I’m now coming back from a trip to Salvador, a beautiful city in the Northeast of Brazil where I went to speak at the LinguÁgil event. LinguÁgil, as the name implies, is a clever mixture of “Language” and “Agile”. The event joins together many communities that are traditionally not engaged, and mixes many language communities — Java, Ruby, Python, C# and others — all under the common theme of Agility and software development best practices.
The event is run by several User Groups, and the Java community is represented by JavaBahia. This collaboration between groups is the strength of the event, that not only shows that working together is possible, but also makes the event more relevant, more interesting for attending developers and also more rewarding for potential sponsors. With all the difficulties associated with the making of an event, Java User Groups should consider the benefits of teaming up with other local groups — both Java and also from other technologies — to create something that is larger, more meaningful, and as such, able to attract better speakers. LinguÁgil is a fine example of success doing just that!
Other events in the near future here in Brazil that have achieved success by the joint efforts from multiple communities include The Developer’s Conference (TDC), that brings together many developer-focused communities, and the Fórum Internacional Software Livre (FISL), that attracts many Free and Open Source communities from all over the world.
Pre-event activities: time with friends!
Before the event started, I got to spend quite some time with Serge Rehem, a friend since the time I joined the Brazilian Income Tax Application Java team. With his untiring energy, Serge used to be the instigator behind many activities around Java in Salvador, and was one of the original wranglers that lassoed the diverse communities into working together to make LinguÁgil. Serge also worked on many other initiatives that helped improve the state’s position in the Brazilian development scene. A mixture of developer, entrepreneur, manager, marketeer, Serge has interest and experiences all over the spectrum! It was an amazing time discussing with him marketing ideas for startups and his ideas on how to grow my own startup, ToolsCloud. Serge is the mastermind behind my recent series of videos around open source development tools (pt-br), and we spent time discussing other cool ideas. Be it swimming in the beach in Guarajuba or eating an amazing “Shrimp Bobó” (Bahia definitely has the best sea food dishes I ever had!) we discussed so many things! From new ideas of software products, to parenting and what we can do to help our kids learn about computers and programming, to new business and even religion. I have to thank Serge’s family — specially his wife Larissa — for putting up with our endless conversations!
Tutorials: deep dives into technology
LinguÁgil starts with 2 full days of tutorials. Spread over many parallel tracks, speakers have a chance to present 4 and 8 hours tutorials, diving into a specific topic. My talk was a tutorial on Application Lifecycle Management with Open Source Tools (slides in pt-br), showing how projects of any size can benefit from the amazingly powerful open source tools that exist today, that can consistently reduce project risk while being unintrusive and helping improve developers satisfaction.
I was lucky that Edson Yanaga also came early to the event, and had the pleasure to have him co-presenting the tutorial with me. Edson is a believer of the Software Craftsmanship movement, and his usage of the toolset to promote better development is a burst of energy to those listening.
After my presentation, at the hallway right outside the tutorial rooms, we ended up in the middle of a very diverse group, composed by Java, .NET and Linux developers. That made for a lively conversation! It is always interesting to see how developers in a live setting can discuss and share experiences, that many times is impossible to do online on lists and forums (because it quickly degenerates) or even in traditional events where one technology is dominant. That one discussion proved the success of LinguÁgil’s approach!
A full day of talks: the power of simplicity!
Saturday is the day where the talks happen. One auditorium, one track, one day. The power of this simplicity is sometimes lost when we try to make really large events with lots of parallel activities. But with a single room, developers get to watch the whole set of speakers, and everyone enjoys it. One-track events happening on Saturday is a great way to do something easy to organize, but powerful. In the case of LinguÁgil, it also foster the merging of the communities. Developers don’t self-separate on their own tracks and communities, and everyone has a chance to learn from the success of everyone else.
For the speakers, it is great to be able to give talks that span multiple communities, and be able to reach developers from all areas. Together with Edson Yanaga, I did the opening presentation of the event, “Jack, the Giant Slayer, a Cloud Computing Story” (in pt-br: “Escalando o Pé de Feijão”). Going higher and higher into cloud technologies, we spoke about the importance of automation on software development, and how you can benefit from virtualization and cloud technologies to achieve higher levels of automation in your projects, improving both the development side, but also fostering DevOps practices. Although we are Java developers, our focus was on language-agnostic open source tools and ideas, and from the questions and comments, that was appreciated by the crowd.
Using time wisely
Whenever you have time to meet with other developers and friends, better use the time wisely. Since we were meeting face to face, me and Edson submitted a joint talk to JavaOne. I don’t think I ever submitted so early before, and felt really good, glad we found some time to do it! If you have not submitted your talk to JavaOne 2014 yet, why not submit this week?
All in all, it was a great and fun event! I’d like to thank Otávio Santana, director of SouJava and JavaBahia, for the invite to the event, and also, many thanks to Oracle and the Java Champions program for making my presence there a reality! To the LinguÁgil team that received me so well: congratulations guys, you did an amazing event, and I truly enjoyed being part of it!