The official Java EE 7 Hands-on-Lab is an excellent learning resource. It was initiated by my former colleague Arun Gupta (now at Red Hat). The lab starts with some skeleton code (that's mostly Java EE 5 and Java EE 6) and through a series of well-written step-by-step instructions adds a select set of Java EE 7 features to create a fairly cohesive sample web application. The instructions do a reasonable job of explaining the context and motivation for the features being added. Although it touches upon a tiny subset of what was added in Java EE 7, in my experience the lab takes about six to eight hours to complete. In the end attendees get a real sense of how developing with Java EE and Java EE 7 actually feels like and learn a few Java EE 7 features.
I just finished successfully delivering the lab once again at DevNexus 2015 (trip report coming soon). In preparation for DevNexus and beyond I made a few updates/changes:
- I tried to make the lab entirely self-directed and self-paced for attendees by removing as many possible stumbling blocks (however minor) as possible. My goal was to make the lab as easy to go through and as standalone as possible.
- I updated the lab to use GlassFish 4.1 and NetBeans 8.0.2. This resulted in a small number of minor code changes.
- I polished up the code to make it as realistic as possible within the scope of a simple lab.
The first bullet point above is what I would really like to bring your attention to. Every time I have run this lab I've tried to execute it such that it requires bare minimum or no involvement from me and in fact I believe I've succeeded in doing just that. The reason this really matters is that I think this lab material has much greater potential than just something else our team does at conferences. I believe that the lab is now in a state such that anyone can go through the lab entirely on their own, by just using the public HOL page linked. More importantly I think it is possible with very little effort for someone to lead the lab in their user group or company. I highly encourage you to do so if you have an interest in supporting the Java EE community. If needed, our team could provide any help that you may need (such as being present virtually or working with you one-on-one to get you prepared). I've supplied all the resources that you should need on the public HOL page.
Do drop me a note if you have any feedback on this, if there's anything that I can improve with the lab or if you need any help.