecht (TivoliVredenburg). I chose the talks I wanted to go to beforehand and, with the Event App, I was able to put my program together. Also, via this Event App, you could rate each of the talks. There were two keynote speakers and, aside from the keynotes, there were five parallel sessions of each of the three talks to choose from. Compared to the bigger conferences, it makes it easier to decide to which session you want to go to.

Here were the three talks that impressed me the most:

  1. Fostering an Evolving Architecture in the Agile World, by Roy van Rijn — this was a talk about the Harbour Master application of the Port of Rotterdam, which transformed from a legacy monolith application to a microservices architecture. An especially valuable aspect of this talk was that the transformation was a success story storie, which you don't hear about much at conferences, nor do you typically read them on the internet. One of the reasons that they made this transformation was the ability to attract and keep good developers on the team. If you have a legacy application, which is built with old technologies, it will be harder to attract and keep good developers. The transformation to microservices made it easier to upgrade a single service or even replace one without having to impact the whole monolith. Therefore, it made it easier to modernize the application. This means that your company's recruiter has now become a stakeholder of your legacy application. These are all important things to think about.
  2. The Diabolical Developer's Guide to Performance Tuning, by Martijn Verburg — this was definitely one of the most interesting talks about the Performance Diagnostic Model. This model provides the strategies to quickly identify where a performance problem is situated (in the hardware, JVM, OS, application or external factors). I found this very interesting because it can save you days of effort when analyzing performance issues.
  3. Making Microservices Micro with Istio and Kubernetes, by Ray Tsang — at this talk, the concept of the Service Mesh Istio was introduced. A Service Mesh allows you to manage load balancing, authentication, monitoring, circuit breakers, and so on, in your Kubernetes cluster without having to enable these in your microservice code. Therefore, this keeps your microservice "micro." This concept is similar to the deployments to your Kubernetes cluster. But, then, for the topics mentioned above, one step further in simplifying this in a Kubernetes cluster. I think this looks very promising!

Overall, I enjoyed attending J-Spring.  I received a lot of information and homework!

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Topics:
java ,spring ,conference ,microservices ,performance ,talks

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