2006 brought another random collection of articles to the Lunatech Blog. Here is a selection of my favourites.
In many ways, commercial Java development back in 2006 wasn’t that different from how it is today. Not everything is the same though. Back then, most of us hadn’t thought about moving on from Java to other programming languages yet, JIRA still didn’t have the complexity or serious competition that it has today, and Devoxx was still called Javapolis.
Tips for programmers
Tuples in Java was perhaps the first hint of things to come. In fact, Bart published this article a month after the Scala 2.0 release. These kinds of Java techniques are of course less relevant now that we use Scala for our new development projects, but also remind us that you don’t have to fully adopt a technology to get some benefit from the good parts.
Books for software developers, on the other hand, looked backwards at great books that provide valuable inspiration in both technical and non-technical skills. All of these books are still worth reading, with only Effective Java being less relevant than it was eight years ago.
Tips for writers
How to use bullet lists was my first attempt to show people how to improve their writing by making syntax more consistent. It seems logical from a programmer’s perspective, which is why it was satisfying to publish, but this kind of article is probably entirely futile: I doubt that anyone ever read this and put it into practice. This is a shame, because so much software development documentation is hard to read and could easily be improved. Perhaps this is because programmers prefer arguments about white-space than about words.
Wiki is my word-processor is the result of too much experience of how word-processors are more of a problem than a solution in software development. Word-processors gave technical writers too many things (mostly formatting) to fiddle to have time to write readable text. This article describes how the solution for software project documentation had turned out to be a wiki, not a better word-processor.
Event of the year
JavaPolis 2006 rounded off the year with an excellent developer conference that turned out to be an excellent opportunity to network and connect with other developers, and to drink beer, of course. The talks were good but the conversations were better, which was a realisation that would generate even more opportunity in the year to come.