The Glaze Over Effect - for Normal People:

"Uh, OK" is how most people respond when you tell them that you write software. If they are really courageous some ask "So, what does that mean, anyway?"

Then I have to explain, and they are still glazed over, but by then they don't care, so the conversation migrates to stuff they can get their head around. "How 'bout them Cowboys this year?" Read more »

    Tends to believe that all things in software development can be automated, regardless of evidence to the contrary.
    Obsessed with teasing out the common elements to every two or more tasks, refactoring the code to automate the common elements.

Doug Cutting to Austin JUG

Few in the tech community have contributed more than Doug Cutting. Inventor of Lucene and Hadoop (and Nutch and ...) Doug has almost single handedly changed the face of our industry. No small thing.

The talk was billed The Enterprise Data Hub, but any of the 80 people there would be convinced that it was just about Hadoop. Cloudera's message is that they are one and the same. Hadoop is the new Enterprise Data Hub.

Doug allowed me to video the talk. Here it is on youtube:

Slides to the talk can be found here

Cloudera, Pulling Out All the Stops?

For Those Who Want To Get Started With OptaPlanner

If you want to get started with OptaPlanner, the first thing you want to do is review the examples that come with it.

The second thing you will want to do is write your own HelloWorld. Hah! Not so easily done. Not that the existing examples don't provide all you would need, they provide that and much more. But they are written for a different purpose - to impress you quite artfully with just what OptaPlanner can do. That requires a lot of UI and persistence code, among other things. And it all might seem like it is very tightly woven together. It's not, but that doesn't make it much easier for someone like me to extract the essence of OptaPlanner into it's basic code fragments in a 10 minute code review.

If you run the examples that come from OptaPlanner and they don't blow you away with their power and art .... perhaps you haven't done much programming yet.

Yet what I needed was just the basics. Since it wasn't there in the examples, I created this git project to do just that. 270 lines of code, even including eclipse and maven project infrastructure.

Just fire it up, and you'll see the exact minimum of code to make the simplest OptaPlanner example work. Read more »

It's a competitive world out there. Simplicity is inevitable, just a question of what's going to deliver the simple solution first.

NOTE: This blog is written by a Chef loyalist and is not to be taken as anti-Chef in any respect. There is already solid traction to remedy much of what is written below, so hopefully this blog will become very dated, very quickly! July 25th, 2014. Read more »

If you only came here for the links:

This was a presentation made to the Austin Java User's Group in Austin, TX June 24th, 2014

Why You Do Care If Hadoop Is Too Mysterious

Developers care when there is a useful technology that won't get used because it seems too hard. Especially when it isn't that hard. Awkward as hell, maybe. But hard? Maybe not. Read more »

No Fluff Just Stuff - Austin Texas!

Here's my schedule for this weekend: 

It's going to be a great conference, but that's always the case ... I'll be attending the sessions highlighted in yellow.



[this review was written for my buddy John, a BigData speed enthusiast who couldn't make the Aparapi presentation]


Your graphics card might have 1200, even 3600 processors. (SIMD). Using a JNI layer to OpenCL and lots of nasty boilerplate, or alternately using APARAPI and straight java, you may be able to speed up high compute low data operations by sending to these SIMD processors. The gains might be insanely disproportionate to the effort required to do this. Read more »

Team $$$ Efficiency Through Modularity

Any veteran developer knows that integration and maintenence is where all the time and money goes, writing a simple module can be a few days work once the requirements, interfaces, and dependencies are set in stone. Modularity (OSGi) promises to eliminate much of that cost, by never fully integrating a module into the rest of the code base. Every module stands on it's own, lives in it's own classpath, and develops in it's own tested, versioned process. Read more »

If you're looking for an easy, fun, and intellectually challenging way to succeed as a developer - look no further than your local user's group.

Here's My Easy Success Story:

  • Started going somewhat religiously, 11 years ago.
  • Attended hundreds of cutting edge technology presentations.
  • Started and led a few smaller special interest groups.
  • Made a few presentations myself over the years.
  • Served in various leadership roles at request of others.

As a result of the above, I've stayed gainfully employed even through 2 tough recessions, made tremendously beneficial contacts that will always keep me working as long as I am physically and mentally able.

If you knew me personally, you wouldn't attribute any success to my social skills. This is a case of just showing up, being a nerd, and stumbling through good fortune.

Don McGreal from last night's meeting:


Example: SOLID Presentation

Last night we had a presentation on SOLID, by one of the Read more »