Friday, 04 May 2007

Mini tech-talks

Recently I've begun giving a weekly series of ultra-short tech talks to the other developers in our office. The original problem we had was that, while we were all interested in learning about, or hearing about, technologies outside our working domain, it was generally not possible to spent office working hours on projects not directly of benefit to the company. The solution has been to give 15 minute talks during normal coffee-breaks. One really positive aspect of this is that it forced me to focus on a single specific 'hot' topic, and thereby blocking my usual tendency to lecture on for hours. While the resulting tech-talks are not comprehensive, they were easily digestible. Anyway you can always go to the books referenced below if you want something comprehensive.

These ‘snippets’ follow my progression as I learned Ruby, JRuby and Rails from the books I read, internet articles, and trial-and-error with real scripting projects I did. Each week I thought of something that was of particular interest to me as a Java and sometimes Perl programmer, and presented it in a 2-4 slide ‘snippet’. Where possible I used examples directly relevant to the work we do, which is mostly Java programming of data models and numerical analysis in mobile phone networks (not mobile phones). Sometimes I used examples from the books I read along the way:

For a more specific Ruby-2-Java comparison, see the extract in ComputerWorld of the book ‘Rails for Java Developers.’ This is a nice soft intro to Ruby for Java developers. However, while my snippets are not as complete, I think they are more interesting and relevant to me, of course. And I hope they will be of interest to others too.

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