Brighton Java – Continuous Deployment

I had a break this month as Mr. Stanier hosted the meeting


Last Wednesday we had Brighton Java’s March event. It was another good turn-out, with about 35 people turning up to hear Jose Baena talk about his experience of continuous delivery.

Hearing about other people’s experiences with introducing a technology is incredibly valuable. The talk was followed by a discussion, chaired by James Stanier. We’ve not often used this format but it drew out some interesting discussion points.

Jose’s presentation was great (especially the hypnotic footage of an apple-slicing machine), with some useful suggestions on how to get Maven, Nexus, Ansible and Jenkins working together – with Jenkins acting as the driving force. There was also a detailed explanation of the importance of versioning.

The discussion underlined something I’ve been thinking about for a while – that things like continuous delivery need to be put in place early on, that these sort of infrastructural things are hard to retrofit. But that’s a story for another post.

Dan Chalmers has also posted a response to the meet-up: Continuous Deployment and Developers on-call. Dan does a good job of explaining the issues around making developers responsible for their code. I still think this is important but making it work in practise is a subtle, difficult problem.


Brighton Java – Agile Testing and Spring


We had a packed session at Brighton Java last Wednesday, with Kim Knup from Crunch starting by discussing Agile Testing. The testing community is absolutely incredible and they’ve done so much to define their role within software development, moving it away from the unsophisticated idea of simply catching bugs.

The second talk was Luke Whiting on Micro services, micro effort. The slides and source code are now online.  I’m looking forward to playing with the tools that Brandwatch have been working with in this area.

The next Brighton Java meeting is on March 4th, with speakers to be announced nearer the time.  I don’t know who it is yet, as I’m not organising this one. I’m looking forward to being able to relax a little more on the night.


2015 – Brighton Java

Weblogs are generally quietest when there are a lot of things going on in the writer’s life. I have notes on several posts but haven’t finished any yet. I’ve been researching a lot of topics such as RabbitMQ and Docker, thinking about microservices and handed in my notice at Crunch. There’s certainly a lot to talk about.

I also need to write up some notes on my talk at Brighton Java in January. For various reasons (some of them out of my control) the talk was less successful than I’d hoped, but I think there were some useful points in there.

The February Brighton Java event is on the 4th, and there are only a few spots left. Kim Knup is talking about Agile Testing and Luke Whiting is returning to talk about developing services in Spring. I also need to find speakers for the March event.


Speaking at Brighton Java on January 7th

I’m speaking at the next Brighton Java event on January 7th about ‘microservices for monoliths’. I’ve not started writing the talk yet but, as it’s three weeks away, I need to get started soon.

I work on a monolithic piece of software. Moving to a microservice architecture is some way off but, even now, there are incredibly useful insights and techniques from the microservice world. The methods needed to support hundreds of different servers have spin-offs that can help when you have just one. I also hope to look at how treating your software as a monolith is a dangerous abstraction, as well as giving quick demonstrations of Wiremock and Hystrix.

Also speaking is my colleague Danielle Ashley, expanding a talk she gave as a lightning session at the LJC Openconf about learning Scala: “What happens when you start your first exploration of Scala by picking one of the most unlikely, unsuitable applications for a language of that type – real-time number crunching – and still end up with kind-of-usable functional code?”

Brandwatch are providing pizza and beer. We kick off at 7pm at the Skiff. Sign up if you’d like to join us.


Brighton Java: 2014 to 2015

Brighton Java has settled into its traditional Christmas break. And it’s great that we’re established enough to have a tradition! When we started in 2012 it was difficult to get going but this year things have taken off. We have 260 people in the group and our last session was full with very little promotion.

A lot of this is due to the sponsorship we’ve had. The Skiff provide us with a great venue, and we’ve had a great deal of support from Brandwatch – the promise of pizza and drinks definitely draws people in. I’ve also had some help from James Stanier and Luke Whiting with organisation and planning.

It’s now time to start planing the 2015 events. Next year I’d like to try to have an event every month. We had hoped to have a Hack Day as part of the Brighton Science Festival. That wasn’t possible, but I hope we can arrange something similar later in the year. I’m also hoping to bring in more students from the universities, as well as some academic speakers. I’d also like to see some smaller, more technical workshop events.

This is an exciting time for Java, and the claims that it was dying or “21st century COBOL” are quietening down, replaced by excitement over new JVM languages, microservices and the possibility of finally getting some long-promised features in Java 9. I’m very excited about the talks and events to come from Brighton Java in 2015.

So, thank you to the Skiff, Brandwatch, everyone who came to the talks and of course to all to the speakers, who for 2014 were:

I’ve enjoyed the sessions, and am grateful to all the speakers – I think we’ve provided a varied and up-to-date range of talks. If you’d like to be involved in 2015, please get in touch.

The next session will be on Wednesday February 4th 2015, at the Skiff. Details and signup will be via the meetup group Wednesday January 7th 2015. I will be speaking about applying microservice techniques to monoliths and my colleague Danielle Ashley will discuss an inappropriate Scala project.

(PS – I’ve set up a Linked-In group for people who like that sort of thing)