Java

Analytics With Apache Spark Is Coming

At Vidya we currently offer two courses, Software Engineering in Java and Agile Software Project Management with Scrum. In response to popular demand…OK, like eight or nine people…we are currently working on a third course to be ready by Summer 2015 tentatively called Analytics with Apache Spark. As “Big Data” becomes more and more of a thing, there just aren’t enough software engineers who know the tools and techniques for doing meaningful, performant, cloud-scale analytics.

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DevOps Hooray

Please take a look at my latest column for Government Computing News where I drop references to Brangelina and Kimye to explain why DevOps has become so popular in business and why it needs to be a thing in government as well. Just to give you an idea, here is the unedited introduction. Terms like service-oriented architecture and big data have long been part of the pantheon of buzzwords that have captivated us while eluding any kind of real understanding.

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Oracle v. Google Just Got Real

Please take a look at my latest column for Government Computing News where I describe why the biggest names in technology are getting involved in the legal battle between Oracle and Google over Android and the profound consequences this case could have for technology in the future. Just to give you an idea, here is the unedited introduction. In November, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a brief with the Supreme Court of the United States asking the justices to reverse a decision involving Google and Oracle that would have profound consequences for technology if it stands.

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Zero Tolerance

Experienced Java developers know that Java 5 brought many significant improvements to the language. One of them was the introduction of BigDecimal, an abstraction for arbitrary-precision decimal numbers that gives you arithmetic functionality and complete control over rounding and scale. All of this flexibility and power made BigDecimal the de facto class Java developers used to model money–at least until Java 7 gave us the Currency class. On a recent project though with an API that doesn’t use Currency, I had a simple question:

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The Play's the Thing

Please take a look at my latest column for Government Computing News where I explain how to apply the guidance found in the White House’s new U.S. Digital Services Playbook, which embraces agile software development and open-source for building better government applications. Just to give you an idea, here is the unedited introduction. Software engineering is my passion--not just the technologies but the art of building software the right way.

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No Experience? No Problem!

If you are a software engineer, you’ve probably been in a job interview where you were asked, “Have you ever used [Insert some awesome technology you may have heard of but certainly never used professionally here]?” You hear the question, and inside you’re basically like “Uh ohhh.” Your mind races for a reasonable response that won’t kill your chances. The best you can come up with is some sheepish variation on these:

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Know Your Options

Imagine a method in Java that retrieves an Employee entity from the database by the employee id. Something like this: That’s pretty straightforward. You’ve probably written hundreds of methods like this one. The problem is what to do if there is no employee with that id. Java developers usually consider two options for this scenario: Throw a checked exception Return null Sure, you could also apply the Null Object Pattern, but no one ever does that.

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Security From Day 1

Please take a look at my latest column for Government Computing News where I describe how you can program security into your applications from the start and avoid the guaranteed epic fail if you try to bolt security onto your applications later on. Just to give you an idea, here is the unedited introduction. IT security has recently gotten a lot of attention in the mainstream press for all the wrong reasons--like the Target hack that compromised millions of credit card numbers or the Heartbleed bug in OpenSSL that had everyone scrambling.

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4 Game Changers

Please take a look at my latest column for Government Computing News where I describe the four technologies that have most revolutionized software development in the last decade–with one notable absence. Just to give you an idea, here is the unedited introduction. In his blog post The Great Works of Software, Paul Ford enumerates five applications that excel in longevity, popularity, and usefulness. Pac-Man made the list, so you know it’s a good one.

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Welcoming Neustar

Vidya is proud to be working with Neustar, a leading telecommunications and cloud platform company. You may not realize it, but every phone call, fax, and computer connection in North America depends on Neustar. Why? In 1998, Neustar saved the 10-digit telephone number system from becoming a 14-digit system with a solution mandated by the FCC, so every telephone company in North America has a physical interface into Neustar’s directory system.

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