Showing posts from 2014

This Blog Has Moved!

Right, so yes, five years ago I moved to github pages, and never bothered to redirect any of these pages there. Now I've moved on from there, and... Finally I am using my real domain, . My blog is now at .  See you there!

New Blog Post: New Year, New Adventures

New Blog Post: New Year, New Adventures

Learning to throw things away

New Blog Post: Learning to throw things away (Remember, my new blog is at , and I don't always remember to post things on this old one)

Staying Ahead Of The Curve

New Blog Post: Staying Ahead Of The Curve

AngularJS, HTML5, Groovy, Java And MongoDB All Together - What Could Possibly Go Wrong??

New Blog Post: AngularJS, HTML5, Groovy, Java And MongoDB All Together - What Could Possibly Go Wrong??

Using Groovy to import XML data into MongoDB

New Blog Post: Using Groovy to import XML data into  MongoDB

Getting Started with MongoDB and Java

New Blog Post: Getting Started with MongoDB and Java

Update on the Blog Migration

I see from the blogger analytics that I still have a LOT of people finding my new posts via this blog. It's fantastic that I have such a loyal following (I love you guys!!), but it might make your life easier if you switch to the new site.  Probably many of you are using an RSS reader, in which case if you add the new site's URL your reader, you'll get the blog content straight away instead of a link to my new site (which is what you're getting via the blogger site). The link is: Using github pages is still an ongoing experiment, but since it doesn't look like I'll be moving back to blogger in the very near future, this might "enhance your reading pleasure".  As they say. If you have any problems, or moral objections to using the new blog site, please let me know either in the comments, or over Twitter , or in the million other social networks you can grab me on. Thanks for reading, you are awesome!

Upcoming Events

Updated blog: Have added a page showing my upcoming events

What Could Possibly Go Wrong? (GOTO Chicago)

New Blog Post: Video of the "HTML5, Angular.js, Groovy, #Java , #MongoDB ” talk from GOTO Chiacgo

...but most of all, it's fun

New Blog Post: Being a cyclist IS a lot like being a woman.  But… 

Readable, Succinct, Or Just Plain Short?

New Blog Post: Readable, Succinct, Or Just Plain Short?

The Handover

New Blog Post: The Handover

Nighthacking At Sevilla Java User Group

New Blog Post: Nighthacking At Sevilla Java User Group

What Do You Mean, Backwards Compatibility? (YOW 2013)

New Blog Post: What Do You Mean, Backwards Compatibility? (YOW 2013)

Career Advice for Programmers

New Blog Post: Career Advice for Programmers

Upcoming Events 2014

New Blog Post: Upcoming Events 2014

Interviewed By Charles Humble For InfoQ

New Blog Post: ""

Moving from Blogger to Hugo?

Experimenting with a new blog platform.   And this is why .

Sevilla MongoDB March User Group and... an experiment

So... I've been using blogger for a few years now.  I like it because it's really easy just to start typing and get a blog out there, and because it provides simple analytics and easy integration into Google+ (OK, so I never use Google+, but hey, I'm trying to via blogger). But there are a number of things blogger is not so great at, so I'm trying out a new platform at the moment, which I may or may not stick to.  More to come on that when I've got more to report I guess. But for those who read my blog via blogger (or the RSS feed associated with it), I wanted you to know that my latest blog post is over here .  This particular experiment will help me figure out how many people read my stuff directly from here, and how many find it through other channels. Hopefully more to come on the experiment, when I've got something to report.

QCon London 2014

Wow. My 4th QCon London.  That’s not bad.  And every time, it’s a different experience (if you must, see my blogs for  2013 ,  2012 , and even 2007 ( part 1 & part 2 - how cute was I? "agile seems like a jolly good idea; automated testing appears to be important")). I can’t even tell you what I did on the first day, I was mostly panicking about my presentation - I was inspired after my trip to New York last month to change my talk at the last (responsible?) minute and do a live coding session, something much more technical than my recent talks.  I’ll leave the details for a separate blog post though, when the video comes out. The thing that stands out for me from Wednesday though was Damian Conway programming Conway's Game of Life in Klingon.  Yeah.  Just find the video and watch it, the man is a genius. The Thursday keynote was inspiring too from a totally different point of view - Tim Lister of Peopleware fame shared stories from his career, and I

Sparking innovation in an established company

I’ve been running into BSkyB a bunch this week - firstly I was invited to kick off their innovation tech talks series last Monday, then I kept meeting Sky people (that makes it sound like they’re aliens) at QCon . It seems Sky is keen to create/foster a culture of innovation, which is an ambitious goal for such a large company.  So I was given a very vague brief for Monday’s presentation (“Can you do something Mongo-ish, maybe a bit of performance and concurrency stuff, and talk about overall best practice?”) I gave them an early view of a presentation I’m working on titled something like “Why do we keep reinventing the wheel?” (anyone who saw me at JFokus might realise that I cunningly swapped out most of the body of the “What do you mean, backwards compatibility?” talk and tried out this topic instead). Picture courtesy of  +Russell Miles   This was supposed to be a 20 minute intro talk (OK, so I clocked it at 40 minutes in rehearsal) with the rest of the time devoted

The Joy of Coding

Dick Wall - The Tao, of the Joy, of Coding I’m on a plane (there’s a surprise) on my way back from The Joy of Coding .  It’s the title that attracted me to this conference, and it was a great little one day event with awesome people like Dan North, Erik Meijer and Dick Wall presenting.  What I liked about the themes is they were broadly technology agnostic, pulling back to a level which made me remember why I’m a developer.  It inspired me to do more research and more thinking, and less panicking and trying to write code.  That might seem odd, as someone who goes to as many conferences as I do should get loads more research and thinking time than most developers living under the whip, but I seem to spend so much time bouncing from thing to thing I don’t get space to just sit and think, or to read things in any depth. The conference organisers made it easy to focus on the bigger things - the venue was great, with a nice space for mingling with people but nooks and corners for

In my day...

Web development has changed a lot . I was aware that there have been many changes in the last few years, and I’ve seen maturity come to web platforms in the form of standardisation and common reusable libraries and frameworks - and I don’t mean reusable in the way we used to “reuse” stuff by nicking it off other people’s websites when we saw something cool. I used to be a web developer.  Sort of.  Some times I’ve been on the bleeding edge, and others… I remember using JavaScript to call back-end services with an XML payload before people were using the term AJAX, but I also remember working on an enterprise um… “classic”… JSP application only “recently” - in fact that was probably the last job where I did anything that looked like web development. So this blog post is going to chart the progress of web development through my own experience.  Of course, this doesn’t by any means cover the whole spectrum, but I think my experience has been not unusual for a Java progra

Should you notice I'm a woman? Should I care?

So, following on from my observations of being an outsider at FOSDEM because I'm not an open source developer, I do have another story to tell where my female-ness is actually relevant. I'm going to give specifics, but it's not to name and shame or anything like that, it's just that anonymising it will probably erase some of the subtleties.  But I'm not telling this to make anyone feel bad, because this is not an oh-poor-me story, this is just the way it goes sometimes and I want to share what it feels like. At JFokus (a conference I really enjoyed, where I got a chance to spend time with some awesome people) I was on a panel (well, game-show really) about static vs dynamic languages.  Not unusually, I was the only woman on the panel.  Also not unusually, one of the reasons I agreed to take part is to do my bit in demonstrating that women have technical knowledge too (in my opinion, it's important where possible to avoid a stage full of white men of a

Feel like an outsider?

So, FOSDEM. I've heard great things about this conference, so I was pretty exited to go The Java dev room Now I know people talk about impostor syndrome whenever they mention the woeful lack of diversity at tech conferences.  Interestingly, I felt like an impostor at FOSDEM - not because I'm a woman (there were quite a few techy women around at FOSDEM, more than I expected) but because I'm not an open source person. I mean, I am, technically - MongoDB and the Java driver are both open source, and I have real live code on github.  But I didn't get there via the open source community, I was hired to do a specific job that happens to be open source (for which I am extremely grateful).  So although I knew the MongoDB folks I was there with and a lot of people who were running or speaking in the Java room, I didn't feel really at home in this conference.  I think I feel more comfortable with the ones aimed at enterprise Java developers (by which I mean

Sevilla MUG, first event

Last night was the inaugural meeting of the Sevilla MongoDN User Group.  An event organised with just over 48 hours notice, in a city where I don't speak the language and where even my best-connected contacts aren't sure they're fully plugged in to the tech scene. I'll admit, I had some reservations: a lightning talk? Will people come all that way for beer and 15 minutes of presentation? in English? Whilst I'm desperately learning Spanish to get closer to presenting in Spanish, at this point I'm just not ready and have to hope people want to listen to me ramble in a foreign language a MUG? Are people interested in joining a group that's solely focussed on one technology, a technology that might not have adoption here or even interest? two days notice?  Are you kidding?  I know people here like to figure out their plans at the last minute, but surely this is shooting ourselves in the foot before we even start. And then last night...  The peop

Introduction to MongoDB and Big Data

I wrote an article for the latest edition of Java Magazine which is an introduction to MongoDB for Java developers, and a nod to why it's good in the "Big Data" space. Look inside > MongoDB and Big Data

Why is it News when a woman becomes CEO?

I'm pleased to see that GM has hired the "best person for the job" as their new CEO  - that does seem like a good idea.  I'm happy her gender did not get in the way.  What makes me uncomfortable is the international news coverage of the decision of this large manufacturer to hire a woman as their CEO - if she were a man (and/or black/gay/disabled) would the headline read "The camera loves her. So do employees."? But at the root of that is probably the thing I'm most unhappy about.  What I'm not happy about is that it is 2014, halfway through the second decade of the 21st century, and she's the first woman CEO of a car manufacturer. I worked at Ford Motor Company as an undergraduate and, later, a graduate.  I basically did my apprenticeship there. I know that over fifteen years ago they were hiring graduates from different disciplines (men and women), they had a women-in-leadership programme (or probably several, as I was only involved in the

Goodbye 2013, you were good to me...

Well, if I thought 2012 was the fastest disappearing year on record , that record was smashed into the ground by 2013.  What a year!  And because I didn't manage to write this on time to publish elsewhere, I can do a more personal reflection of the year here on my very own blog. Apparently, reading over last year's article, I had goals for 2013: Get more involved in schools/mentoring. Yeah... That didn't happen. I don't think I even made a single Meet a Mentor event this year, which is an excellent, really lightweight way of mentoring in London, and I'm sorry I was unable to participate. Contribute to a major release of the MongoDB Java Driver. Well, I contributed... but it's still not ready for release yet. Give a keynote at an international conference. Nope, didn't manage this either! But I did keynote at the LJC Open Conference again. ...and more of the same from this year : presentations, user groups, blogging, workshops. Well, this I did manage.

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