Trying to sum up IBM ConnectED 2015

Just been sitting here pondering the mess that is my desk and wondering where to start—both with the desk…

… and with how to summarise the past week. Was it a swansong? No idea. All I know is, I’m so glad I came to Florida this year (I’m a part-time Sphereian), and yes I’m feeling those delicious post-conference blues on a grey wet Saturday :-)

We at LDC Via missed our terrific friend and colleague Matt White a hell of lot, but we tried to push on through. I reprised my role as “big spoon” in the room sharing arrangements with woowar and all was well. Let us see if I can summarise (in no particular order)…

#ClosedTheDolphinBar, #BJs, #MallAtMillenia, #HolderBros, #BoughtASonosForAPrize, #MaiTais, #PenumbraDinner, #LameParty, #CarrotSticksWTF, #FultonsCrabHouse, #Marmalade, #CrossWordComp, #LDCViaTees, #Beavis, #BeyondTheEveryDay, #DuskyPink, #DepravedMonkey, #25Years, #PenumbraChampagne, #IBMChampions, #Kimonos, #BigSpoon, #CaughtTheSun, #ESPN, #BigRiver, #BoughtClothes, #FilthyBrunch, #DrinksOutside, #GreatAngularSession, #BaumanRobertsApocalypse, #WookieeSession, #JavaWithMinimalCode, #GabAndTims, #JellyRolls, #Mooney, #BLT, #LouisRichardson, #Pollack, #Litton, #JonVon, #Susan, #VirginNotlantic, #EyeOfTheStorm, #AskTheIBMers, #PretzelCookieGate, #NerdGirlsSparks, #ArtBenjamin, #Mathemagics, #HadABlast

Photo: sunset over IBM ConnectED

A change of IDEs

For more years than I care to remember, Eclipse has been my Java IDE of choice. I’ve been known to branch out to things like MyEclipse as required, but in recent years, just base Eclipse.

As Indigo, Juno, Kepler and company came and went, tweaks were made, user interfaces polished: fair enough. But of late, Eclipse has become more and more sluggish, and downright Domino Designer-ish on occasion (which is clearly intolerable!) The last straw for me was when both Kepler and Luna decided to periodically “forget” that they had integrated JUnit test-runners: a re-start was required to render test-running functional once more.

Time to change.

At a number of clients I noticed other Java developers crowing about IntelliJ IDEA. I’ve had good experiences with other JetBrains products (TeamCity and ReSharper, specifically), so figured I’d give it a go. I’m glad I did! Of course, one cannot simply forget years of Eclipse-focussed muscle memory, but I have found IntelliJ to be fast, responsive, logical, and chock-full of good features. Compared with Eclipse, IDEA makes good use of space, and an ability to quickly tuck away individual panes / windows / views / call-them-what-you-will is useful too. The JUnit shizzle is integrated well, and tests run very quickly. IDEA has extensive refactoring support too… in short, it’s all there, and I’m converted.

If I have piqued your interest, be sure to check out what’s coming in version 14, the next major release. There are some splendid things coming, like an integrated decompiler, scratch files and in-line operator expressions evaluation.

What’s new in IntelliJ IDEA 14.

How to write a blog post

There’s a lot of writing out there which I really enjoy at the moment (reading more than ever nowadays). One site that I only started following relatively recently is Wil Wheaton’s. No idea what took me so long. I rather enjoyed this little snippet in his latest post:

Stephen King says that writing is a form of time travel, and I’ll take that a step further: a bookstore or library is a portal to anywhere in the multiverse; it’s Sigil made real.

Read more…


I’m a developer / general IT wrangler, specialising in (often mobile-friendly) web apps using things like node.js, Java, C#, PHP, HTML5, etc.

Best described as a simpleton, but kindly. Read more…