Let's get straight to the point: this RMSS was basically about three main topics: Spring, Hibernate, and AOP. Aspect-oriented programming, combined with Spring (or other lightweight containers) and Hibernate was essentially declared to be the death of EJB (or at least the death of the "need" for EJB). To be sure, the larger shops will continue to buy into the EJB story sold by the large vendors, but the smaller and more "agile" teams will likely forego the EJB approach.
Speaking of smaller and more agile teams, the Spring/Hibernate focus was fine by me, since it strongly validated my recommendation to my (relatively) new team at Fast401k.com that we use Spring in the development of the new version of our product. We incorporated Spring into the "new" section of our codebase about eight weeks ago, and have never looked back. We've also basically assumed we'll use Hibernate at some point, as well so we're pretty well aligned with the brave new world. It was a kick for us to be able to raise our hands in response to the presenters' queries of, "who here is using Spring?" In contrast, when I worked for BEA, I often didn't get to use some cool stuff because it may have called into question the usefulness of BEA's own products. The order was always "BEA on BEA." Now I have no such restrictions, and I'm like a kid in a candy store (but I'm still selective with my sweets).
Unfortunately for the RMSS experience, my cool work toolset had a surprising downside: there just wasn't a lot of new material for me to absorb this time around. I mean, it was all fresh material, but I've been reading (and doing) so much with the new toys that it was hard to find sessions that really intrigued me. Since we use Spring I have no interest in AspectJ (plus, I'm still trying to get over my dislike of source annotations and/or language extensions). I really wanted to get into a Groovy session, but the first one conflicted with Dave Thomas' Pragmatic Mock Objects session, and the second was jam-packed by the time I got to the room. I ended up going to several of Bruce Tate's sessions, although he's not one of my preferred presenters (nothing personal - he seems like a very fine fellow), because he was doing most of the Spring and Hibernate talk, several of Glenn Vanderburg's sessions (always a favorite of mine) because he's just plain a great presenter, and a couple of Daniel Steinberg's sessions (Jini - thumbs down, Max OS X Java Hacks - thumbs up).
Posted: Wed May 26 04:37:57 -0700 2004