blue bar background yellow bar background
Colorado Software Summit 2008 banner
Colorado Software Summit logo

The Best Way to Master a Technology Is to Teach It to Others

Simon Roberts

Dancing Cloud Services

The Cost of New Technology

Modern computing systems are using increasingly complex library functionality, and as they do so, software engineers become ever more isolated from the harsh realities of time, bandwidth, memory and concurrency. As a result, code tends to become less efficient and more subject to scaling limits. Sometimes, these issues can be solved by throwing more hardware at the problem. However, sometimes more hardware doesn't provide more capacity, and sometimes you might care about the cost — or power requirements — of that hardware.

In either of these situations, you cannot ignore the inner workings of your system, even in library code. This talk looks at the sources of some of these performance issues, comparing the new approaches among themselves and with older approaches, and considers how to spot potentially unacceptable costs or constraints in your code or libraries so that you can make a thoughtful choice that avoids painful discoveries later in a project's lifecycle.

What OO Doesn't Address

Twenty or more years ago, it could be quite difficult to explain to a potential client why you were proposing to use an object oriented development approach on his project. Today, many newer programmers don't even know that other approaches ever existed. This talk looks at why we use OO, what it is intended to address, how it addresses those issues, and — perhaps most importantly — what issues it doesn't address. The discussion also looks at how we can most effectively address the issues OO overlooks without losing the benefits of OO.

Photo of Simon Roberts

Simon Roberts started work as a software engineer in the early '80s. He focused mainly on industrial control systems with real-time and networked elements, both relatively unusual for the time. He also immensely enjoyed teaching occasional classes at local Universities. In the mid '90s he moved to teaching full-time, and in '95 joined Sun Microsystems in the UK as a senior instructor. Simon remained with Sun until 2004, when he formed his own contract services company. From '95 to the present Simon has worked almost exclusively in the Java field. He has written successful books on Java programming and architecture topics, including Sun Certified Enterprise Architect for J2EE Technology Study Guide and Complete Java 2 Certification. He has also created several training classes, and has delivered many classes and seminars on Java related topics.

Simon moved to Colorado in '98 where he still lives. He spends his spare time as a flight instructor, photographer, and watching his two daughters growing up.