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Attracting Programmers

Posted by daniel on February 24, 2005 at 7:19 AM PST

Coding Robots

Check out our latest featured article. It's Krishnan Viswanath's
Using Lego Mindstorms and Java. To justify the expense, I suppose
you could focus on the educational benefits, but it looks like a lot
of fun. On the other hand, I worry about teaching computer science
through games and robotics. The conventional wisdom is that this
attracts males more than females and should we make sure that the
doors we are providing to this world of programming attracts both?

I have two young daughters and know that you can not generalize,
but girls and boys are different in the way they play at a very young
age. There seem to be gender differences in the way kids interact with
their world. My kids love soccer and other sport and they spend way
too much time with computers and video games so maybe technology has
moved us beyond such concerns. When I used to teach programming to
college students, I would often use games (Tetris, Mastermind, . . .)
as programming assignments. A female colleague asked me to broaden my
examples because she was concerned that I was steering potential
female majors away.


James Gosling looks back at href=""> Lessons from last
years t-shirt contest entrants in today's href=""> Weblogs . It's just cool
to see the images of the three finalists and read James' take on the
strengths of each.

Kohsuke Kawaguchi follows up with more thoughts on href="">
JAXB 2.0 and Immutable Objects/Fields. " In the last week, I wrote
about how you can use JAXB 2.0 as an XML persistence engine, and I got
a lot of comments about the support for immutable objects. So I'd like
to elaborate on it today."

Duane Gran joins the growing list of people who think href="">
Lucene is a wonderful thing. " Erik Hatcher, author of href="">Lucene in Action has put together
a nice href="">presentation
overview of Lucene at A login is required, but it
is worth it."

In Also
in Java Today
, Michael Yuan argues in his JavaWorld article
On the road to simplicity that "the coolest thing about JBoss AS
4.0 is not the J2EE certification, but the new technologies that
currently reach beyond the scope of J2EE and aim to greatly simplify
Java middleware development. " In this article he uses "three example
applications to show you the simplicity of the POJO middleware
frameworks in JBoss AS 4.0 and how they relate to the current and
future J2EE specifications. If you are a JBoss user or a general J2EE
developer, this article teaches you portable skills that you can use
in both today's JBoss AS 4.0 server and the future JBoss 5.0 or J2EE
1.5 servers."

Hans Bergsten writes "Designing a good user interface is never easy,
but designing a web application interface is especially challenging."
In the Oracle Technology Network's series on mastering J2EE
Application development, Hans focuses on href="">
Designing and Implementing Web Application Interfaces. He
advocates using JSF which "defines a component-based web application
development model, enabling vendors and open source projects to create
sophisticated user-interface widgets that developers can then use to
create easy-to-use web applications, with portability between tools
and application servers."

In Projects and
, James Todd reports from the href="">JXTA community that href="">Jeff
Moore, aka polo, is now a MyJXTA project co-owner and that Jeff
dove into MyJXTA feet first and fleshed out, among other things, the
prefuse eye candy.

Daniel Brookshier has advice for project owners on href="">
Managing membership requests. His blog provides advice for both
requesters and for project leaders.

Bino George answers a question about href="">
Swing performance on Linux in today's href="">Forums. "waitForEvents
is the native method that calls XNextEvent to get X11 events off the
queue. So this is normal, but keep in mind this is
misleading. Sampling profilers will often show this method because all
they do is repeatedly sample the call stack and in the case of the
Toolkit thread all it does is sit in the method and wait for events,
when there is an event it will push it on to the Java level event
queue and go back to waiting. Instrumenting profilers are more
accurate, but they have higher overhead."

Talios writes "One thing thats always bugged me about java is the
ClassCastException. Not the exception itself, but the total
uselessness of the error message it offers. It may mention the line of
the problem, but it doesn't mention expected class, or the actual
class - two things which would realllp help ease diagnosing problems."

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    Technology Conference

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