YOW recorded me, yet again, talking about the adventure that is the design of the new Java Driver for MongoDB. This is the same talk I gave at GeeCON and DevoxxUK, with some updates based on our Journey So Far. In it, I cover the architecture of the new driver and some of our current thoughts around where we want the API to go.
Since I have a tendency to bang on every now and again about how we, as developers, could do better in managing our careers (for example, by creating CVs that don't suck, and by staying ahead of the curve), Dave Thomas asked me to speak for a mere 50 minutes on the subject at GOTO Aarhus, a talk I wasn't enormously happy with as there was no way to cover a lifetime of hard-fought experience in such a short time. Dave seemed to like something in it though, as he gave me the opportunity to present the topic again at YOW last December, and this time I think I managed to distill the important points into the (still ridiculously short) time allotted.
Please give me any feedback you have.
I recognise there are many many more topics I could cover, so I'd better start making a list. Suggestions?
Yesterday I had the privilege of presenting the very first session for vJUG, a new virtual Java User Group that allows us to span geographies when sharing talks and stories. I'm really interested in the vJUG idea, especially now I'm not in London - if we can find good ways to share knowledge without having to travel, that will help us reach people who don't normally go to conferences or don't have a local user group to go to. Not to mention cutting travel costs and saving the environment.
InfoQ has posted the video of Dan North and I opining on the subject of hiring. Most of the talk is spent on how to be a good interviewer, and touches on how to market your company to prospective hires. We spend less time on how to do well as an interviewee, but in theory if you know what's going through the interviewer's mind, you should be in a much better position to take control of the interview and shine.
As well as talking about, you know, actual work-type-stuff, I was encouraged to give my "Technical Approach to Women" presentation at Devoxx. This went so well at JavaOne that I thought it would be difficult to top. Also, I wasn't convinced it would work at Devoxx, because the theatres are not well suited to audience participation - the seats are warm and comfy, the room is dark, the speaker is on stage in front of a massive screen....
If you see anything about LMAX - the Disruptor, Continuous Delivery, or even the selection criteria for hiring developers, you'll see that LMAX is pretty keen on Agile. However, no-one's documented the Agile process there, as far as I know. Although I personally had it on my todo list, I never had the motivation, the hook to do it. And I realised eventually that's because I'm not sure it's a process that would work very well for another team, in another company, working in another business.
Hot on the heels of my very first MongoDB webinar, I was... encouraged... to do another. Here at 10gen we've been running a series of webinars around using MongoDB in the financial services domain. Yesterday was the last in the series, and was presented in association with C24 - John Davies, their CTO, did most of the talking, and demonstrated their product for automatically turning financial messages from one format into another.
Update 14 Dec 2020: Sadly it looks like the video is no longer available, but the slides are
It was a fun webinar to do, actually - I didn't know anything about C24's iO tool, so I learnt quite a lot as I watched John navigate the demo. My background in trying to debug raw FIX messages probably skewed my questions, I was definitely more interested in how to use it as a developer and what it could give me if I were doing production support. It's a dead interesting tool - I know for a fact that many organisations, banks in particular, spend a lot of time translating stuff from one format to another, before making some decision on on what to do with the contents. This tool does all the heavy lifting so you can get on with the interesting stuff, the stuff your business actually needs you to do.
In addition, as someone with more of an FS background than a NoSQL background, I was very interested to hear how lots of the financial institutions are using MongoDB already - the combination of not having an enforced schema but supporting structured data, supported by fast execution, makes it a good fit for a lot of the problems they're trying to solve. Yes, it's my job to say nice things about MongoDB, but when businesses are already using it because it makes their lives easier and meets their needs, it gives you a warm fuzzy feeling that the product must be doing something right.
I enjoyed giving this webinar, I think if I do any more I will suggest pairing on it (we all know two heads are better than one, right?) - it gives you some of the feedback and energy that's hard to get in a darkened room talking to a microphone.
Yesterday dawned, with a sense of foreboding (actually it dawned with me coughing my lungs out, but we've heard enough about the sub-optimal state of my respiratory system this week). On this day, I was giving the talk I was dreading when I got asked to do it. It's the talk I actually put more work into than any of the other sessions I was presenting at this JavaOne. It was the Women In IT talk.
Here's a video of my Open Conference session on the business benefits of open sourcing your software. Given that the conference was at a weekend and had a very intimate feel, I think I was a teeny bit more honest than I usually am. Enjoy.
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