Wednesday 9 October 2013

vJUG: One small step for JUGs, one giant leap for JUG-kind

What's the problem?

I love community, networking and interactions with other geeks, that's why I married one! :) The greatest thing about Java User Groups (JUGs) isn't just the great content, but also the close knit community, the beers and chatting/networking with like-minded geeks talking tech and sharing ideas. I’m an active leader of the LJC (London JUG) and speak at events as well as organiser for the LJC Open Conference (Happening this Nov 23rd ;) ). I've actually considered moving into London for this community alone. I currently live 45 mins outside, and it takes me over 2 hours round trip to visit or attend a session. With a new(ish) job and family, this really isn't viable. But it got me thinking… there must be hundreds of thousands of Java developers around the world who, just like me, don't have an accessible local Java community. There are likely many others who are close to a local community, but don't meet regularly, or maybe it isn't active at all. So, enough talk, let's see some action!

What's the solution?

I've created a new JUG, the virtualJUG, that's applicable to everyone with an internet connection! It aims to plug the hole for people who either don't live near an active JUG, who want to interact and get some community networking. Well, it's open to people who do live near an active JUG too if they need a tech-top-up! You can join now and stay connected with all the exciting sessions we have in the pipeline, by joining our meetup group right now! Or see what other things we need right now at the bottom of this blog! Of course the vJUG is entirely free to join and use.

So where's the community?

Clearly local JUGs provide a community that the vJUG will never compete with and it's not in our interest to do so! We want to work *with* local JUGs to give their content a better outreach and be the platform through which, if they choose to stream sessions, can be pushed and advertised to the wider Java community. We're already working with the LJC (London JUG) to be the place they live stream their sessions from - cool!

Interaction! Interaction! Interaction!

I'm a hater of a one way dull presentation whether it's being presented live or as an online webinar. So I intend to make sessions as interactive as possible! How? Here are some of my ideas:

Panel discussions - multiple speakers with interactive discussions, possibly based on Q&A from the audience

Attendee driven sessions - live polls to determine the direction of the session, or heavy Q&A sections

IRC chat - chat rooms live throughout the presentation, so attendees can agree, disagree, vent, ask questions and discuss what it happening without needing to stop the session to ask.

Anything else? If you can think of other ideas, let me know!

What types of sessions we be looking to run?

  • Presentations
  • Live Demos
  • Panel discussions
  • Live Streams of JUG meetings

Also by joining the community you'll get links via newsletters collating what we've been up to, what's going on outside the community and what is coming up, as well as which sessions have been most popular, so you can look them up again on Parleys or watch for the first time if you missed them! Essentially, we're your proactive calendar that throws content at you :)

Call to Action!

What are you waiting for? Sign up now!!! But more importantly, please share this blog post far and wide so our community can grow and help others techies around the world.

You own a JUG or community? Awesome, you can help too! Get your members to join up and ask them if they'd like to present at the vJUG! Make your community famous by reaching out, streaming to, or presenting at the vJUG!

We're also looking into options that allow for feature rich video streaming for large numbers of attendees and chat environments, like IRC that outlive the webinar. Let us know if you have any recommendations or suggestions.

Our first sessions will be announced shortly on the meetup site and on twitter!

You can contact me directly on twitter @sjmaple. This is also where I’ll initially be talking about the vJUG and letting you know what’s happening.

Friday 8 February 2013

Shit you talk about while redeploying on a Friday...

We must do everything we can to stop scenes like this happening again... You can avoid this from happening with JRebel.

<Anton> lol
<Simon> was a conclusion ever reached?
<Simon> Did Rebecca Black ever say which seat she would sit in? The back seat or the front seat?
<Luke> she kicks it in the front seat while sitting in the back seat, an impressive feat
<Simon> I'm not even sure what that means but I'm impressed
<Kesh> i think she is actually asking whether she should kick it in the front or back seat
<Kesh> shes gotta make her mind up
<Kesh> which seat she should taaaaaake
<Kesh> its a coming of age tale.
<Luke> truely the song of a generation
<Mike> that deep kesh...
<Kesh> We all know what happens in the back seat
<Sean> yes, rebecca black kicks it there
<Mike> obviously
<Erkki> or she might kick in the front seat
<Greg> She questions "which seat CAN I take?", not should I take. Who is stopping her from taking whatever seat she wants?
<Erkki> the establishment
<Mike> go back and refer to kesh's analysis...
<Simon> whoa! I look away for a couple of minutes and look what you all get up to when unattended :)
<Simon> So, the establishment is stopping her taking her preferred seat - I like it
<Mike> BTW - in the video she chooses the back seat. Just saiyin'
<Ben> Maybe there's a car seat in the back seat.
<Simon> with 2 girl friends - work that one out @Kesh
<Aaron> I'd actually like focus on another part of the song--the hip hop accompaniment and its function as a song within a song, sort of a meta-critique of the teenage experience. Let's focus our attention for a moment on the line "Fast lane--switching lanes!" which is clearly a metaphor for the fast paced unpredictability of the teenage girls life. The use of the car, and the act of speeding on the freeway as the vehicle (so to speak) for delivering the metaphor only enriches it, as the operation of a vehicle is one of the most universal coming of age milemarkers.
<Sean> what about the male rapper who identifies himself as "being rebecca black" ?
<Aaron> @seanroche It all just goes to the universality of the teenage experience that is at the heart of "Friday"
<Simon> She's a genius
<Aaron> Greg and I just had a really interesting discussion about the line and wording of "Gotta get down on Friday"
<Kesh> it's not an option.  rebecca must get down on friday
<Sean> its all about living life in the fast lane and switching lanes. rebecca is trying out different styles and approaches to her young life; which one will she take?
<Aaron> Well not only MUST she, but by not getting down she risks alienation from not only her peers, but her own sense of identity as a teenager
<Kesh> it will all be revealed in my essay, being delivered Monday, titled  Fast Lane: The Maturization of the Teenage Girl in America
<Sean> "We gonna have fun, c'mon, c'mon, y'all" this symbolizes peer pressure which is an unfortunate part of any young teens life
<Aaron> Well that's what's really striking about it. At its core, Friday is a song about the way a teenager (and possibly all of us) synthesize moments of peer pressure and position them in our own psyche as moments of authentic fun
<Simon> You all have such great vision. What's your deep understanding of the line "Fun Fun, Think about Fun, You know what it is. I got this, you got this, my friend is by my right. AAAAAAaaaaaaa"
<Joonas> There was a South Park episode about digging a deep point out of nothing, I think it applies here.
<Simon> This bit -
<Sean> @simon - is that really her friend though? Or is she implying their relationship has no true substance ?
<Aaron> I think "Fun, you know what it is" is one of the great moments of irony in Friday. On one hand you want to think that she is having fun in the car with her friends, but in reality she's reminding us to look beyond moments like this and to remind ourselves what "fun" really is. Maybe the pure fun we had as children, which becomes more and more abstracted and bastardized as we age
<Kesh> that line, IMHO, is rebecca trying to reassure herself that it will all be ok.  she says she's got this, you got this, but do any of us really get this? No, i dont think we do.
<Simon> and AAAAAAaaaaaaa?
<Aaron> A gutteral scream expressing frustration at the levels and layers of irony present in the teenage experience
<Sean> @kesh - think allanis morisette - so talented yet so tortured
<Kesh> as are all true artists
<Aaron> Well, here is the great thing about Alanis, Roche
<Aaron> She was actually able to see the view from outside her own ironic existence as a pop start trying to remain an authentic human. A view expressed in the song "Ironic." Which for my money is one of the great pop songs of the last 30 years.
<Sean> she was a bitch , but still maintained her status as a lover.
<Aaron> Well I think what she shows us is that it's possible to be both and still exist as a single vessel
<Simon> Whoa, back to work, redeploy is done.

Don't forget, joining the rebellion will help you and your friends avoid listening to or talking about Rebecca Black.