Refactoring the Monolith (A CJUG Lightning Talk)

A few weeks ago I did a talk on refactoring monoliths for the Chicago Java Users Group. It was a short lightning talk about some of the alternatives that developers have when refactoring large monoliths. In the talk I went over how the problem came to be, and what some of the alternatives were and their pluses/minuses.

The slides to the talk can be found here:

Why did I do this talk?

This talk was mostly done due to my observation of the cargo-cult reaction to monoliths and reactoring. Yes, the monolith is pretty big and bulky, however it does get the job done. However, the popular opinion about what to do with them is to make a ton of microservices. In the long run, it just turns one monolith into a lot of noisy monoliths.

What did I learn?

The video of the talk hasn’t come out yet, however I feel like I had 2 things that could have been:

  1. Time the talk better. I felt influenced by the prior presenters to rush to finish in an unstated time limit.
  2. More practice could have made this talk smoother.

My Second Chicago Java User’s Group: I didn’t know you could do that with Groovy!

Previously I blogged about my first experience in doing a brief tech talk in front of my local Java User’s Group. I recall that I was incredibly nervous and ill prepared. Well, I took the feedback from the talk, prepared better for this talk and came ready to give my talk. The talk was on how Groovy makes quite a few improvements over Java, and it was in the format of a lightning talk. At the moment the video is being processed and it should be up within a week or two.

While you’re waiting for the video, I’ll leave you with the slides and the Github link.

Java 8: Presentations, and audience engagement

Last night I went to my local, Chicago, Java User Group and I had a great time. I saw the Speaker Jim Weaver present the new changes within Java 8. He was an incredibly well prepared and highly knowledgeable individual on the subject. He answered my questions, and anticipated for them.

I did something incredibly unorthodox for someone sitting in a technical talk. I took lots notes with paper and pen. That helped me to come up with questions and to save them for later. It was nearly as if I was back in college, but this time I had a full concentration on the subject material without the pressure to consume the material. However, something stuck out. Very few people asked questions, Mr. Weaver clearly encouraged questions and even bribed people. However, very few seemed to be interested in asking questions. I found this to be incredibly odd. I cannot tell if it’s the “midwest attitude”: Its been observed that midwesterners will tend to be silent during the entire presentation and then ask questions later. Who knows, it could have been the audiences’ tired-ness after work. The lack of questions gives give appearance of the lack of engagement.

For a brief introduction to the new changes to Java 8, I feel like I am prepared to go through a few samples, and maybe able to make a few extensions to the Stream API.