Scala

Talking Scala

If you are in the Washington, DC, area and love free pizza, I will be speaking at Polyglot Programming DC a week from today on Scala, a hot programming language for everything from web development to “Big Data” to Android development. Also, free pizza.

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This Week In #Scala

Every week Petr Zapletal, a software engineer at Cake Solutions, publishes a must-read post for Scala developers called quite intuitively This Week in #Scala. We are proud to announce that our latest tutorial Nine Reasons to Try Scala was featured in this week’s edition. We would like to thank Petr for thinking enough of our tutorial to include it in This Week in #Scala. Please check it out this week and every week for the latest news on the Scala ecosystem.

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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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When You Do Want None

In the applications I typically develop, I only care when strings are meaningful or when they aren’t because they are null (or nil, None, or Null depending on the language). Empty strings and strings containing only whitespace are this weird, in-between third category I really would prefer not to deal with. When I go to McDonald’s, I want to focus on the burgers and fries. I want absolutely nothing to do with the Filet-O-Fish.

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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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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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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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You Must Unlearn What You Have Learned

While in the middle of his Jedi training with Master Yoda, Luke Skywalker discovers his ship has sunk into the Dagobah swamp. Ever the whiner, Luke complains about how difficult it will be to salvage the ship. That’s when an exasperated Yoda bestows some unforgettable wisdom. The iconic line from this scene in The Empire Strikes Back is “Do. Or do not. There is no try.” That’s an awesome line worthy of every t-shirt and Big Bang Theory reference.

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Lighting a Spark with HBase

Although most developers and users are still feeling their way through Hadoop and (more specifically MapReduce), the truth is Google wrote that paper in 2004. That’s ten years ago! Million Dollar Baby won Best Picture that year. Yeah! by Usher, Lil John and Ludacris topped the charts in the United States. And Facebook had only just started to kill work productivity and violate your privacy. As long ago as that feels, it is an eternity in technology.

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