A week in the life of a Google Developer Expert

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All the GDEs posing at the Googleplex

A few months back, Shine’s Pablo Caif and Graham Polley were welcomed into the Google Developer Expert (GDE) program as a result of their recent work at Telstra. The projects they are working on consist of building bleeding edge big data solutions using tools like BigQuery and Cloud Dataflow on the Google Cloud Platform (GCP). You can read all about that here.

GDE acceptance comes with many benefits and privileges, one of which is a yearly trip to a private summit at a different location each year. With Google footing the bill, they bring all the GDEs (around 250 currently) from around the globe for, let’s admit it, a complete Google geek-out fest for 2 days!

This year the summit was at the Googleplex in Mountain View. Needless to say, Pablo and Graham were chomping at the bit to go. However, in addition to the summit, Google invited them to fly out prior to actual summit itself. They had lined up a few other things especially for the guys. So this was no ordinary trip. Lucky buggers!

We asked both guys to give their individual feedback on the trip, and here’s what they had to say about it. Read on if you want to hear about how the guys spent six days hanging out with Google in America.

Google Cloud Dataproc and the 17 minute train challenge

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My work commute

My commute to and from work on the train is on average 17 minutes. It’s the usual uneventful affair, where the majority of people pass the time by surfing their mobile devices, catching a few Zs, or by reading a book. I’m one of those people who like to check in with family & friends on my phone, and see what they have been up to back home in Europe, while I’ve been snug as a bug in my bed.

Stay with me here folks.

But aside from getting up to speed with the latest events from back home, I also like to catch up on the latest tech news, and in particular what’s been happening in the rapidly evolving cloud area. And this week, one news item in my AppyGeek feed immediately jumped off the screen at me. Google have launched yet another game-changing product into their cloud platform big data suite.

It’s called Cloud Dataproc.

Adobe Innovation Session (June 2015)

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As part of the Adobe Partner program, various sessions and events are organised to keep partners updated on the latest features of the Adobe Marketing Cloud platform. Best practices are also talked about in order to deliver high quality solutions to clients that invest in Adobe’s digital experience management solutions.

On June 3rd, Shine Technologies was invited to an Innovation Session with a focus on leveraging the Adobe Marketing Cloud to deliver engaging customer experiences.

Spring Data REST and Projections

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Introduction

In recent years, Spring has become much more than just a dependancy injection container and an MVC web application framework. Nowadays, it’s the go-to for building enterprise solutions due to the fact it has a fantastic community built up around it, and it has a multitude of projects that makes every developer’s life that little bit easier! In this blog post, I’m going to briefly introduce Spring Data REST, and how we used it and an unknown feature called ‘projectionson a recent project.

Confessions of a Documenter

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I’m going to confess something. I’ve been harbouring a terrible secret for the last few years. It’s something that I’ve tried to keep hidden away from my peers for a very long time so as not to be labeled as “that guy“. Something I’ve kept buried deep in the depths of my darkest closet. Ok, maybe I’m being somewhat melodramatic. Pray tell, I hear you say, what is it?!

Well, it’s that I enjoy writing documentation. From the lowliest code comments through to high level architectural documentation. I enjoy it all.

Put On Your Streaming Shoes

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The Kick-Off Meeting

It went something along the lines of:

  • Client: “We have a new requirement for you..”
  • Shiners: “Shoot..”
  • Client: “We’d like you to come up a solution that can insert 2 million rows per hour into a database and be able to deliver real-time analytics and some have animated charts visualising it. And, it should go without saying, that it needs to be scalable so we can ramp up to 100 million per hour.”
  • Shiners: [inaudible]
  • Client: “Sorry, what was that?”
  • Shiners: [inaudible]
  • Client: “You’ll have to speak up guys..”
  • Shiners: “Give us 6 weeks”

We delivered it less than 4.

Geekapalooza: My recent visit to Google I/O

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Last week I had to pry myself away from my day-to-day life as a software developer and fly over the Pacific to attend Google I/O. Okay maybe I didn’t have to pry myself away – rather, it was more like me excitedly not sleeping for 2 days, giddy as a school kid, prior to leaving. I was lucky enough to be personally invited this year to both the conference and to other GDG organiser events to meet other community leaders across the globe. It’s safe to say I had high expectations.

I was expecting it to be big, but what I found was a mecca for geeks. A place where being a nerd was cool, wearing glass and wearables was not only normal but encouraged, and a place where everyone wanted to talk to you about the products they have been building and what tech stack and services made it possible. To say that I was blown away is an understatement — and this is just the people and culture surrounding the event. Let’s not forget the main reason I was there: I/O is the main stage for Google to announce their new product pipeline for the year. In this blog entry I’ll highlight the big announcements, albeit at a very high level.

Think a Bit, Code a Bit, Test a Bit

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The best piece of advice I ever got regarding a personal software development process was from a grizzled old Unix developer with a neckbeard. OK, that’s not true – it was actually from a clean-shaven principal consultant and architect at a company I used to work at, but that doesn’t sound nearly as impressive.

Nevertheless, the process went something like this:

  1. Think a bit
  2. Code a bit
  3. Test a bit
  4. Go to Step 1

Having tried all manner of processes over the years, this is the one that has served me best. Let me break it down for you if you’re having trouble understanding it.

JavaOne 2013 Day Zero

The 18th JavaOne started this Sunday in San Francisco. Covering three hotels in downtown SF, Hilton, Parc55 and Nikkon and with keynotes in the Moscone Centre, Oracle OpenWorld is hands down the biggest conference I’ve ever attended.  It covers 5 days in total and over 500 sessions plus side exhibitions and events. And it certainly needs the room, not only to accommodate the number of attendees going to these sessions but the breadth of the platform itself.