On December 18, 2008, a joint meeting of the Belarus Java User Group and Adobe Flash Platform User Group was held with the support of the Minsk Institute of Management and Altoros Systems. Cornel Creanga, Java Technical Lead at Adobe, for the first time presented Adobe Flex in Belarus and spoke on its integration with Java back-ends, while Alexander Zuev, Technology Evangelist at SUN Microsystems, delivered the first review of the new JavaFX development platform for Belarusian developers. More than 120 IT specialists from Minsk, Homel, and Vitebsk attended the conference, a dozen more followed the live broadcast online.
Short review of the conference
During the 15-minute coffee break, the conference attendees would not let Cornel relax as they bombarded him with questions on the differences between Flash, Flex, and other popular RIA-technologies. Meanwhile, other Java- and Flash-/Flex-developers chatted over a cup of tea or coffee.
At 20.20, Alexander Zuev, the Technical Evangelist at the Russian branch of SUN Microsystems, started his detailed review of the JavaFX platform, which was released on December 4, 2008. He explained the differences between JavaFX and Adobe Flex, demonstrated the capabilities of the new language, JavaFX Script, and spoke on the ways it interacts with existing Java programs. Alexander also covered the JavaFX development tools offered by SUN Microsystems, touched upon the company’s future plans, and answered all of the audience’s challenging and tricky questions. The most active participants were rewarded by Alexander with presents featuring SUN’s logo.
After the conference finished at 22.00, Alexander and Cornel along with a dozen other participants continued the discussion in a more casual setting in one of Minsk’s restaurants. The afterparty that started with discussing products and technologies quickly grew into banter on cultural differences, secret sides of the speakers’ biographies, Russian winters reaching -50 C, and vampires from Transylvania.
Presentation and audio links
1. “Adobe Flex and AIR Platform: Integration with Java Back-ends”
Speaker: Corneliu Vasile Creanga, Java Technical Lead, Adobe (Romania, Bucharest)
2. “JavaFX Platform and JavaFX Script: New Development Tools from SUN Microsystems”
Speaker: Alexander Zuev, Java Technology Evangelist, SUN Microsystems (Russia, St. Petersburg)
“I was impressed by the enthusiasm and friendliness of the people in Belarus,” said Cornel Creanga, the speaker from Adobe. “I believe that it is one of the things that distinguish the Eastern Europeans from the other Europe inhabitants. I received a lot of questions regarding Adobe technologies and how they apply to the Java environment and had a good conversation about technology and outsourcing with Alexander Zuev, SUN’s new JavaFX Evangelist. I really enjoyed the time I spent in Belarus and I hope to be back again, not necessarily on behalf of Adobe, but also as a tourist, to enjoy the views of the country.”
“The format of the conference—speaking together with a representative from Adobe—turned out to be quite exciting,” noted Alexander Zuev, Java Technical Evangelist at SUN Microsystems. “I liked Minsk a lot and was really amazed by the Belarusian students that took part in the conference together with experienced specialists. The level of their general knowledge and education also impressed me. For instance, almost everyone knows that Java is not just the programming language, but also an island in the Indian Ocean. I would love to visit Minsk again; considering the number of trees in the city, it must be charming in spring!”
“The recent conference that brought together two user groups was unique, because it encompassed two, in a sense, competing technologies,” added Dr. Nikolay Susha, Rector of the Minsk Institute of Management. “We are glad that our institute could contribute to the constructive discussion of such technically complex and controversial issues.”
About the organizers of the event
The Minsk Institute of Management (miu.by), founded in 1991, is one of the leading institutes of higher education in the Republic of Belarus. It provides complete facilities for training highly competent specialists in economics, law, psychology, foreign languages, and information technologies. Today, the resource base and the fully qualified faculty ensure teaching on a highly qualified level with the use of the latest achievements in science and technology.
Altoros Systems, Inc. (altoros.com) is a global software delivery acceleration specialist that provides focused outsourced software product engineering, independent Quality Assurance, and testing services to software organizations and information-driven enterprises. Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Western Massachusetts, Altoros has representative offices in Tampa, Florida. It manages a software development center in Eastern Europe out of its offices in Minsk, Belarus. In recent years, Altoros has started doing mass development of commercial software using the latest technologies, including Spring Framework 2.5, Hibernate 3.2, iBatis 2.3, JSF 1.2, as well as Adobe Flex, Ruby on Rails, Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5, and Windows Mobile.
The Belarusian Adobe Flash Platform User Group (bafpug.com) consists of developers and designers interested in sharing experience, knowledge, news, and everything else related to Adobe Flash, Adobe Flex, and Adobe AIR. The group aims to increase the number and quality of Belarusian Adobe Flash developers, learn Adobe technologies, and come up with joint projects.
The Belarus Java User Group was launched in late 2007 to bring together Java developers, Java users, and Java-driven companies in Belarus. The community intends to help the members meet on a regular basis to share ideas, experience, and thoughts on how to make the most of Java technologies in their daily work. The Belarus Java User Group already lists more than 200 Belarusian Java developers.