- Andrew Kos
- Bill Burlein
- Bryan Williams
- Christian Vozar
- Jeff Brown
- John Kraus
- Joseph Mak
- Josh Durbin
- Mark Daugherty
- Matt Van Bergen
- Melissa Geoffrion
- Michael Kang
- Michael Chan
- Michael Hodgdon
- Mike Motherway
- Molly McDaniel
- Nadia Maciulis
- Pat McLoughlin
- Paul Michelotti
- Puru Hemnani
- Rohit Srinath
- Ryan Lunka
- Tom Kelly
GR8 US Postmortem: Be the Outlier
Monday, April 19, 2010
The Groovy GR8 conference is a small intimate gathering that is part educational, part commiseration over not being able to fully use Groovy in the day job, and part therapeutic for having to deal with the incessant ribbing from your pretentious Rails coworkers.
The US version of GR8 was held in Bloomington MN this year and was kicked off with Guillaume Laforge giving a sort of “state of the union” of the Groovy language: the past, present, and future. I’m not aware of any other language that has had such consistent releases. It is hard not to contrast the singular vision and momentum of the Groovy language with the languishing JDK 7.
After lunch, Venkat Subramaniam delivered the keynote with the central message “be the outlier” which was as much a sort of “call to arms” as it was a suggested career path. Citing Malcolm Gladwell’s book of the same name: it is the outliers who change the world and are ultimately successful. Of course, statistically we can’t all be outliers, but it’s a good place to strive for, and an appropriate theme for a conference of less than a hundred attendees.
He encouraged being a Polyglot programmer — even if you didn’t have use cases for all of the languages that you learn — citing that the number and types of languages that you know greatly influence how you think and solve problems.
It bears mentioning that while I had heard of the legendary Venkat, I had never actually seen him speak. It is rare for a speaker to be both a powerful orator and also a technical master. I attended both of Venkat’s afternoon sessions and I have to say that his live coding skills are off the hook. Not only did most of his sessions involve live coding, but he answered questions by coding up examples on the fly.
Now that is a master.
If GR8 is a representative sampling of the future of Groovy, then sign me up. There is no other conference that I’ve attended where I felt such immediate kinship with people that I had never met. I look forward to attending next year.
As a quick side-note: it doesn’t seem to matter if I end up going to the shopping mecca of the midwest, The Mall of America, I will still just pick up presents for my kids at the hotel gift shop as I check out.
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