Getting Groovy (and Grails)

Explorations in Groovy and Grails Development

Do you know Everything About Groovy and Grails? Gr8 Copenhagen Coming up Soon

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It’s tough. Keeping up with a framework (Grails) on top of a fairly new, quickly evolving language (Groovy) which in turn is built using evolving frameworks (Hibernate, Spring, SiteMesh and via plugins Quartz, Lucene and many others) in a language – Java – which continues to develop (if only at a glacial pace). I notice on the mailing lists that even the top luminaries in the field are occasionally flummoxed by a question. It’s just not possible to know absolutely everything about Groovy and Grails. The good news is that while an individual may not know everything, as a community we know a lot more. The mailing lists are a good resource, but as the community grows you don’t always get an answer to your questions on the lists. What to do?

The answer for me is to do what I’ve done in every other domain I’ve been involved with – get involved with the community. (I’m relatively new to Groovy and Grails, but I’m pretty involved in the Domain Specific Modeling and ColdFusion communities). Helping out on the mailing lists and contributing to plugins is a great way to get started, but it’s hard to beat the face to face interactions you get at user groups and (especially) at conferences. That’s why I decided to go to gr8 in the US, am presenting on DSLs in Sydney, New York and (hopefully) London this month, and will be attending gr8 in Copenhagen next month (even though I can only manage a day as I’m presenting at the BCS SPA conference on DSL design on the Wednesday).

I was lucky enough to attend Gr8 last year. It was an amazing chance to get to know many of the key developers in the community, to build up a set of resources so that if we do ever get stuck on a technical challenge we can get on IM and often get an answer or idea from someone in minutes instead of hours or days of futzing around. Why do I mention this? Well, Gr8 conference is the only dedicated Groovy and Grails conference in Europe and a great opportunity to learn about a whole range of projects within the Groovy ecosystem – including Grails, Griffon, Spock, Gradle and Gaelyk. More than that, it’s a chance to meet up with other developers dealing with the same adoption, implementation and technical challenges that you work with every time you develop a Groovy based project.

There is still time to register for the conference, so think about how much it costs when you’re stuck on a project for a day trying to figure things out, and I hope you can get a cheap flight, a modest hotel and a ticket to the conference into the budget. It’s not cheap, especially with the market right now, but the only thing more expensive than going to the conference? Working on a project in Groovy/Grails and being stuck *not* having gone to the conference for the amazing technical content and great networking.

Hope to see you there! (If you see me, please say “hi”) – I’ll be the jetlagged one drinking too much Red Bull 🙂


Written by peterbell

April 30, 2010 at 12:20 pm

Posted in Conferences, gr8, Grails, Groovy

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