Hacking Day at the Java Posse Roundup 2012

When people first ask about the Java Posse Roundup, they see that we often ski during the afternoon break and sometimes ask if it’s a “real” conference. It absolutely is; this is one of the most engaging conferences that I have intended, with non-stop attendee togetherness from about 8 am til 11 pm most days.  When we do ski, we often ski in groups and the geek culture means that the discussions continue. If you follow along with this series of blogs (and later listen to the podcasts of recorded sessions), I think that you will agree that this is indeed a “serious” conference.

Day 0 is set aside for hacking. It’s a full day and has a different flavor from the Open Spaces discussions that we have on the other 4 days. During the hacking day, we concentrate on learning something new, most often in a group. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do this year, until I heard that James Ward was going to do a session on Play 2, the emerging web framework on the Java platform. We spent the morning with Play + Java + eBean, and finished by deploying to Heroku. We spent the afternoon with Play + Scala + Coffeescript, then meandered into Anorm and eventually Squeryl. The end result of our efforts is accessible here:

Java: https://github.com/JavaPosseRoundup/foobar

Scala: https://github.com/JavaPosseRoundup/day0playscala

Other teams worked on other projects and we finished off the day with 9 pm lightning talks to “show and tell”. A lot of work was accomplished, including:

  • a graph database solution to scheduling carpools
  • a quantum state machine in Groovy
  • a video player for conference talks, allowing the viewer to move the presenter video around on the screen.
  • a distraction-free Android editor
  • a DSL for describing Jenkins jobs

The source code for the Roundup is publicly available at https://github.com/JavaPosseRoundup.