Helsinki 2014 - Developing JVM applications for admins (... JVM applications are evil)

So there are many complaints about the JVM platform from administrators. Most of the problems however are related to the way applications themselves are written. Development is often done with a lot of consideration around the end-user experience, but doesn't take into account the administrators experience very often.

As a developer for a largely devops driven company, we have learnt a lot of lessons around this. This talk is about the smart things one can do as a developer to make system administrators lives easier, and how we try to do this in our own humble but opinionated way. Our goals have been to improve the impression of the JVM for our users by listening and learning, treating the interfaces that administrators use as serious inputs to our system that require UX consideration like anything and providing helpers wherever possible to bridge the gap between administrators and our platform.

I'll be talking about what we've done to make this better, from configuration files to logging, to stop/start scripts and everything in between, and I'll also talk about the open source application frameworks we've developed to make this process easier and consistent across our various software offerings. Further to this, I'll cover some future ideas for improving things from here. This talk is targeted at developers who want to make the world a better place, however the talk is largely from the perspective of an ex-admin who has only just joined the developer ranks.


For the last 2 years I've been a Ruby and Clojure developer at Puppet Labs, working specifically on the PuppetDB platform, and another 2 years in professional services. Before that I worked for 13 years as a systems admin in the ISP and Telecommunications industry. I've worked for Alfresco & Blackberry in the UK, Optus in Australia and travelled around Europe working for various organisations helping people get up and running with Puppet. In my spare time I love listening to music and developing computer games I only show to my friends.

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