If you’re a developer out in the Maritimes, you might want to check out Derek Hatchard’s Maritime Dev Con, which takes place on June 18th in Moncton. It’s a single-afternoon, two-track conference – which means you should be able to take time out to attend it – covering a number of topics including:
- .NET and ASP.NET
- iPhone development
- NoSQL and MongoDB
- “Rockstar Estimating Skills”
Maritime Dev Con has a registration fee that won’t hurt your wallet – it’s a mere CAD$19!
I’m a big fan of small, regional gatherings like Maritime Dev Con and its western counterpart Prairie DevCon. Each region has its own specializations and needs that a by-locals, for-locals conference can do a better job of serving, and the smaller size of these conferences allows for more back-and-forth between audience and presenter, and between attendees. Support your local conference!
This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.
O’Reilly’s conference on Open Source, OSCON, takes place this week in San Jose, California. One of the events taking place at OSCON is the Open Source Language Roundtable, the abstract for which appears below:
We all have our favorite languages in our tool-belt, but is there a ‘best’ overall language? If anyone can hash that out, it will be the members of this roundtable discussion, some of the stars of the open source language space. This wide-ranging session, hosted and moderated by the O’Reilly Media editorial staff, and broadcast live on the web, will try to identify the best and worst features of each language, and which are best for various types of application development.
The roundtable will me moderated by O’Reilly Media’s James Turner and will cover the following languages, listed below with the corresponding panelist:
- Java: Rod Johnson (SpringSource)
- Perl: Jim Brandt (Perl Foundation)
- PHP: Laura Thomason (Mozilla)
- Python: Alex Martelli (Google)
- Ruby: Brian Ford (Engine Yard)
You can catch this roundtable even if you’re not going to be at OSCON because O’Reilly is webcasting the event. It takes place this Wednesday, July 22nd at 10pm EDT (7 pm Pacific) and is expected to run 90 minutes. It costs nothing to catch the webcast and you’ll even be able to ask the panelists questions via chat, but you’ll need to register.
This side-by-side comparison of Java and Python shows why I prefer working in languages like Python and Ruby: the “yak shaving” that Java requires drives me crazy.
The blogger at willcode4beer says in 17 Thousand Reasons I’m not a Ruby on Rails Developer that the median salary of Rails developers is on average $17K less than that for J2EE developers. I’m not worried — the pay at TSOT for RoR development is on par with the J2EE rates cited.
The article also suggests that “to bring salaries up, they need to drop the ‘easy’ part. Development is hard, and no language or platform is going to change that. We solve complex problems. Complex problems are hard to solve. period. They should focus on the productivity gains in the areas where Rails shines, and try to avoid the areas where it doesn’t.”
One lesson that Nathan Weizenbaum learned from Java that makes him a better Ruby programmer: “I learned what I was abstracting. I learned what blocks are, why dynamic typing is useful, what it means to redefine an operator. And I learned it from Java, by doing without.”
Java’s nickname, “The New COBOL”, as a badge of honour: “…considering COBOL’s standing in the industry: It’s not clear that being the ‘new COBOL’ is actually a bad thing. It may not be glamorous, because people see COBOL programmers as being outmoded and uninventive, but COBOL is far from dead.”