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What would be your ideal job?

I‘ve been working in the IT industry for quite a long time now. Mainly in big companies, on big projects where you spend half your time in meetings and the other half writing meeting reports. Through this experience I‘ve met a lot of people who have had different experiences, different projects but I‘ve never met anyone who has had their ideal job during his/her career. There are always management, political, personnel or budget problems which cause the project to turn into a nightmare. When you talk to people, everybody seems to converge towards an ideal situation where innovation, dynamism, professionalism, intelligent management and beauty flow 10 hours a day… but that never happens. As a Java developer, architect or project leader, what would be your ideal job? Working in a big company, an editor, a start-up, self-employed, working in open-source, in a training company? At the office or at home? Part-time or full-time? What kind of industry would fulfil your dreams? Bank, insurance, telecommunications, industry, leisure? What would be the perfect allocation between development, management, training, publishing articles, working for open source, technology watch, learning new things? Or would you quit Java to move to .Net or a deserted island under the sun? While waiting for the magical wand to create the job of our dreams, let’s blog about it.

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Weblogic cluster life cycle

clusterstate

When you run a weblogic cluster you have to deal with several messages BEA-0001xx . It is then difficult to figure out what is the normal behavior of a cluster and the normal messages to get. Imagine two managed servers ClusterServer1 (listening on port 4001) and ClusterServer2 (port 4002) running on a cluster and sharing heartbeats through the multicast address […]

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Connection time out. Careful with your threads

Last week we had a bottle neck on our application and it took us several days to find it. So, here is what you should not do. The architecture is as followed : 2 Alteons to spread the load 2 reverse proxy a layer of Firewalls 2 HTTP compressors 4 web server iPlanet (Sun Java Web Server 6.0) a cluster of 40 Weblogic server running on 4 different boxes a database server. Everything running on HP-Ux11. iPlanet only dispatch static pages and images and Weblogic has the presentation (JSP/Servlet) and EJB layers (it does 99% of the work). The problem was that a lot of connections were falling on time out. We kept on focusing on weblogic and controlling the thread and memory activity to see if we had any dead lock of memory leek (there are some JNI calls somewhere). Weblogic wasn‘t doing anything, not under stressed at all. The application was configured to run 2000 concurent users that‘s why each instance of weblogic was running 60 threads (60 threads * 40 instance = 2400). After some days of analysing and twisting weblogic, we remembered that we had a layer of iPlanets on the front. The admin guys were sure that there was no problem with iPlanet because each server was supposed to run 512 threads. It wasn‘t the case. Each instance was configured with 128 thread (128*4 instance = 512). That was why weblogic was doing nothing and […]

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God is a .Net Programmer

Part of my company‘s job is to create tailored software for clients. They manage to deliver 5–6 a year and producing each one takes between 200–500 days. For the last 2 years they have developed around 80% using the .Net platform and the remaining 20% using Java. Last year I worked for 1 month with a .Net team trying to re-architect their software, but I gave up. Those guys didn‘t know what a Singleton was, nor a framework, nor even a package ! And because I didn‘t know anything about .Net (and still don‘t) I moved to do other things. The other day I was talking to one of the commercial guys and I asked him why my company wasn‘t putting any effort in trying to do more Java. The answer was quick and precise: “We realized that .Net software is 40% cheaper than Java“ (understand faster to develop for the same price). I was about to argue, bring the technical side, the big mistakes that I spotted during my little experience with .Net, talk about the Java community, the open source framework, the well designed architecture I‘ve worked with and so on. When I realized that he was a commercial guy, wearing a suit and a tie, I had the divine inspiration that made me reply: “God created the universe, the planet and Man in just 7 days. And you can see the mess. Imagine if he had 40% […]

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I HATE HTML !!!

Am I the only one to hate HTML or is this « language » really a pain in the back ? Like many of you, I am a back-end guy : I love Java, I feel happy when I use hibernate, J2EE doesn’t scare me anymore, Struts has no secret… but behind the Strut’s Form lies the dark side of web applications : HTML (or XHTML) I’m working with some friends on a website that we will soon put online. This time we are not allowed to have dirty Hello World black&white pages. This time there is no HTML designer to do the dirty job of writing HTML for us, so we have to do it. We use a java IDE, Google to find some nice icons and the look for help in the community of javascripters, flashers, designers and htmlers. We have been using Firefox. So we change a JSP, deploy, look at Firefox and see if it looks nice. « Oops, too high, too low, a bit more to the right, the font is not the right one… » and so on and so forth. When in the middle of the development we thought of having a look at Internet Explorer, the difference was amazing. We were using just normal HTML tags (tables, td, tr, div..), nothing fancy. We spent hours and hours trying to make look pretty on both browsers. And we’ve discovered something very sad: <tr> […]

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10 things to do when your job is really boring

Sometimes, your job is really boring. And I’m not talking about a couple of hours or a day, I’m taking about weeks and even months of boredom. This can be due to several reasons: the project is delayed, the client has not really made up his mind, the budget has not been approved yet, the compliance team is still checking that the JDK 1.3 can be installed, let’s prototype all the MVC frameworks first… But the most common reason is political issues: everybody is waiting for a decision maker to do his job, take a decision. In the meantime, what can you do: Change the situation: the first thing to do is to try to change the situation. Make things go faster, talk to the right people, send emails explaining how this situation could be improved… In one word, be constructive. Most of the time, this is completely utopist because you don’t have the power to make things move on. Shorten your days: if you can, shorten your painful days. Arrive at 10:30am at the office, have a nice long lunch with your bored colleagues and leave at 4:30pm. Cut the morning and the afternoon with coffee breaks. Work on something interesting: there is nothing better than feeling useful, so, work on something you like: your own project or be part of an open source one (plenty to do on sourceforge). To make things easier, buy a portable hard drive […]

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