Java technology zone technical podcast series: Season 2

Andrew Glover interviews experts on a variety of topics

For years, the Java™ zone has brought you top-quality technical content by some of the best minds in the industry. But taking the time to read an in-depth, code-heavy article can be difficult, even if it's about a topic that's critical to your day job. This new podcast series, led by the engaging and technically curious Andrew Glover, provides a new way to get information from the sources you trust most. Every few weeks, we'll publish a new discussion with an expert on the topics that are important to your job.
Season 1¦ Season 2 ¦Season 3¦Season 4¦Season 5

Andrew Glover, CTO, App47

Andrew GloverAndrew Glover is a developer, author, speaker, and entrepreneur with a passion for behavior-driven development, Continuous Integration, and Agile software development. He is the founder of the easyb Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) framework and is the co-author of three books: Continuous Integration, Groovy in Action, and Java Testing Patterns. You can keep up with him at his blog and by following him on Twitter.



13 July 2011 (First published 11 January 2011)

Also available in Chinese Portuguese

Welcome to Season 2 of the Java technology zone technical podcast series. This season will bring additional podcasts with those who not only influence, but directly impact the Java technical community. Listen now to the podcasts in Season 1 and Season 3.

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The indefatigable Nic Williams extols the virtues of JRuby (July 13, 2011)

Listen now (Transcript): Does your language of choice allow you to express yourself more effectively? Dr. Nic Williams believes so, especially when the language is Ruby / JRuby. Listen in as Nic discusses Ruby — its efficiency, syntax, and happiness factor — that makes it such a useful language for web applications and the cloud.


Dr. Nic Williams is the VP of Technology at Engine Yard, a development and deployment platform for the cloud. Through his role at Engine Yard, he focuses on the technologies and processes for making Rails applications hum in production, for the automation and simplification of development, Continuous Integration, deployment, and the ongoing parenting of a production web application. Prior to his position at Engine Yard, Nic ran the premier Rails consultancy Mocra, employing some of the top Rails talent in Australia, with clients around the world. He has written, maintained, and contributed to over 100 open source projects.

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Jeff Casimir explores Code School's take on better technical education (July 6, 2011)

Listen now (Transcript): Educator and engineer Jeff Casimir discusses the state of technology education (think: that stack of technology books collecting dust on your bookshelf), where it falls down, and how effective models can make all the difference in the learning experience. Rails for Zombies, the popular guide to learning Rails that was originally created as a proof-of-concept for the Code School approach, builds on the techniques used in the traditional classroom — and at a compelling price point.


Jeff Casimir runs Jumpstart Lab where he teaches Ruby, Rails, and JavaScript to developers around the world. For Code School, he created jQuery Air: First Flight, an interactive introduction to jQuery and JavaScript fundamentals. He also publishes free tutorials on Ruby, Rails, and jQuery at Jumpstart.

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Optime Software's Jon Schlegel explores mobile application development (June 21, 2011)

Listen now (Transcript): In this engaging discussion, Jon talks about building successful mobile applications and distinguishing yourself among the masses. He dives into the main mobile platforms, discusses native and HTML5 development, the issues that come with porting across platforms and devices, and the differences in the publishing process between Apple (review process) and Android (fragmentation). And if you're interested in how to turn a buck in this competitive market, you'll want to consider Optime's business model.

Jon Schlegel is the Founder and CEO of Optime Software, one of the leading developers of classic casual games for smartphones. Prior to founding Optime Software, Jon served as a Product Manager for Roundbox, Inc., where he focused on mobile broadcast data applications, and as a high-tech sales and marketing consultant for McKinsey & Company. Jon holds a BS in Computer Science from Georgia Institute of Technology, an MS in Information Networking from Carnegie Mellon University, and an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

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Ed Boyajian and Robin Schumacher on PostgreSQL (June 7, 2011)

Listen now (Transcript): As PostgreSQL celebrates 15 years, EnterpriseDB's Ed Boyajian and Robin Schumacher talk about this popular open source database, its engaged community, how it differs MySQL, and where it fits in the world of big data.

Ed Boyajian is the CEO of EnterpriseDB. Prior to joining EnterpriseDB, he spent six years at Red Hat, Inc., the world's leading open source solutions provider, most recently serving as vice president and general manager of North America. Before that, he was vice president of Red Hat's global OEM business, responsible for all partnerships. During his tenure at Red Hat, Ed was instrumental in developing the foundational methods for selling open source software into the enterprise. Prior to Red Hat, Ed held executive sales and marketing positions at ArsDigita, an early leader in open source software for building database-backed community websites (acquired by Red Hat) and ServiceSoft (now Kana). Ed is a former U.S. Army Captain and earned his MBA from Harvard Business School and his undergraduate degree from Boston University.

Robin Schumacher is director of product strategy for EnterpriseDB. Prior to EnterpriseDB, Robin was the director of product management for MySQL and the VP of product management for Embarcadero Technologies. He is the author of three books on database performance, was the database software reviewer for Intelligent Enterprise and Data Management Review, has authored numerous articles on database design and performance, and has 15 years experience working with and designing database management systems.

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David Champagne on the R programming language and its relevance in the world of big data (May 24, 2011)

Listen now (Transcript): R is an open source, object-oriented, flexible language for statistical analysis — with powerful visualization capabilities. As businesses become more data driven, R is finding itself at the center of the business analytics storm. Find out how you can leverage R in your work and how it can assist you in an increasingly data driven world.

David Champagne, CTO at Revolution Analytics, is a top software architect, programmer, and product manager with over 20 years of experience in enterprise and web application development for business customers across a wide range of industries. As Principal Architect/Engineer for SPSS, Champagne led the development teams, created and led the text mining architecture team, and was responsible for a variety of open source initiatives. Prior to that, he served as Vice President of Software Engineering for LexiQuest and was in charge of software development, quality assurance, and publications for the company's entire product line. Earlier in his career, Champagne was a systems engineer for Honeywell and was also a freelance software consultant. He is a 1984 graduate of Southern Illinois University.

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James Phillips on the post relational world he envisions (May 6, 2011)

Listen now (Transcript): CouchOne and Membase joined forces to produce Couchbase, a NoSQL solution that provides the elasticity and high performance of CouchDB with traditional features like queries and indexing. Join Andy and Couchbase cofounder James Phillips as they discuss the brave new world of fast and safe web applications.

A twenty-five year veteran of the software industry, James Phillips started his career writing software for the Apple II and TRS-80 microcomputer platforms. In 1984, at age 17, he cofounded his first software company, Fifth Generation Systems, which was acquired by Symantec in 1993 forming the foundation of Symantec's PC backup software business. Most recently, James was cofounder and CEO of Akimbi Systems, a venture-backed software company acquired by VMware in 2006. Bookended by these entrepreneurial successes, James has held executive leadership roles in software engineering, product management, marketing, and corporate development at large public companies including Intel, Synopsys, and Intuit and with venture-backed software startups including Central Point Software (acquired by Symantec), Ensim, and Actional Corporation (acquired by Progress Software). Additionally, James spent two years as a technology investment banker with PaineWebber and Robertson Stephens and Co., delivering M&A advisory services to software companies. James holds a BS in Mathematics and earned his MBA, with honors, from the University of Chicago. He currently serves on the board of directors of Teneros and as an investor in and advisor to a number of privately-held software companies including Delphix, Replay Solutions, and Virsto.

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Bhaskar Sunkara on performance challenges and solutions (April 26, 2011)

Listen now (Transcript): AppDynamics' Director of Engineering talks about three main issues (the advent of the cloud, agility, and low-cost memory) that affect performance in this informative podcast.

Bhaskar Sunkara is the Director of Engineering at AppDynamics and is responsible for leading the company's engineering processes and incorporating customer feedback and input into every aspect of the product. Prior to joining AppDynamics, Bhaskar was Lead Engineer at Wily Technology, where he pioneered a dynamic instrumentation engine as well as the company’s product expansion into .NET.  Prior to that, he was Lead Engineer for Pramati Technologies, where he was one of the key people behind the design and development of their J2EE Application Server. 

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John Steven on software security and the role of today's application developer (April 19, 2011)

Listen now: Today's dynamic development landscape presents a nightmare for security experts, but short of "stopping the train," what can you do to ensure a proactive approach to security? In this engaging conversation, John Steven combines his abilities as a software developer with his expertise in security to help us avoid a reactive model and prevent breaches before they occur.

John Steven is the Senior Director, Advanced Technology Consulting at Cigital with over a decade of hands-on experience in software security. John's expertise runs the gamut of software security from threat modeling and architectural risk analysis, through static analysis (with an emphasis on automation), to security testing. As a consultant, John has provided strategic direction as a trusted advisor to many multinational corporations. John's keen interest in automation keeps Cigital technology at the cutting edge. He has served as co-editor of the Building Security In department of IEEE Security & Privacy magazine, speaks with regularity at conferences and trade shows, and is the leader of the Northern Virginia OWASP chapter. John holds a B.S. in Computer Engineering and an M.S. in Computer Science both from Case Western Reserve University.

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Pinaki Poddar talks persistence: strategies, opinions, and his current interest, JEST (April 12, 2011)

Listen now (Transcript): Persistence evangelist Pinaki Poddar offers detailed insight on the issues surrounding persistence in Java web applications. As a member of the Expert Groups for both JPA and JDO, and a committer for the Apache OpenJPA project, Dr. Poddar is well positioned to provide you with the latest information on this critical layer of any production-level web application.

Dr. Pinaki Poddar works in middleware technology with an emphasis on object persistence. He is a member of the Expert Group for the Java Persistence API (JSR 317) and Java Data Objects (JSR 12) specifications and a committer for the Apache OpenJPA project. In a past life, he contributed to the building component-oriented integration middleware for a global investment bank and a medical image-processing platform for healthcare industry.

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Jason Huggins and Simon Stewart on Selenium 2 (April 1, 2011)

Listen now (Transcript): Find out how changes to the Selenium framework take version 2 to a new level, where WebDriver fits into the picture, and how the Android and iPhone support enhances mobile web testing (which is notoriously tricky). Interested in leveraging the cloud for testing? Then you'll not want to miss Simon's "Spinal Tap" analogy for some background.

Jason Huggins co-founded Sauce Labs and currently leads product direction. Prior to Sauce Labs, Jason was a Test Engineer at Google where he supported the grid-scale "Selenium Farm" for testing Google applications such as Gmail and Google Docs. Jason's experience also includes time at ThoughtWorks in Chicago as a software developer. While at ThoughtWorks, Jason created the Selenium testing framework out of the need to cross-browser test a new in-house time and expense system. When not programming in Python or JavaScript, Jason enjoys hacking on Arduino-based electronics projects. Jason has spent time in New York City, LA, and the Bay Area, but Chicago is his kind of town.

Simon Stewart lives in London and works as a Software Engineer in Test at Google. His Open Source contributions centre on Selenium, where he’s one of the noisier members of the community and a core contributor to the project. It has been said before that Simon enjoys beer and writing better software, sometimes at the same time. This is true. He is also the top hit for the search term “steel cage knife fight”, a fact that makes him inordinately proud.

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Tom Jenkins on Grails security (March 29, 2011)

Listen now (Transcript): Tom's extensive work in the government sector requires a laser focus on security. His framework of choice? Grails. He's put this popular framework through its paces and describes where it excels and how it handles vulnerabilities found in other approaches.

Tom Jenkins is the Vice President of Development at Devis, a minority, woman-owned small business with 18 years of experience as a prime contractor for Federal customers. He’s a member of OWASP and is a CSSLP. He has been developing applications for well over 20 years. His career has spanned COBOL, Pascal/Delphi, Java programming, Python, and now Groovy. His two favorite languages are Python and Groovy; the first for its productivity, the second for bringing that same productivity into the enterprise on the JVM.

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Andres Almiray on Griffon (March 2, 2011)

Listen now (Transcript): Find out what this open source application framework, inspired by Grails, has over its competitors and how it can help you build rich desktop applications in Java and Groovy, and, when appropriate, other JVM languages, like Scala, Clojure, and even Erlang.

Andres is a Java/Groovy developer and Java Champion, with more than 11 years of experience in software design and development. He has been involved in web and desktop application developments since the early days of Java. He has also been a teacher of computer science courses in the most prestigious education institute in Mexico. His current interests include Groovy, Scala, and Swing. He is a true believer of open source and has participated in popular projects like Groovy, Griffon, JMatter, and DbUnit, as well as starting his own projects (Json-lib, EZMorph, GraphicsBuilder, and JideBuilder). He is a founding member and current project lead of the Griffon framework. You can find him on Twitter as @aalmiray. He likes to spend time with his beloved wife, Ixchel, when not hacking around.

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Ryan McGeary on CoffeeScript (February 24, 2011)

Listen now: Learn more about this lightweight language, syntactically inspired by Ruby and Python and referred to as JavaScript's less-ostentatious kid brother. Find out how CoffeeScript, which is built on top of node.js and compiles to JavaScript, makes functional programming cleaner and produces more readable JavaScript.

Ryan McGeary is a freelance software consultant, speaker, business starter, and amateur triathlete. Ryan is the owner of McGeary Consulting Group, a software development and consulting firm in Northern Virginia. He is also a partner and co-founder of BusyConf, a conference organizing web application. Ryan specializes in web application development and enjoys leveraging new tools and frameworks for his day-to-day development efforts. You can keep up with Ryan at his website and by following him on Twitter.

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Scott Davis, perhaps the Grooviest guy on Earth, shifts his spotlight and discusses HTML5 (January 25, 2011)

Listen now (Transcript): The ever-affable Scott Davis turns his attention to HTML 5, the already pervasive and "hip" web technology. Find out why Scott's so keen on this topic, what it can do for you, and how to get started.

Scott Davis is the founder of ThirstyHead.com, a training company that specializes in Groovy and Grails training. Scott published one of the first public websites implemented in Grails in 2006 and has been actively working with the technology ever since. Author of the book Groovy Recipes: Greasing the Wheels of Java and two article series on developerWorks (Mastering Grails and Practically Groovy), Scott writes extensively about how Groovy and Grails are the future of Java development and teaches public and private classes on Groovy and Grails for start-ups and Fortune 100 companies. He is a regular presenter on the international technical conference circuit (including No Fluff Just Stuff). In 2008, Scott was voted the top Rock Star at JavaOne for his talk "Groovy, the Red Pill: How to blow the mind of a buttoned-down Java developer." In 2009, he won a second Rock Star award for his talk "Resource-Oriented Architecture (ROA) and REST."

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Andrew Binstock on open source software (January 11, 2011)

Listen now (Transcript): The notable technology analyst and open source advocate discusses the open source business model, including licensing and code hosting options, and talks to the perfect storm that must occur for an open source project to become widely used (and actually make you money).

Andrew Binstock is the principal analyst at Pacific Data Works. He is a columnist for SDTimes and a senior contributing editor for InfoWorld, where he analyzes market trends and performs reviews of enterprise development products. He also writes regularly about IT at GreenerComputing.com. Previously, he was a senior manager at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, where he oversaw technology forecasting for the firm's clients. Prior to that, he was editor in chief of UNIX Review, and earlier of the C Gazette. He started his career in technology in 1981 as a software developer. He has written several books on programming, published by Addison-Wesley and Intel Press. For the last 17 years, he has been a judge for the Jolt awards.

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