Thursday, October 06, 2011

Raising the Barrier to Entry for Java Certification

Oracle recently implemented a mandatory classroom requirement for the Java certification program that they acquired from Sun:
Beginning October 1, 2011, Java Architect, Java Developer, Solaris System Administrator and Solaris Security Administrator certification path requirements will include a new mandatory course attendance requirement.

Candidates may earn their certifications using the current track requirements found on the Oracle Certification website through September 30, 2011.

While I certainly think a high standard for certification is essential in increasing the market value for that credential, this does more for Oracle's bottom-line than it does for improving the caliber of certified professionals.  A typical course can run between $1,000 to $2,500.  The cost of the exam is $300.  If you need to take time off of work to attend a class, that adds a week of salary to the total cost.  At the end of this process, are you a better programmer?

Instead let's take that $2,500.   Invest in a couple of virtual or hosted servers.  Write some code and commit it to your github account. Present your work to your peers at the next nearby Java user group meeting.


Demonstrated competency is far more important to creating meaningful certification than the sponge-like qualities of your brain.



Friday, September 23, 2011

NIST's Cloud Reference Architecture

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Growth in demand for JBoss skills is impressive

Both Tomcat, Spring and JBoss are experiencing high growth in demand.   Meanwhile, Websphere and Weblogic are barely treading water.  Admittedly Spring can overlap with all these Java WebApp/JEE containers, but JBoss is clearly on the rise here.

JBoss, Weblogic, Websphere, Spring, Tomcat Job Trends graph

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Comments on: Who leads the Java parade? - OReilly Radar

@mikeloukides article Who leads the Java parade? - OReilly Radar asks who will fill the Java leadership void now that Sun is absorbed by article.

However, he misses one of the biggest Java company leaders out there - Red Hat and their JBoss division.  Hibernate shaped the JPA JSR.  Seam, not Spring, drove the CDI (formerly WebBeans) JSR.  JBoss AS 7 and its blazing speed are potential game-changers in the JEE space.

Torquebox while being a JRuby container leverages JBoss AS to provide the some of the fastest Rails hosting out there.  Drools is innovating the Rule space.  And HornetQ has broken JMS SPEC records .

Infinispan will play a big role in Data Clouds and caching tiers, especially with the addition of Hibernate OGM.


So who leads the Java Parade?   Obviously, its the most innovative java company.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Seven reasons you should use Java again - O'Reilly Radar

In Edd Dumbhill's article Seven reasons you should use Java again - O'Reilly Radar, he makes the case that despite the proclamations that Java is a dying language, it is in fact just as strong as ever.  The maturing IDE's, a large workforce, and a healthy ecosystem all are compelling reasons.  Of course, I could make the same case for .Net, Php, Ruby, and Python.  And while developers may gripe about the overly verbose Java language, Java the platform certainly helps JRuby perform better.

Interesting though that the slow adoption of change in the language is a reason why enterprises will continue to embrace java.  Sure everyone likes innovation, but not when it makes all of your current technology investments obsolete.

But all the benefits aside, the number one reason to tread lightly into the Java language is none other than Oracle.  Their demands from Google regarding Android are troubling.  The way Oracle initially started to strong-arm Hudosn that forced the creation of Jenkins was loudly rejected by the java community - leaving Oracle no choice but to donate the project to the Eclipse Foundation.  LibreOffice and OpenOffice follow a similar story.

Yet while Oracle's behavior regarding Java is enough to raise concern about its future, there is something reassuring about a community that stands up and rejects these actions and forces Oracle to rethink their strategy.

So perhaps the most important reason to use Java and support the ecosystem of developers and tools is that, to paraphase Burke, 'All that is necessary for Oracle to triumph is for good developers to do nothing'.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Thoughts on 'Seven Java projects that changed the world'

@edd has an article out at O'Reilly Radar entitled - Seven Java projects that changed the world Hist list - jUnit, Eclipse, Spring, Solr, Hudson/Jenkins, Hadoop, and Android is a worthy list.  Of course, as with any list, one immediately jumps to champion items that have been left off the list and I'm certainly going to seize that opportunity.  But first some general impressions about the list.

It struck me that no Java Web Frameworks made the list.  No portals/portlets.  No OpenSocial widgets.  No Struts/JSF/GWT/Flex/etc.  I don't disagree with this at all as I don't think any of the options has differentiated itself from the pack.  Just an interesting observation.

Second, no SOA/Web Service/XML frameworks like JAX-B, JAX-RS, JAX-WS, etc.  No Enterprise Integration frameworks like Apache Camel.  Perhaps 5 years ago, this would not have been the case as we SOA was at the top of the Buzz cycle.  But the impact for system interoperability and the influence that Java had in driving the equivalent Web Service and XML standards was significant.

The Jilted Frameworks


Entity Beans 2.x anyone?  Thank goodness that Hibernate came along and saved us from DAO and JDBC plumbing code madness.  Java Persistence Architecture exists because of Hibernate and has done, in my opinion, as much for multi-tier database applications as Spring has for Java EE development.  I personally think Hibernate should supplant SOLR and Lucene from the list.


Yes, everyone's favorite build tool to hate. Certainly we had software build frameworks like Ant and Make before Maven came along.  And the whole "Convention over Configuration"  approach certainly feels restrictive.  But the real game changer that Maven brought us was dependency management.  Thanks to Maven, we don't have to check-in our Jars into our SCM tool of choice.  The introduction of frameworks like Buildr and Apache Ivy certainly help strengthen the case.


So here are my off-the-cuff candidates.  It is by no means complete and certain to evolve as Java continues to chart its way in a post-Sun, Oracle-enslaved world.


Saturday, July 02, 2011

Project Kataferno:: Katello - Getting My Feet Wet

As part of my 'Project Kataferno', I've been working on bringing the principles of Continuous Integration to IT System provisioning and management.  More to come on this later.  For now, as part of my R&D efforts, I began hacking away at Katello.  If you're not familiar with the project, it is the next generation replacement for Red Hat's Satellite Server that was announced at the 2011 Red Hat Summit. Presentation slides about it are available here: The Future of Red Hat Network Satellite: A New Architecture Enabling Traditional Datacenters & the Cloud


Katello is comprised of 3 main open-source projects - PulpCandlepin, and Foreman


Katello Architecture

Of these projects, Foreman is the most mature and it's integration with Puppet means that the future of System Provisioning & Management is one that embraces infrastructure automation - a must have in today's datacenters and cloud environments.

So far I've only made it thru the install process which was relatively painless, but did have a few potholes in the road.  I'll go into this in a later post, but as a hint, my issues were with installing Katello itself via the 6Server repository.  There are a few missing rubygems rpm packages.  The workaround is to 'gem install bundle' and follow the instructions for install katello from source.


More to come later....


Friday, June 24, 2011

The Obligatory 'Hello World!' Post

I'm not an active blogger usually.  I've been around blogger and some of my own hosted sites, but have always been an infrequent poster.  But I've got some additional time on my hands and a few projects that I'm itching to get started.  My intent is to capture the progression of those projects here.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Taming the Infrastructure Gone Wild

This is from a presentation I gave about a year ago. Figured I'd share it here. Licensed under a CC-BY.

[slideshare id=8495839&doc=christoffersen-110703140418-phpapp02]