Sunday, February 8, 2015

On JFokus 2015

Last week I was at JFokus, after I won tickets at a JUG event hosted at my job last year. The conference offered a pretty interesting cross-section of hot topics in Java right now.

Functional programming is absolutely incandescent. It's probably a natural reaction to lambda functions being introduced in Java 8, as well as the ongoing difficulties with designing good metaphors for parallel computing. Although I must say I'm a bit disappointed in the framing. Having dabbled in functional programming for several years, I got what they were trying to say, but the message lacked motivation. As much as it's interesting to lift the how aspect of Monads, and other FP paradigms, I fear it's going to be lost on the crowd if the solution isn't framed with a problem it solves. Pointing to JS' callback hell is a pretty lackluster motivation. The C++-talk "Plain Threads are the GOTO of todays computing" is in my opinion a far better sales pitch for Monadic chaining of parallel code. But at any rate, it's great to see functional programming is starting to make it big outside of academia!

There was also a pretty large buzz about IoT, but I remain skeptical. It still seems like a solution looking for a problem. If the industry can actually agree to a standard, it could be great, but if DLNA / UPnP is even remotely indicative, it's going to work, but just poorly enough that you're going to be frustrated and disappointed whenever you use it.

I'm reminded of that Douglas Adams quote
We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works.
I should have taken pictures of the conference, but I didn't. Instead, here's a completely unrelated picture a frozen river I took when I went for a walk last Monday morning.

Not pictured: The Conference.

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