Friday, April 27, 2012

NVSS NFJS 2012 - Day 1

So I am up in Reston, VA for the Northern Virginia Software Symposium, No Fluff Just Stuff conference.  I came up here early for a Gradle session given by Tim Berglund.  I had looked at Gradle before, but his session was a good starter session for Gradle beginners.  We are already Maven and Groovy users, having moved from Ant.  Gradle lets you use Ant, Maven, Ivy, Java, Groovy, etc.  In fact, Gradle seems to elevate the art of writing builds to first-class programming, if it wasn't there already.  I will be looking into how we can better control our builds using Gradle, Maven, and Groovy.

In the afternoon I attended a few of Tim's sessions on NoSQL.  I have been researching several NoSQL solutions to date:  Cassandra, MongoDB, Couchbase.  After a survey of multiple NoSQL solutions, followed by a deep dive into Cassandra and Neo4j, I feel that I am better positioned to decide on the appropriate solution.

I really like the flexibility of schema-less storage in NoSQL databases like MongoDB.  However, my solutions need schema binding.  I am currently prototyping a solution that combines the schema-less, document-based storage of NoSQL with application layer schema validation and data transformation.  MongoDB and Couchbase seem to be good candidates due to there native handling of JSON.

One of the really cool things is that this year NFJS is not handing out paper session guides and agendas.  Instead, every attendee receives an iPad that they can use for the duration of the conference.  All the slides and conference documentation are on this iPad in a custom NFJS application.  It is convenient.

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