May 10, 2013

Groovy Koans!

Lately I have found myself back in the learning spirit. It is a much needed change from the bit of a block I have been in for a while. I stumbled upon Groovy Koans and am hooked.

If you have never experienced any koans (there are koans for a lot of other programming languages) it is an interesting way to learn a new language. Each koan is designed to teach you a different aspect of the language by having you modify code in unit tests to get them to pass. As you pass through each koan the topics get more advanced.

So far I have only worked through the first 3 or 4 Groovy koans, but I am picking up things pretty quickly. The more I work and learn about Groovy I like how simplified it is compared to Java. I am really loving the auto properties and that it already has closures. I can't wait to get into some of the more advanced topics in the later koans.

**Side Note: Groovy Koans utilize Gradle for building and running the tests so you can get a nice preview of how easy it is to use Gradle over Ant and Maven. I am thinking Gradle will become my new build tool.


November 10, 2012

Codecademy

Earlier this year I started to get the itch to do some learning of languages other than Java and C#. I randomly came across a blog post about a site that had a developer pledge to do a coding assignment once a week for a year. It was called Code Year and it was pretty fun, but at a certain point I got busy with other things and fell behind by more than a few weeks. Last month I realized I was over 30 weeks behind and wanted to catch up. I made a pledge to do t least one assignment a day until I caught up.

I am proud to say that I have not only caught up on Code Year, but I have now completed every available training assignment on the site. So far I have learned jQuery, CSS, Python, and Ruby to a point where I can actually write meaningful code in each of them.  If you are looking to branch out I suggest you check out the site.

*Codecademy – www.codecademy.com

*Code Year – www.codeyear.com

May 2, 2012

I'm A New Guy Again

After a long period of thought and reflection, I decided to accept a position at a new company a month ago. It was hard to leave my old job as I had made quite a few friends, but it was time for a new challenge. A month in, I am very happy with my decision.

My new position uses a completely different technology stack. I’ve gone from maintaining older Struts applications with no ORM tools to now working with the following stack:

  • EJB
  • JSF
  • Seam
  • JPA/Hibernate
I had conversational knowledge of these, but had never taken the time to actually get my hands dirty and gain some experience. That was a fault of my own, but I am now knee deep in them each day and enjoying it.

So far I have only done some small things with each of these, but I will be starting a new project soon and expect to have this stack mastered by its completion. Wish me luck!

November 9, 2011

**Alert**:Removing Old RSS Feed URL

If you still use my old feed url @ http://feeds.feedburner.com/TalesOfTheBlackDilbert please update your news reader to point to my new feed at http://feeds.feedburner.com/MrWillSoftware.  The old feed will go away at the end of the week.

November 1, 2011

Moving Inside the JVM

I am becoming more and more interested in JVM languages like Groovy and Scala. I truly believe that these languages created to run on the JVM are going to slowly displace Java. Java is beginning to suffer from neglect as it has not been pushed forward like it should have been.  Closures still not being in Java is the perfect example. Too many developers have been calling for this feature and it is supposedly going to be in Java 8, but I will be surprised if it makes the cut. Groovy and Scala already have support for closures, so I figure if these languages are already pushing forward I am going to jump on the train rather than wait for Java top catch up.