Friday, December 19, 2014

Presentation: Java & JavaScript - Best Friends?


Last week I was invited again to give a talk at the annual developer day of Swiss Railways (SBB).

As every year the conference was a great event with many great sessions and interesting discussions during the breaks.

My talk was about how JavaScript can fit into a Java ecosystem.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

There is something about JavaScript - My Slides from the Choose Forum 2014

I was very honored that I was invited to speak at the Choose Forum 2014 along with Michael FeathersErik Doernenburg and Adam Tornhill.
These were the slides for my talk “There is something about JavaScript”:

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Speaking at the Choose Forum 2014


This Friday the annual Choose Forum will take place in Bern.

The Choose Forum is a small and lesser known conference that features highly interesting speakers each year.

I am very honored that I was invited to speak at the Forum this year along with Michael FeathersErik Doernenburg and Adam Tornhill.

My talk is titled “There is something about JavaScript”: 

This is the tale of an enterprise developer taking the adventurous journey into the realm of JavaScript. We will learn about all the dangerous pitfalls that lured on the way, but also about all the amazing encounters and beautiful discoveries that were waiting in on our protagonist.

I am looking forward to the event on Friday.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Weekend Reader, Week 46

.NET is Open Source

The big news of this week is of course Microsoft open-sourcing .NET:

Image 3379f52c 2764 4a61 8b29 7bff2dc68dde

Microsoft commits to making .NET cross-platform and to build a stronger ecosystem by adopting open source development. They will develop completely in the open and accept commits from the community.

The source for the next .NET is hosted on GitHub.
There will also a free full-featured edition of VisualStudio: Visual Studio Community 

What does change? Some predict the death of Java… but I don't think that much will change after a short hype: Enterprises that bet on the Microsoft Stack will still use Windows, I don’t think that .NET on Linux/Mac will be a relevant scenario in the enterprise any time soon. Since VisualStudio still only runs on Windows, mainstream .NET development will still happen on Windows.

.NET for Mac Desktop, iOS or Android development will remain a niche, as it its now with Xamarin.

I guess the one place where this move makes .NET a more attractive development platform are cloud scenarios: .NET becomes a more attractive platform, when there is no vendor lock-in to Azure.


LeSS: Scrum for the Enterprise


While there is a general disillusion about Scrum, the topic of scaling Scrum to the enterprise is still thriving… there must be money in that!

LeSS: Large Scale Scrum is the latest manifestation of "Enterprise Scrum” I have come across.

Welcome to the family of methodologies promising Agility to the enterprise:

Personally I still don’t believe in scaling Agile to the Enterprise.


Trust can scale

 if you replace trust with process, you’ll rip the heart right out of your company

Maybe instead of focusing on how to scale Agile to the Enterprise by introducing processes and ceremonies, we should remember what Agile is all about: Its about trust!

Hierarchical coordination fails when manager decisions depend on specialist knowledge:

21164 strip


Sacrifical Architecture

Often the best code you can write now is code you'll discard in a couple of years time.

Martin Fowler writes about the idea that maybe code is not meant to last. Throwing away code and rewrite applications might often be a good option. If we embrace this idea, then we should focus everything around the software delivery process to enable such rewrites efficiently. This is a radical change to the traditional approach of software creation.


How Google Works 

The only way for businesses to consistently succeed today is to attract smart creative employees. 


I see a lot of parallels with the book "The New Kingmakers"



Deliberate Advice from an Accidental Career

Screenshot 2014 11 17 01 44 34Great story telling by Dan North, definitely worth the time.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Weekend Reader 45 - JavaScript

This weekend reader is purely focused on JavaScript.

It is long know that the JavaScript ecosystem is far from settled:


The last weeks were proving above trend in an impressive manner: The two major JavaScript frameworks AngularJS and EmberJS have announced their next versions.


Angular 2.0

AngularJS Shield large

At ng-europe the Angular team presented a first impression of the next version of Angular:

Almost nothing remains the same:

  • No more controllers
  • No more directive definition objects
  • No more $scope
  • No more angular modules
  • AtScript: A new language on top of JavaScript
Here are some relevant links to get an overview of Angular 2.0:

The changes are so striking that one could get the idea that the only thing remaining is actually the name of the framework.

The Angular 2.0 release is planned for end 2015/early 2016.

The reaction not only been positive:


And in the blogosphere: 


Ember 2.0

Ember js Logo and Mascot

Also EmberJS, the “other” big JavaScript framework, announced its next version last week. However they chose quite another approach than the Angular team. Instead of surprising (shocking) the community with tons of changes, they establish a "RFC" (request for comments) process:


In contrast to AngularJS where the upgrade from 1.x to 2.0 will be a breaking change without a smooth transition, Ember aims for a smooth transition through a “steady flow of improvement”.

I am currently giving JavaScript and Angular Workshops to several companies here in Switzerland. Many big companies here are still trying to figure out how to integrate modern JavaScript frameworks in their development stack. Most of them are currently betting on AngularJS. Only very few of those companies are actually using AngularJS in production yet. I am curious what effect those recent announcements will have on the long term strategy of those companies.



Logo og

Maybe there will be some traction to React/Flux. Here are some links to this “newcomer” in the space of frontend frameworks:



And if you don’t like big frameworks you can always use VanillaJS :-)



Java and JavaScript: A new romance

Java 8 contains Nashorn, a new JavaScript engine running on top of the JVM.

AdamBien held an interesting presentation at JavaOne showing the possibilities that open up with Nashorn:


Avatar 2.0

Oracle also presented Avatar 2.0 at JavaOne. Avatar.js is an attempt to bring the Node programming model and ecosystem to the Java platform. Project Avatar so far was an attempt to bcreate a JavaScript based platform (server and client side) on top of Java EE.
However the goal and purpose and the future of Project Avatar was unclear  during the last year.

Avatar 2.0 changes now quite a lot according to the blog post and presentation by Niko Köbler. The most significant change is certainly that it will run directly on the JVM without the need for a Java EE server.

Unfortunately there is no code or distribution available for Avatar 2.0 yet. I hope this will change soon ...


The Better Parts

The author of JavaScript: The Good Parts has revised a lot of his opinions since he wrote the book… talks by Douglas Crockford are always worth watching:

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Weekend Reader, Week 41


Wow, already week 41 … I missed some weeks since last time. Time to catch up!


The controversy around SAFe goes on:

Erwin van der Koogh on When is SAFe appropriate to use?

SAFe is great for companies trying to delay the inevitable.


 And there seemed to be some fun at the Agile Business Conference:



Trouble in Paradise: Disillusion about GitHub

GitHub was always my poster-child as a modern software company. Their approach to a no-managers culture is fascinating:

And the presentations of Zach Holman of GitHub are famous. They give the impression of being a paradise for software developers...

… but at the beginning of the year there seemed to leak some concerning stories from that paradise:

I don’t know what to think about it, but for me it’s a a modern case of “Paradise Lost”.


More about the No Managers Culture

How Medium Is Building a New Kind of Company with No Managers:

In Holacratic systems, individuals operate without managers because many of them have decision-making power in a particular area. And since everything is made as explicitly as possible, everyone in the organization knows who has authority over what.

Harvard Business Review: First, Let’s Fire All The Managers

Management is the least efficient activity in your organization.

What I find particularly interesting in the above HBR article is, that the No Managers Culture is not rooted in nor confined to the software industry.



More about Plans and Estimations

My Customers Need Estimates, What Do I do? 

If you choose to serve customers who need an estimate/price, then do estimates/prices. If you choose to serve customers who are willing to let requirements emerge, then get good at the Agile way. It’s your choice.

Two Reasons Why Estimates Aren’t Worth It

Creating estimates is pretty frustrating because everyone who sits in an estimation meeting knows that these estimates have got nothing to do with reality.

Why are software development estimates regularly off by a factor of 2-3 times? 
This brilliant analogy is showing the impossibility to plan a hike from San Francisco to Los Angeles. 


The challenge of planning incremental product development (from Incremental development at Spotify):

Incremental Development Spotify

Quote about plans from Friedrich Dürrenmatt:

Zufall Dürrenmatt

(The more humans proceed according to plan, the more effectively coincidence is able to meet them.) 



JavaScript continues to conquer the world:

But not everybody seems to be delighted:

Monday, September 29, 2014

Another JavaScript Bootcamp for Java Developers


At the beginning of this year I held my JavaScript bootcamp for Java Developers for Puzzle ITC, and it was fully booked.

Since then I had the pleasure to repeat the course several times for Glue, IMS, BIT and UBS and also at this year’s ch/open workshoptage.

Due to popular demand Puzzle is now repeating the course on October 6th in Bern. The course is public, this might be a perfect opportunity to get bootstrapped in professional JavaScript development!

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