środa, 31 maja 2017

GeeCon part two

A little late (almost two weeks!) but finally completed. Second day of GeeCon (https://www.geecon.org/). How was it? Continue reading to find out.

Improving Java EE with reactive - Ondrej Mihalyi

The presenter started with an outlook of what "reactive" in terms of a web application really means. The idea he focused on was that in order to improve the latency, execution of a request should not block - never, even on I/O. Also, in order to utilise the resources (CPU) as efficiently as possible, there should be ideally as many threads running as there are cores in the system. In a typical, J2EE based application, there goals are impossible to achieve, as each request is served completely by a separate thread which blocks if there is eg a dependent service or a DB call. There are however libraries that can help to make such application more "reactive". In his demo application ("cargo"), Ondrej showed how to use built-in Java 8 CompletableFuture or external RxJava (https://github.com/ReactiveX/RxJava) observables in order to avoid blocking the execution thread. He also mentioned (although he was short on time) that the UI part should be improved as well by using technologies like WebSockets or CDI events.
Whole presentation was quite good content-wise. It was nice to learn how a performance can be improved in an existing application by refactoring it to use some "reactive" stuff. The presenter could improve a bit on a technical side. Keeping an eye on the clock and minimising "live coding" favouring ready, refactored examples would make whole presentation better from reception point of view.

Reactive Spring - Josh Long 

START. DOT SPRING. DOT IO. I could write that this was the second "reactive" presentation, taking on the topic from new Spring library perspective. But no, this was not an ordinary presentation. This was a show. A Josh show. The topic itseflf is very interesting and the Spring implementations are interesting (and impressive) as well. Reactive versions of repositories (Mongo DB implementation here), Reactive Streams (Subscriber, Publisher, Processor) and Reactor (Flux, Mono) concepts, Web Sockets or Server Sent Events for publishing. They even have (in the upcoming release) a reactive, non-blocking security! I had however a strong impression that Josh would be able to make an interesting and involving presentation on any topic... even PHP ;-) Besides strong interest in the Spring reactive what took out of the presentation is - START. DOT SPRING. DOT IO! :-D

Microservices - stages of maturity - Jarosław Pałka / Jakub Marchwicki

The multi-threaded presentation run on two cores in parallel ;-) It was a mixed one - a bit about the main topic (microservices), a bit about a working in a tech organisation. The microservices-oriented part dealt a bit with such principles as being event-driven (publish, publish, publish!) and asynchronous, even in terms of application logging. Also, the Customer Driven Contracts for better APIs were mentioned. The message from the presenters here was that many of the microservices world ideas can be applied to the world of monoliths. The organisation-oriented part was, from my point of view, much more interesting. Jarek and Jakub said many things that may seem obvious, but need to be stated aloud from time to time, just to remind everyone about them. Amon others, the words of wisdom I remembered from the presentation were:
- legacy products - usually nobody to work with these, but usually these are the ones that bring MONEY!
- 3rd Newtonian law of management - if you push people, they will push back even harder
- ignoring the infrastructure is a wide road to failure
- developers should be assigned responsibilities, not roles
- during development focus should be on building a resilient system, not a perfect one
- in general, it's better to fix what's failing than on blaming others (famous "witch hunt")
- never ever do any manual changes on production - if you need to, your product is crap ;-)
Overall, I liked the presentation, especially that my work experience results in similar conclusions as voiced by Jarek and Jakub.

Consumer-Driven Contracts to enable API evolution - Marcin Grzejszczak

Consumer-Driven Contracts is the pattern to enable service evolution, as described by Martin Fowler (https://martinfowler.com/articles/consumerDrivenContracts.html). In his presentation Marcin focused on how CDC can be enabled for a web application using Spring project called Spring Cloud Contract (http://cloud.spring.io/spring-cloud-contract/spring-cloud-contract.html). The idea behind is quite simple - allow writing Contract on an API using a statically typed Groovy DSL, that can be later on automagically converted into stubs used for (client) intergration testing (in a most hyped microservices architecture ;) ). As an added bonus, the same tool will generate (server) acceptance tests out of the same Contracts.
To make long story short - easier decoupling of services for testing and less boilerplate code provided by one nice tool. I like that! :-)

To sum up - this year's edition of GeeCon was both entertaining and educational. I learned few new things, I met some friends from good old days, I ate some cookies. One of the most important aspects for me was an opportunity to see how different things are done in different companies. Having a broader overview is never a bad thing!

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