Last Wednesday we had our first Groovy user group meeting in Sydney. It was well attended by both external participants and ThoughtWorks developers.
The evening began with a social gathering around pizza and beer. Then we went straight into the presentations. I presented an introduction to Grails. The purpose of my presentation was to raise awareness of a Groovy web application framework, and to become familiar with the command line Grails tool. I was wanting to present a demo as well, but couldn’t for the life of me get my Ubuntu laptop connected to the data projector with a reasonable resolution for a coding demo.
Gianny Damour also gave a presentation after mine on Closures in Groovy. It was quite an advanced presentation on Groovy closures which challenged many people in the room. Gianny introduced us to the concept of builders using Groovy closures, which in term provides the building blocks for developing DSLs in Groovy. More on this topic will no doubt come about in future Groovy meetings.
Gianny did plan to hold a code kata after the presentations so that everyone could get their hands dirty with Groovy, but given it was our first meeting, most people felt uncomfortable with writing code and just wanted to discuss technical topics. This led us to rethink the format of future Groovy meetings. We will still have at least 2 lightning talks, followed by either a third talk or a coding workshop depending on volunteer contributions.
The highlight of the night was having the Groovy meeting hijacked by David Peterson who talked about Buildr, a Ruby build tool for Java projects. Damn Ruby folk are everywhere! :p
The next meeting will be held on 29 October at the ThoughtWorks office in Sydney. The theme of the next meeting will be Groovy for Java developers. If you are interested in presenting on Groovy, Gant, Gradle, EasyB, then please get in contact with me, or post your presentation topics in Groovy Sydney Google group.