Bizcamp Dublin is tomorrow … see you there

Really looking forward to Bizcamp tomorrow in the Guinness Storehouse Dublin.  5 Streams of 8 Sessions each = 40 Top speakers, not to mention the buzz of meeting 500 people in the business and technology areas. And it’s free (thanks to a word from the sponsors … )

Bizcamp

Want to say a big thank you for the guys who did all the hard work in putting the camp together. Keith, Emily, Alan and Jason, do ye not have a business to run as well?!

Key people that I’m looking forward to hearing are the two EI guys (David is talking at 11.30 about Business plan mistakes and Gerard’s on at 15.30 about how your startup should approach EI for the first time). I’m also looking forward to seeing Ciara talk about personal productivity (10am), Ronan about Microsoft Bizspark (10.45),  Justin talking about Service (14.45) and Steve talking about Software as a Service (16.15).

Talk to you there!

What is Bizcamp Dublin and why you should go on the 7th March

Bizcamp is a conference (un-conference) for start-up companies and entrepreneurs. The conference will be held in Dublin, on 7 March with another event in Limerick on the 21st March.

BizCamp is an opportunity for entrepreneurs and innovators to come together, share experiences, and possibly create new value out of the day. It’ll be a chance to meet up with people who’ve been there, done that and bought the t-shirt – members of the business community, VCs and investors, and representatives from the relevant state agencies. Lost your job or finding current market conditions tough? Come along to BizCamp, who knows what new opportunities might turn up?

People tend to associate *Camps with the Web and the tech start-ups, but our aim is to try and embrace as much of the Irish business community as possible. We want to see people from all streams – finance, operations, HR, legal, delivery specialists, R&D, marketing – and yes, even tech! Ireland Inc. has a wealth of knowledge and acumen, more than enough to help us out of these troubled times. By attending (and, more importantly, contributing!) you can help make BizCamp the first “good news story” of the recession.

A full list of people already signed up to attend is available at

http://www.bizcamp.ie/whos-attending/

Eircom, Bank of Ireland and other key digital companies will be sponsoring the event. The Bizcamp is being organised by a number of entrepreneurs who have businesses in the Leinster region, along with people active in the web from business and public sectors.

While most of the speaking slots are informal we are looking key business speakers for two panels on the day; Speakers should be recognizable figures, all with a good story to share. Suggested panel topics are raising funding and supports available for your business. A list of people already speaking at the event is online at http://www.bizcamp.ie/2009/01/speakers-sessions/

Aside from the business networking available at the event, Speakers will have an opportunity to promote themselves and their business in a friendly Q&A type session. If you think you’d have something to contribute to the panel,  please contact me (Paul) via the comment form on this blog.

 

How NOT to do Web 2.0 – No Cork is not near Drogheda

Web 2.0 is great – it allows users to get involved on your website.

Allthetopbananas.com shows not how to do it. Just be lazy and not bother to tell your website that Cork is not near Drogheda (for our non-Irish-based readers, they’re at opposite ends of the country, about a 4-5hr commute!).

Why should I bother to report to you that ‘Cork is not Drogheda’ if you haven’t done your basic research and looked at the map? Save your ‘wisdom of crowds’ stuff for items that you can’t find anywhere else.

Lisbon No voter converted to YES

Update: It looks like 862,415 Irish people (53% of the electorate) don’t read this blog and voted no. Note to self: must increase blog readership. Looks like we’re all going to find out what the consequence (big or small) of a No vote is.

I don’t normally talk about politics on this blog, but this one is important , so excuse me if I make a rare exception. For readers from outside of Ireland, we’re the only country that is holding a referendum vote on the Lisbon treaty next Thursday (12th), which changes how the European Union (EU) is going to go about it’s internal business.

Like a lot of Irish people I was initally going to vote ‘No‘, partly because of unhappiness with the current political and economic outlook. Also partly by the poor ‘Yes’ campaign – loads of posters with policiticans faces, but no reasons why I should cast my vote in favour.

There’s been no official explanation of the (incomprehensible) treaty text. But the guide on RTE’s website shows the treaty changes and gives clear explanations as to what the changes mean.

European Flag

Why I’ve changed my mind to vote yes. And not because of the patronising ‘jobs jobs jobs’ or ‘laughing stock of Europe’ arguments. (For the record , I find the no campaigns scaremongering about neutrality / taxes / take-away-our-babies equally offensive). Here’s why

  • Europe has been good for Ireland – and not just the free roads. A large part of the peace process happened because the EU removed the differences between Ireland and Britain. I remember stopping at the customs post on the (single lane) main road between Dundalk and Newry. Very different now , with the M1 Motorway crossing what was previously ‘bandit country’.
  • Europe has been good to me personally. I’ve been able to work (visa free) in 3 other European countries. It’s allowed me to study (with the host government paying the fees) in two more. Very different from the alternative of being an undocumented worker in the US.
  • This is not a ‘free’ protest vote. There are consequences to voting no (maybe big, maybe small, nobody can guess at this stage). We’re not teenagers any more; it’s a big decision and should be treated as such.
  • Without Europe, we’re more or less just a region of the UK. Before we signed up to EMU (the prequel to the Euro) in the 70’s the Irish pound was tied one-to-one to UK sterling. All economic decisions were effectively made in London. We may have only a small voice at the big European table, but it’s better that what we had previously – no voice at all.

I still think there is a lot that could be better with the EU – despite the increase in the powers of the European Parliament, the EU isn’t (yet) democratic enough. It’s far from perfect. It’s messy. But that’s life, and previous generations of Irish people would love to have a choice like this.

But what pushed me over the edge to vote yes is the Spoofers guide to the Lisbon treaty. Read it. Then decide.

Agile Projects Using the Spring Framework – Training

Lots of things going on behind the scenes at FirstPartners. One of which is the Spring Framework training course that we’re giving on Wed 30th May in Bewley’s Hotel, Ballsbridge, Dublin. Interested in going? – you can book here (via Trigraph). Can’t make it? We’ll probably do a follow up.

What are you missing? Apart from the crash test dummies (below), there’s loads of lego blocks, Swiss mountains, trains crashing through walls and a Kangaroo. (Spring, Geddit?). You might even learn something about Java along the way.

Agile Projects using the Spring Framework
Executive Briefing
Delivery: Public or In-house
Course Length: 0.5 days. Optional mentoring / follow up session if required by Client
Course Approach: Lecture, discussions
Level: Beginner / Intermediate

Dummies

Course Description:

Spring, with good reason, is the most actively used framework in the Enterprise Java world today. The half- day briefing shows the problems that Spring can solve for your projects, core Spring concepts such as Inversion of Control and integration with existing Enterprise Java technologies for database access, messaging and web deployment. The briefing also shows how to use Spring to make your projects more agile, improving quality and reducing deployment time.

Course Objectives:

  • Following completion of this course, students will be able to:
  • Understand why Enterprise Java is the mostly widely used corporate technology, and how Spring both simplifies and improves this technology.
  • Understand core Spring concepts such as Inversion of Control (IOC), configuration , deployment and testing.
  • Describe how to integrate Spring with Enterprise Technologies such as Databases, Messaging and Web 2 frameworks.
  • Understand how Spring can make your projects more agile and the benefits it brings to your organization
  • Map out a plan of how to introduce the Spring framework to existing systems.

Course Syllabus:

Section 1: The Problems That Spring Solves

  • Introduction
  • Who are you? Who are we?
  • What is Spring?
  • What is (Enterprise) Java?
  • The problems with Enterprise Java
  • Why Enterprise Java is costing you money.
  • The Deployment Scale
  • Java Classes and Objects
  • Just enough XML to get by
  • Core Spring – Inversion of Control pattern
  • Spring Configuration and my First Spring App
  • Deployment via Web, Enterprise Java and Command line
  • Spring on other platforms (.Net , Ruby and Groovy)
  • Alternatives to Spring
  • Spring and Java 5 – easier development
  • Starting out – just a little Spring in your Step.

Section 2: Core Spring and Enterprise Spring Integration

  • Spring Web Framework (MVC)
  • Spring Web with Struts , JSF , XSLT , Tiles and GWT (Google Web Toolkit)
  • Spring and Ajax in Web 2 Applications.
  • Spring Webflow
  • Spring and Databases (Hibernate and JDBC)
  • Spring and Messaging (MQ and JMS)
  • Spring Remoting and Web Services
  • Aspect Orientated Programming (AOP)
  • Transactions in Spring
  • Appfuse – ready to roll Spring projects with Maven
  • Administration of your Application using Spring and JMX
  • Scheduling using Spring and Quartz
  • Spring and Acegi Security

Section 3: Practical Spring – make your project more Agile

  • The problems with IT Projects
  • What is Agile
  • Spectrum of Agility
  • How Spring makes your project more agile (and your customer happy)
  • Key Agile Practices
  • Unit Testing with Spring
  • Integration Testing
  • Mock Objects
  • Spring IDE
  • Spring and Business Rules
  • Spring and Workflow
  • Alternative Spring configuration.
  • Extending Spring to meet you (obscure) needs.
  • What’s new in Spring 2.5 (and coming up for Spring 3)

Audience:

  • Managers and Project Managers wishing to understand the benefits of adding Spring to their projects.
  • Software developers needing an introduction to Java and the Spring Framework and integration with key Enterprise technologies.
  • Support, Database , Web Designers and other IT professionals needing to interface with Spring and Enterprise Java systems.
  • .Net developers wishing to understand the concepts behind the Spring.Net framework.

Related Courses:
Enterprise Java (Trigraph) and Agile Project Management (Trigraph)

Prerequisites:
Some high level exposure to the Java, .Net or other Object Orientated language would be beneficial but
not necessary.

Spring Belfast and Spring Dublin – two of the biggest Java events of the year

No apologies for over simplifying this :

  1. If you’re in business you need computer systems to support your team. Systems to find previous dealings with a customer, systems to allow your team to work together, systems to stop people finding out things that they shouldn’t.
  2. Once your business passes the 100 employee mark and is heading for ‘Enterprise’ scale, chances are you need custom software written just for you, in addition to he ‘shrink wrap’ stuff you’ve been able to get away with until now.
  3. Most custom Enterprise software is written in (or uses a large element of) Enterprise Java.
  4. Enterprise Java is hard to get started with – it’s a big and complex framework because it solves big and complex problems. The Spring framework makes it easy.

spring logo

OK, so we’re Spring nuts. But nuts only because it’s solved problems for FirstPartners over the last 4 years. What we like:

  • Spring allows you to use just enough Enterprise Java to solve your problem
  • Spring complements Enterprise Java, not replaces it.
  • Spring gives you a gentle slope to using Enterprise technologies.
  • Spring works well with Java, Oracle, .Net , (J)Ruby and pretty much any mainstream technology – including most of the widespread Java Frameworks like Struts and Hibernate.

So you wait ages for one Spring Event in Ireland, then two come along at once. We’ve written about Rod Johnson speaking in Dublin on Tue March 11th. Now there is a full day Spring Event in Belfast the day before (March 10th). And it’s sponsored by Momentum NI, so it’s free. And the Hilton Hotel is right beside Belfast Central train station, so it’s easy to get to from Dublin.

The full agenda is here (more details below), but given the importance of Spring to the Enterprise world, and the fact that the top four Spring guys are speaking, we reckon that it the Enterprise event of the year. The booking form is here.

Spring Ireland 2008

10th March 08:30 10th March 17:30
Hilton Belfast, 4 Lanyon Place, Belfast (Beside Central Train station)
SpringSource is proud to announce Spring Ireland 2008. Join us for a free one-day conference with presentations from the SpringSource team including a keynote from Rod Johnson.

Keynote: Spring into the Future – Rod Johnson

The Spring Framework began in 2002 with Rod’s best-selling Expert One-on-One J2EE Design and Development; one of the most influential books ever published on J2EE, Rod is recognised as one of the world’s leading authorities on Java and J2EE development.With the rapid expansion of SpringSource and move to new corporate HQ in Silicon Valley, this is a rare UK opportunity to hear Rod provide his views and explore the future of J2EE application development.

What’s New in Spring 2.5 – Sam Brannen

Sam is a lead architect at SpringSource and one of the most experienced developers within the organisation.This session provides delegates with an overview of the new features available in Spring 2.5. Specifically, highlighting the simplified and extensible configuration support provided via configuration annotations and new XML configuration namespaces, new Java 6 support, updates to Spring AOP, improved JDBC and JPA support, annotation-driven web MVC controllers, the new annotation-based TestContext framework for unit and integration tests and more!

SpringSource Professional Services – Greg Southey

Greg has built SpringSource’s UK Professional Services organisation into the leading Spring consultancy business in the world.

This is a brief resume of some of the 97 major projects completed by the UK Professional Services team in 2007. Delegates will hear about the business drivers behind some major development projects, the business issues faced and how they were resolved in partnership with the client.

Spring as a Full Stack Web Framework – David Syer

As Principal Consultant at SpringSource, Dave leads the way in the understanding of satisfying business requirements using the Spring Portfolio. His easy manner cloaks a prodigious knowledge of application development.

This session explores the “full stack” web framework trend and answers the question: how does Spring stack up? This session defines what a full-stack web framework is, then provides a fair technical comparison between a Spring-centric web development stack and the alternatives. Delegates will head about the feature-set of modern “full stack” web frameworks, and what Spring has that differentiates itself from the pack.

Spring in Ireland – Ian Graham

Ian Graham, Momentum, will explore the use of Spring in Ireland and introduce case studies from companies who are using the Spring family of products.

Round Table Discussion – Rod Johnson, Rob Harrop, Dave Syer, Sam Brannen & Greg Southey

Your chance to ask Rod and his team anything that’s on your mind regarding Spring!

Business Bloggers – Pre Awards Meetup – Open to all

At what other awards could you mingle with the Oscar nominees before the event? See them preparing the acceptance speeches, display their pre-show nerves and ask them for tips on the secret of their success? At the Irish Blog Awards – Business Blogger Meetup next Saturday March 1st , of course.

Details : The blog awards kick off at 7.30pm. So lets do it one hour earlier at 6.30pm. Same venue , Alexander Hotel, has a nice big foyer area. There’s no food at the awards themselves , but the hotel does a waiter service in the lobby if you’re just up ‘from the country’. Just look out for me (I’ve been told I look like my photo on the top right. Which is not a good thing) , or any of the nominees (although I suspect Rowan and Michele aren’t as cartoonish in real life).

You don’t have to be a nominee to come along. Just come along and talk about what has worked for you as a Business Blogger.

Irish Blog Awards Sponsor

Update: I would put good money on Kieran from Ice Cream Ireland turning up in full ice-cream-man gear. Click here to encourage him. It does solve the problem of ‘you-dont-really-look-like-your-photo’.

Which of these people is going to win the 'Best Irish Business Blogger' Award?

Did we mention that FirstPartners is sponsoring the Best Business Blog award? As a taster, here are the profiles of the 13 people short listed for the award. Who will we be giving the prize to? Come along on the 1st of March , Alexander Hotel, Dublin to find out.

MaryRose Lyons Brightspark Consulting
Brightspark is a Dublin web design and internet marketing agency, run by Maryrose Lyons who has been blogging since 2003. So she probably knows what she is talking about. Maryrose doesn’t pull her punches (read her blog to find out who she called ‘a shambles’) and is recommended to people dipping their toes in the world of business blogging.
Bubble Brothers
The tagline to this blog pretty much sums it up : ‘Wine, Champagne , more’. These Cork Wine Merchants ooze sophistication, even when they branch out from wine to talk about pancakes, pizza and the Bridgestone pick of 2008. All on the one page. They’ll even sell you some of their stuff if you ask nicely.
Pat Phelan
Cork Based Giant Killer Pat Phelan is out to slay the telecoms monsters. Watch a blow by blow account on the roam4free blog. You’ll never look at your mobile phone bill in the same way again.
Keith Bohanna
Keith’s main job is as part of the Irish Internet Association and creative camp Kilkenny. Or maybe it’s as part of a startup , DB Twang, a site for Guitar enthusiasts Kilkenny Creative Camp. Or maybe it’s teaching other business people to blog. Whichever subject is, Keith covers them well on his site.
Ice Cream Ireland
Ice Cream. In a blog. From Kerry cows. What more do you need to know?
BH Consulting Blog
Brian Honan , one of Ireland’s top Security Consultants , will have you paranoid after reading his blog. And while everybody else except you gets hit by virus, phishing attempts and emails that knock over your PC, you’ll be glad that you listened to him.
The Blacknight Blog
Michele Neylon has been a supporter of the blogging community, since well , before they were called blogs. Michele runs Blacknight hosting based in Carlow. The Blacknight example shows how a company in a ‘commodity’ industry (web hosting) can stand out by showing a human face on their blog(s). At the very least , it shows faith in their quality of service.
O’Conall Street
Conall manages to make business and politics mix. A man who has journeyed from Dublin to Belfast via Spain, the SDLP and the Good Friday Agreement , he is currently head of PR Company Weber Shandwick in Northern Ireland. He’s also a Man United fan, but everybody has to have at least one flaw.
McGarr Solicitors
McGarr solicitors are the first point of call for bloggers in legal distress. The site is very much legal people who blog, rather than just bloggers with a passing interest in the law. The blog provides a lot of useful advice in areas such as Personal Injury, (accidents at work particularly) , Environmental , Planning and Employment Law. And they do the bread and butter buying and selling your house as well. .
Interactions
Annette Clancy is an organisational consultant, coach and psychotherapist. An unusal combination perhaps, but she helps people overcome their ‘stuckness’ and solve business problems. The blog isn’t afraid to venture into uncharted areas such as the role of emotion in the work place.
Worldwide Cycles
One of europes few specialist bike stores run by people who are still competing regularly. Barry, based in Tipperary, explains what those infestations of cyclists are actually doing on our roads. And what cyclists get up to with cans of Lynx. It will make 4×4 drivers think twice before overtaking with only inches to spare.
Fortify Your Oasis
Thinking of changing your job? Read this blog first. Rowan explains how to give your life direction, how to pick , then land the job that fits in with this. And shows you how to preform a graceful exit from the role your are currently in and hate. And he’s written a book about it, showing that bloggers can do ‘real’ writing as well.
Frank Fullard
Mayo based Frank talks about entrepreneurs and the businesses they start. And he’s not afraid to think small, taking a different view from many of the ‘we’re a startup, we’re going to take over the world’ blogs that are out there.

Would the last Java person leaving Ireland please turn out the lights?

Over the last 6 months, I know of 5 top Java guys who have either left , or seriously planning to leave, Ireland. I’m not happy about this.

Surprised?

Halfpenny Bridge Dublin

You’d think that I’d be delighted that the idea of the all the competition leaving. Reality is that all us IT Consultants live in an ecosystem: if companies don’t have a pool of talent available they will find somewhere or some other way of doing it.

All of the 5 guys have very different reasons for going (and they are guys, just to confirm the stereotype). All are going for very positive reasons. They want to go to the UK, USA, France and further afield. Some are going on spec, some have work with top companies lined up. There is a mix of nationalities, but all have been in Ireland for three years or more. These aren’t people who came to Ireland for a working holiday or are leaving do the ‘Big OE’ in New Zealand. They’re also people Ireland can ill-afford to lose.

The common thread in all the stories was that the Irish Property Market; It’s great to have an itch to travel, but you’re never going to leave unless somebody gives you a push. High rents and impossible property prices gave these guys (at least some) of that push.