At the java user group meetup

My housemate recently RSVP’d to an invite to attend a PinoyJUG meetup held last Tuesday over at the Techbar in the G2iX office at the Orient Square Building. Despite not being a java developer, I tagged along to accompany my housemate. We rationalized my attending with excuses like it’s free anyway, I only had 1 small slice of pizza and half a cup of coke anyway, aren’t we all Java users, etc. It was also a nice opportunity to check out another company’s office. Theirs was also an open-plan office but it looked slightly more cramped than ours. On the upside, they have got that nice function room which extends to their kitchen / pantry area.

Anyway, there were three topics discussed that night. The first was sort of an introduction to the Google App Engine (GAE) by Melvin Vivas. The second was on Maven by Deng Ching. Among the speakers that night, she seemed to be the least assertive or confident but I’m just basing this on how shaky her voice was. Later on, I was surprised to find out and impressed that she has co-authored a book on her topic of expertise. Last speaker of the night with 3 years of experience (i think) under his belt was Franz See who discussed on automated testing (slides: here).

Despite the meetup dragging on upto past 11PM, the overall experience was rather interesting. Of course, it was inevitable that some stuff were Greek to me but I was glad that my ignorance didn’t stick out like a sore thumb. And thankfully, the talks were introductory. So for the bits that I could understand, it wasn’t half bad. Plus I picked up a new term — “sausage” — for code that works as expected / looks good outside but is all messy inside. A few things that struck a chord with me that night (not necessarily discussed in the talks):

  • importance of company culture for fostering learning and trying out stuff such as TDD
  • greater number of years of experience != mastery or expertise
  • the need to look at where we are now and where we are going

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