JAOO 2007, Day 1

The JAOO 2007 conference days started and the first key note was held by Robert C. Martin about the craft and profession of developing software. He emphasis that software developers have commit themselves to the ethics of avoiding bad code. Complete agreement with that but I think the reality is that most developers produce absolutely bad code and there is no awareness of ethics as is for most people their whole life.
The first interesting talk was given by Charles Simonyi who presents the first real world application of his Intentional Software Workbench. This was the first time I’ve seen a workable peace of his pet project and I’ve to say I by it. You can build a DSL including the domain specific notation, in this case a Excel-like interface, and let generate the supporting code. Looks promising.
The next talk was given by Klaus Marquardt who is project manager by the medical device company Dräger where they build with agile practices a complete, clinical certified complex system. His final point was getting the right people into the project an emphasis a global view of the project for all developers and stackholders. Interestingly, they made the first retrospective 2 years after the project has finished…
After this, Lex Spoon gives a talk about Scala and he demonstrated in a very short example how Scala manage it to combine functional and object oriented features. Scala is really the first language which is capable to implement new language and type class features purly with libraries. Because it is based on Java, there is no problem to use it in real projects.
Gilad Bracha presented a way how to build a executable grammer with the help of Smalltalk and allthough this was a bit esoteric, the reason why this can be interesting is, that you can extend the grammar with the power of Smalltalk (via inheritance and mixins) without the need to rebuild the parser/lexer combination. There is a parser combinator in Scala, Sparsec, so I will take an additional look at it.
The last talk was from Andreas Zeller talked about Beautiful Debugging, the same topic as he has written in the book Beautiful Code. Interestingly is his current reasearch which shows that neither experience nor language features or unit tests can effectively prevent bugs.
The end key note was Charles Simoniy’s presentation of his flight to the IIS and this was really fascinating. I think every one in the room envies him for this!
Converence Party was not so much a party this year, somehow it was not much energy left, so I decided to leave early and write to the blog (at least we met Roy Osherove, ISerialize, who was disappointed because of the evening program …)

Conference registrationRobert C. Martin demonstrating somethingIntentional SoftwareIntentional SoftwareStandards for medical devicesScalaParser combinators in SmalltalkBeautiful ThinkingEvening meal

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