Monday, May 22, 2006

JavaOne SF 2006

JavaOne 2006 is now over... phew. What a wild ride!

The Java Posse was a great hit this year, and we met a lot of folks that listen to our podcast. It was really fun for us to get the live feedback that folks appreciate what we've been doing. Wow. I guess a whole lot of folks fill their spare time with our geek-speak.

Dick ordered some crazy-ass hats for us to wear and they really added to the ambiance of our BoF (Birds of a Feather) session. Folks really got a good laugh out of them, and apparently one person liked them so much that Tor's was stolen right off of his head! At least it happened at the bar after our session - and not during the session itself! Of course, perhaps that would have been even funnier...

I'm getting back into the swing of things here at work... so back to the grind. Long live the posse.

Friday, May 05, 2006

TopCoder Open 2006

Hello folks... long time no talk.

I am at the 2006 TopCoder Open in Las Vegas. The Java Posse was invited to attend the conference and record our podcast here live. Well, semi-live. We still have to mix audio and upload. The recording part is live, however - which come to think of it is always live. I am also here on official Apple business doing recruiting for the online Apple Store.

This competition is crazy. There are two tracks of the competition, component design and algorithms. The design competition has a much longer lead time - several months before the finals, so the "finals" are really just design review and appeals. The algorithms competition is a total pressure cooker. The competitors have an hour to code up solutions to a set of tough problems while the audience watches. At the end, they have a "challenge phase" where they get to bang on eachothers' code and steal (or lose) more points. Then a system test runs on the code and the winner is determined.

These folks are really hard-core. Impressive.