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May 23, 2013

Gr8Conf 2013 Europe Conference Report: University Day

The day started out cloudly and with a lot of rain. Fortunately the rain stopped during the day and for the next few days it should stay dry. This makes the walks to and from the hotel more comfortable. After registration there was some sweet pastry and drinks. For me the day started with presenting Getting Groovy, a beginner workshop for working with Groovy. It was nice to see people get there first contact with Groovy through Gradle and Spock on their Java projects. The presentation and notes are available online.

After a good lunch I went to the GPars workshop presented by Rusell Winder and Václav Pech. This is a topic I wanted to get my hands on for a longer time and this time I really could. Russel and Václav covered threads, agents, fork/join, parallel collections, data flow and actors. All backed by exercises we could do to use GPars for real. This was really good and also why I enjoy the conference, because you can use this time to really play around with gr8 technologies. The session was packed with information, hands-on exercises and really fun to follow.

And this was my lucky day, because the next workshop was about Unleashing the power of AST transformations. Another topic I really want to work with, but didn't have the time yet to get started. The workshop was presented by Andres Almiray and Cédric Champeau. Andres started out by an introduction to AST and his personal experience when he started to write his first transformations. Although it might look a bit intimidating writing AST transformation is something to start doing and then you probably won't stop. After the introduction it was time to open IntelliJ IDEA and work on the exercises and start writing AST transformations for real. This was great and really inspired me to start using this on my own projects. Cédric and Andres also gave some very useful tips for developing and testing transformations.

Directly after the last session it was time for pizza and soda. These were arranged by Canoo as part of Hackergarten on tour. During Hackergarten we should have fun, learn and work on some open source projects. Anders made a list of suggestions of things to work on and then the crowd was divided in small teams to work on tasks. The goal of Hackergarten is also to choose tasks that can be handled in a 2-3 hour time period, so at the end of the session code can be really committed back to the open source project. The good thing about Gr8Conf is that almost all project leads of those project are here, so changes can be done directly. I worked with Dierk Köning on fixing and cleaning up some of the tests and code of Open Dolphin. This was really fun to do and he also gave me some useful tips on using IntelliJ IDEA and vice versa. We were able to push fixes into the repository and at the end of the evening we achieved a 100% statement coverage again.

So this day was packed with a lot of information and was really fun. I am ready for the next day.