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My survey responses to the 2011 nfjs Central Iowa Software Symposium event for my company.
Benefits to you and the company from attending this event:
Keep up to date regarding the current technologies and development in the Java community.
Information that your co-workers / the company should be aware of:
Functional programming is making a big splash on the JVM. We really should come out of the traditional OO & imperative programming mindset and start think of solving programming challenges in a multi-paradigm fashion. We should upgrade from CVS to Git
Information that you learned that may have negative impacts to the company:
Would recommend this event / company presenting to someone else? Why?
Yes. The presenters have great knowledge about their topics. They always make me think harder and different about what I am doing at work.
Additional Comments or Suggestions:
I greatly enjoyed learning more about Scala, akka and functional programming thinking. The multi-paradigm session by Ted Neward opened my eyes. I took logic & functional programming courses in college and was super impressed by how concise and powerful those languages can be used to solve particular issues. Now many frameworks on the JVM prove that as Java programmers (who are innately OO & imperative), we may fully utilize the power of programming languages of other paradigms. This motivates me to explore a newer realm of programming.
I learned a lot from the Seven wastes of software development session e.g. communication is 38% tone, 7% words & 55% body languages. Therefore we should avoid plain emails for especially business rules discussion; converse with a coworker face to face is a much more effective way of communication. I think I don’t always do well in this area. Perhaps programmers are generally shy and introverted. I need to learn to open up more.
I also loved the Spock session although I feel Spock as a framework is yet completely mature for prime time. The fact it doesn’t have a version 1.x release somewhat speaks for this. (And it’s not yet in maven central repository.) I love its various features. But it’s still under heavy development phase as its community is actively adding more features to the framework. If we start using it now, we may need to upgrade our code dramatically later to get its full effects e.g. the @Unroll feature is going to change soon. However, I’m super excited to revisit it in a few months or so to see where it’s at. The fact that it’s a test framework great for both state testing & interaction testing (mocking) is awesome! It sounds like the mocking part of it is yet as mature as other mocking frameworks e.g. Mockito. For example, it doesn’t support partial mock/spy. This does not make me want to switch from Mockito to use it.
I will also use many of the new features of Groovy I learned since I just started using Groovy for testing. The SQL class Groovy has is extremely powerful and gave me many ideas as how I can utilize it to make testing more dynamic and more maintenance free.
My husband Andy made these meatballs last night. They were soooooo good. I had to share the recipe since it’s his ORIGINAL creation with inspiration from Robert Irvine.
½ lb Ground Beef
½ lb Ground Pork
1 Bratwurst Patty (approx. 1/3 lb ground bratwurst)
1 cup panko bread crumbs
½ cup fresh chopped green onion
½ cup fresh chopped parsley
½ cup fresh chopped cilantro
2 large cloves garlic diced or minced
¼ cup chopped Basil
Preheat Oven to 375 degrees – combine all ingredients and mix well. Form into 1.5” balls and place in a greased baking pan. Bake covered for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 5 minutes.
We stayed at the MGM Grand hotel in Las Vegas from May 27th – June 3rd, 2011.
The Favorite Thing:
The climate. It’s just crazy to think you do not sweat after miles of walking in 90 degree weather because it’s not humid. My skin looks gorgeous here. There is no road construction because the asphalt just doesn’t break and bend like it is in Iowa.
The Least Favorite Thing:
The cigarettes smell. I’m totally ready to get out of this ash tray after a week of consistent second hand smoke.
The Biggest Disappointment:
Stack restaurant. You are not paying high prices for the food quality or quantity but rather the *hip* atmosphere. Unfortunately the atmosphere did not attract us. When the music was playing, the bass was so loud that I thought I was sitting on a massage chair. The hostess looked unfriendly and was more interested in sizing us up than seating us. I think the prices on the menu are filters for people. Stack is more of a yuppie pick up place than a restaurant.
The Funniest Experience:
My husband was taking a dump in the bathroom. All of the time he was on the toilet, he was hearing the slot machine music. As soon as a big load came out, the music changed to the victorious winning fanfare. He was waiting for someone to open his stall and hand him some money. It was perfectly well timed.
- Ron White’s show was excellent. The guy who opened up for him was hilarious.
- Criss Angel’s show was great. Although the disappearance acts were getting a bit repetitive toward the end. He definitely added a nice touch of comedy to his show with his assistants.
- My husband, Andy, ordered us front row seats. Criss did the “foresee the future” act. He tossed his arm band randomly into the audience and then had the person who got the band toss it randomly to another person and then another person. The three random people in the audience had Margret as the first name, Canada as the birth place and 7 as the favorite number respectively. In a chest placed in the mid air prior to the beginning of the show resided a piece of paper with “Margret, Canada, 7” written on it. After the act, Criss gave the paper to me. It’s nice to get a souvenir (photo) from the show but too bad it’s just an ordinary piece of paper. It’s hard to convince people of its origin.
- The O show was ridiculously amazing. There are not enough adjectives in the English language to properly depict its magnificence. The stage, the performers and the musicians (they do most of their music LIVE) were all perfect. I feel proud they had to put the Chinese female acrobats toward the end of the show. Not much could look more impressive than that. After the show, I wanted to purchase some souvenirs of the Chinese girls but nothing even remotely represented them in their shop.
- MGM Grand turned out to be a great hotel to stay at. We used our Jacuzzi spa (photo) every day we stayed. We enjoyed lounging around their lazy river and grand pools (photo 1 | photo 2 | photo 3 | photo 4 | photo 5 | photo 6). The top three hotels among the ones we visited are: MGM Grand, The Mirage and Rio.
- Hoover Dam was extraordinary (photos). You feel insignificant in such a grand construction surrounded by beautiful water and mountains.
- The fountains shows at Bellagio were breathtaking (video 1 | video 2). It was hard to believe they were giving out such artistic and well choreographed shows for free.
- We are willing to stay at Rio next time. Even though it’s off the Strip, but with convenient free shuffle service and two ridiculously delicious buffets, World Carnival Buffet (video) and Village Seafood Buffet (video), it’s worth it.
- We loved this little frozen yogurt place in the Mirage called Blizz. My husband found his new favorite flavor: pistachio.
- The most commonly littered items are cigarette butts, beer bottles and nude women flyers.
- The maps they give out at the hotels are awfully deceiving and horribly out of scale. Just because it looks close on the map doesn’t necessarily mean it’s in walking distance.
- Always have a cab company number handy. Flagging cabs doesn’t work here as well as in other big cities like Shanghai if you wander off the crowded areas.
- If you want a good place to eat, ask a cab driver. If you want a great place to eat, ask a fat cab driver like the LV Cabbie. He recommended China Mama which turned out to be one of the best dining experiences we had in Las Vegas.
- If you want to visit more of the surrounding suburbs and places where the locals go, I suggest you rent a car. Cab fare may stack up quickly if you do not.
I’m just went through all of my 10 years of posts on pure-essence.net one by one to correct its syntax so I can use this super awesome sourcecode shortcode on wordpress.com.
Yea I know I’m crazily obsessed with my blog.
Sentiment from going through all of my posts
- I’m proud that my oriental wordpress theme was featured on wordpress.org. Oh gosh, it’s been so neglected. I must revive it someday!
- New Millennium still looks pretty good ya? Even though it was coded on 2/28/2008.
- I can sorta sing ya?
- Wow, I once coded in Open Laszlo Coding in xml sucks.
- The speed google crawls still blows my mind.
- What a flashback post for the 10 year online life anniversary. What will I write for the 20 year anniversary?
- Old article on how to style a table using CSS. I think it’s till very applicable untill CSS3 is solid.
- Geek T-shirts are still funny. Apparently I’m still geeky.
- Our wedding videos are so sentimental. The only thing we did as “vow” is that I sang a song for Andy and Andy read a poem he wrote for me.
- JErm‘s comment made me blush LOL. I’m so happy that he’s still around. Most of my old friends’ sites have gone to never never land.
- I’m still surprised that my script was used in a university lecture.
OMG, how did I use to blog so much? Going back page by page and skimming through posts prior to 2004, I was getting impatient. A couple of facts regarding OLD posts:
- I started blogging before wordpress even existed. I used to use its predecessor b2. My first blog post ever on pure essence was installing b2.
- I obviously used to use this blog also as twitter. But then there was NO twitter.
- I feel like a dinosaur but a proud one
- My English SUCKED. Not that it’s that much better now. But YUCK, I was totally speaking Chinglish.
Now hosted on wordpress.com with the domain mapping upgrade and custom CSS upgrade.
Based on the support they provided, I really hope the guys here would know a lot more about wordpress hosting than my last generic web hosting company and I will have less headaches dealing with all of the down time. I’m just happy I can keep all of my blog entries at one location again. It contains 10 years of posts.
Fingers crossed that I found my long time new home
Remember these cute critters that were available for adoption back when Dodo’s New World was still around? Well, I brought them back. Feel free to pick up the code and display one on your web site
I spent most of the day customizing the Mystique wordpress theme. The theme is ridiculously great. It has all of the features I’d ever dream of. In fact, I got rid of some of my plugins + widgets because this theme covers them.
Added a new page Nostalgic Old Layouts.