Archive for the ‘Conferences & Talks’ Category


Devoxx US 2017 was back in March 21-23 of this year, and I’m only now getting around to posting an article about it.

The conference was in the San Jose McEnery Convention Center, which is quite a convenient venue for me. It’s only a little bit farther from home than my office. The session rooms and exhibition space were pretty nice too.

Unfortunately, the attendance seemed fairly light, which might have had something to do with the postponement of the next Devoxx US until 2019, skipping 2018.

An uncrowded conference meant there was more time for conversations with other speakers and other conference attendees. This was really great. I remember one conversation in particular with Trisha Gee where we had time to talk about nulls and Optional in detail. Some of the ideas from this conversation wound up in an article Code Smells: Null that she wrote recently.

As is typical, I had several sessions at the conference.

Ten Simple Rules for Writing Great Test Cases
– conference session with Steve Poole | slides | video

This is somewhat refreshed and updated version of the BOF Ten Things You Should Know When Writing Good Unit Test Cases in Java that Paul Thwaite (Steve’s colleague at IBM) and I had at JavaOne 2013. We didn’t actually update it all that much; I think most of the advice here is quite broadly applicable and doesn’t go obsolete. Actually, we did update it – “now with added cloud.”

Streams in JDK 8: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
– BOF with Simon Ritter | slides

This was a reprise of the BOF that Simon gave at Devoxx BE 2016 where he pulled me up front and asked me to provide some extemporaneous commentary. This worked so well that we decided to have me as an official co-speaker for the BOF this time.

Collections Refueled – conference session | slides | video

This is my talk about the new stuff in the Collections Framework in Java 8 and 9. Unfortunately, I didn’t prepare for this very well, and I had 60 minutes of material but only 45 minutes to present it. I ended up having to skip a bunch of the Java 9 material towards the end. (My JavaOne 2016 version of this talk is probably better.)

Optional: The Mother of all Bikesheds – conference session | slides | video

I’m happy to say that this was the second-highest rated talk at Devoxx US, according to the ratings shown by the Java Posse during the closing keynote:


Hm, these are Devoxx alternative facts, so maybe they’re alternative ratings as well.

There is a YouTube playlist of all Devoxx US 2017 sessions, so if you missed anything you can always go back and replay it.


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This evening, I presented Collections Refueled at the Silicon Valley JUG. Thanks to the JUG for having me, and to the attendees for all the interesting questions!

Here are the slides for my presentation: CollectionsRefueled.pdf


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Now that Devoxx US is imminent, it’s about time for me to post about Devoxx BE 2016, which took place in November 2016 in Antwerp. That was several months ago, which was ages in conference time, so this post is mainly a placeholder to host slides and links to the videos.

Array Linked to a List, the Full Story! – José Paumard (video)

I was surprised to find that I was mentioned by name in the abstract for this university session. José Paumard took a tweet of mine from a year earlier (actually one by my alter ego, Dr Deprecator) and turned it into an entire university session. José was happy to have me attend the session, and he was gracious enough to invite me on stage for a few comments and questions.

Streams in JDK 8: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly – Simon Ritter (BOF)

This was another of my impromptu appearances. Simon had submitted this session, and he asked me to join him in presenting it. I said that I wasn’t sure what I would speak about. He said to me, “I’ll put up a slide and say a few words about it. I’m sure you’ll have an opinion.” (He was right.) This was a BOF, so it was pretty informal, but Simon came up with some really interesting examples, and we had a good discussion and covered a lot of issues.

Simon and I will be repeating this BOF at Devoxx US this coming week.

Ask the JDK Architects – panel session (video)

This was a panel session featuring Mark Reinhold and Brian Goetz (the actual JDK architects) along with Alan Bateman and myself (JDK Core Libraries engineers). This session consisted entirely of answering questions from the audience.

Optional: The Mother of All Bikesheds – conference session (slides, video)

This was a conference session about a single Java 8 API, java.util.Optional. Some were were skeptical that I could talk for an entire hour about a single API. I proved them wrong. Credit for the title goes to my übermanager at Oracle, Jeannette Hung. It refers to the many protracted mailing list discussions (“centithreads”) about the design of Optional.

Thinking in Parallel – joint conference session with Brian Goetz (slides, video)

This was an amazing experience because the auditorium was so full that people were sitting on the steps. Brian Goetz was the big draw here, but I also think it was packed because there were fewer sessions running at the same time.

* * *

I was pleased to learn that both of my conference sessions were in the top 20 talks for the conference. Thanks for your support!

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I just finished a vJUG24 session entitled Optional: The Mother of All Bikesheds.

Video: YouTube

Slide deck: PDF

This slide deck has a few minor updates relative to what I presented in the vJUG24 session:

  • slides 21-22: clarify problem statement (the before and after code is correct)
  • slide 26: mention flatMap() for completeness
  • slide 31: add link to Stack Overflow question
  • slide 36: clarify reason for not deprecating Optional.get()
  • slide 42: new slide describing new methods in Java 9

For convenience, here are the six seven style rules I proposed in the session:

  1. Never, ever, use null for an Optional variable or return value.
  2. Never use Optional.get() unless you can prove that the Optional is present.
  3. Prefer alternative APIs over Optional.isPresent() and Optional.get().
  4. It’s generally a bad idea to create an Optional for the specific purpose of chaining methods from it to get a value.
  5. If an Optional chain has a nested Optional chain, or has an intermediate result of Optional, it’s probably too complex.
  6. Avoid using Optional in fields, method parameters, and collections.On a related note, I thought of another rule after I presented the session:
  7. Don’t use an Optional to wrap any collection type (List, Set, Map). Instead, use an empty collection to represent the absence of values.

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JavaOne 2016 Sessions

Here are links to the JavaOne pages, slide decks, and videos for the sessions I presented at JavaOne 2016.

Collections Refueled

Enhanced Deprecation

Thinking in Parallel (with Brian Goetz)

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I’m presenting one session at the Devoxx conference in Antwerp, at 15:10 on Wednesday 11 November 2015, in room 5. Here is the slide deck:

Marks-CollectionsYoungPups-v2 (PDF)

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Hi everybody, JavaOne 2015 is already underway. For some reason my talks are all concentrated toward the end of the conference this year; in fact, three are on Wednesday! Here’s my talk schedule:

♦ API Design with Java 8 Lambdas and Streams [CON6851]
(with Brian Goetz)
Wed 2015-10-28 – 8:30am
Hilton Continental Ballroom 5
Slides: CON6851-API-Design-v2 (PDF)
Video: https://youtu.be/o10ETyiNIsM?t=24m (61 minutes)

♦ New Tricks for Old Dogs: Collections Enhancements in Java 8 [CON7432]
(with Mike Duigou)
Wed 2015-10-28 – 11:30am
Hilton Continental Ballroom 1/2/3
Slides: CON7432-Marks-CollectionsNewTricks-v3 (PDF)
See also JEP 269, “Convenience Factory Methods for Collections” (JDK 9 work-in-progress)

♦ Saving the Future from the Past: Innovations in Deprecation [CON6856]
(presented by Dr Deprecator)
Wed 2015-10-28 – 3:00pm
Hilton Continental Ballroom 5
Slides: CON6856-Marks-Deprecation-v3 (PDF)
Video: https://youtu.be/o10ETyiNIsM?t=6h54m41s (61 minutes)
News flash! JEP 277 “Enhanced Deprecation” has been posted.

♦ 20 Years of APIs: A Retrospective [CON6891]
Thu 2015-10-29 – 9:00am
Hilton Continental Ballroom 5
Slides: CON6891-Marks-API-Retrospective-v2 (PDF)
Video: https://youtu.be/0KlJSNb8GZU?t=26m25s (61 minutes)

Sorry, there’s no lambda tutorial (“Jump-Starting Lambda”) this year, nor is there a Lambda Hands on Lab. This is most unfortunate. I was planning to work with Simon Ritter (Twitter: @speakjava) on those sessions this year, with Simon taking the lead. Unfortunately, Simon was laid off from Oracle just a few weeks ago, leaving no time to rearrange the program or to find someone else to work on them. There are a number of Lambda and Streams talks that I can recommend, however:

♦ Programming with Lambdas [CON8366]
Venkat Subramaniam
Mon 2015-10-26 – 4:00pm
Hilton Continental Ballroom 5
Video: https://youtu.be/8RhwmJlZQgs?t=7h54m50s

♦ Journey’s End: Collection and Reduction in the Stream API [TUT5906]
Maurice Naftalin
Tue 2015-10-27 – 8:30am
Hilton Continental Ballroom 4

♦ Streams: the Real Powerhouse in Java 8 [CON8367]
Venkat Subramaniam
Tue 2015-10-27 – 11:00am
Hilton Continental Ballroom 4

♦ Effective Java Streams [CON7066]
Paul Sandoz
Tue 2015-10-27 – 2:30pm
Hilton Continental Ballroom 5
Video: https://youtu.be/iHHSa39p48I?t=6h15m55s

♦ Shooting the Rapids: Maximizing Performance of Java 8 Streams [CON5931]
Maurice Naftalin & Kirk Pepperdine
Wed 2015-10-28 – 3:00pm
Hilton Continental Ballroom 4

Enjoy the conference!

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