A Quick (Virtual) Trip to Portland (Oregon, US) to See What the PJUG Is Up To
Last night, at the Portland Java User Group's first meeting of the new year, Merlyn Albery-Speyer was scheduled to speak about Gradle, the project automation tool. Or, rather than speak, Merlyn's plan was to engage the audience in live experimentation with Gradle. In the preview for his visit, Merlyn wrote:
For this session, there won't be any slides. I'm also not going to stand up and talk at you. Instead, I'm going to rely heavily on your involvement. I'll start with an introduction to Gradle, and then very quickly go into using it in practice. After a few minutes of that I'll open it up to go wherever we're most interested in.
In other words, rather than summarize what Gradle is and what it offers, Merlyn's plan was to fire up Gradle on a computer, do a few quick demonstrations, then open up the floor. Merlyn wrote:
Do this ahead of time: What is your intention for the session? Spend some time deliberately focusing on what it is you want out of the session. Bring that will you and share it with us.
This approach is one that more people seem to be finding ideal for getting developers involved with, or introducing, unfamiliar technologies. For example, Java Champion Adam Bien has been giving what he calls "free Java EE hacking sessions" at various JUG meetings and conferences in Europe. It's something that he finds works out quite well.
About the Portland JUG
I came upon the Portland JUG from a simple search on Google. I believe the JUG leader is Jon Batcheller. At least, he is the person who has organized the monthly PJUG meetings for the past several years.
The PJUG site is fairly basic. The home page consists of a history of the presentations that were made at the group's meetings, dating back to 2004. Just browsing what was featured at the meetings provides an interesting historical overview of what's happened in the Java/JVM world in the past seven years or so.
If you live in the Portland, Oregon area, consider attending one of the upcoming meetings (February 15, March 15, April 19, May 17). The January meeting was held at Oracle's Downtown Campus, in the Pacwest Center.
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