Mid-way through last year, Lookout's investment in JRuby started to really take off. Having struggled with the harsh realities of MRI, we finally had a platform that gave us a way to grow our technology without having to throw out vast amounts of existing Ruby code. After an exciting weekend at JRubyConf EU 2014 and eurucamp I started hacking on a brand new project, one that I hoped would bring Ruby into harmony with the rest of the JVM ecosystem: JRuby/Gradle
Over the past year, I've spent a lot of time hacking in the Gradle ecosysgtem which, for better or worse, has earned me a reputation of knowing Gradle-y things within Lookout. Recently, my colleague Ron approached me with a Gradle problem: using the shadow plugin (a great plugin for building fat jars), he was having trouble excluding some dependencies from the produced jar artifact. I figured I would emulate Mr. Haki's Gradle Goodness series and post one of my own.
In a previous post I mentioned that I have become a home owner, which dictates that I must now spend an innumerable number of hours fixing, tinkering and otherwise causing damage to the home I have purchased. The latest installment of "I bet I can do that" involved the installation of a 52" ceiling fan in my living room.
Just before I head to the bedroom for the night, I walk to the door by the car port, fiddle with the lock, tug on the door handle. It's secured. Sliding door to the porch? Secured. En route to the sounds of my wife's intermittent snores, I check the front door, fiddle with the dead-bolt, tug the door handle: secured. Great, now I can go to bed.
Four years ago today I started work at Lookout, Inc., embarking on the longest journey of my career to date. I had left Apture frustrated with our inability to grow the product and engineering team, but with pockets full of experience at building and deploying service-oriented applications "my way." At the time Apture was literally down the block from Lookout, so on a Friday I left Apture and the following Monday I took my same commute in to Lookout. What I wasn't able to get at Apture, I found at Lookout.
Late last year I changed roles at Lookout from the 'Engineering Lead' of the Enterprise team, to the 'Engineering Manager' for the "Core Systems" team. I've not been keeping track of whether this means I'm writing more, or writing less code on a week-to-week basis. But the charter of Core Systems does mean much more of the software and tools we write can be open sourced, or even started as open source projects.
It's that time again! FOSDEM 2015 is quickly approaching and just like last year I'm thrilled to be going again. This year I will be making a stop-over for a few days in London (Jan 24-28th) to visit the Lookout London office before heading towards Brussels. If you're interested in drinking a beer in either location, ping me via twitter or email.
For the past three years at Lookout we've hosted an event called "Hacksgiving." Historically the event has been focused on cool hacks typically oriented around projects or ideas that are internal to Lookout. The first year, for example, a colleague and I prototyped the messaging system that would power our business product the following year. Another group of hackers created the precursor to our signal flare feature that same year (hif I'm remembering correctly).
Earlier on this year I wrote this post as a "mid-season" report on how the little backyard farm (named Croy Family Farms) of mine has been doing. Since that time, in July, I've been eagerly waiting to write this post and somewhat "conclude" the 2014 growing season.
This past October I was invited to represent JRuby in the JavaOne 2014 "Script Bowl." A panel where community members from various projects which implement scripting languages on top of the JVM pitch their language to a live studio audience. This year's panel consisted of a members from the Groovy, Clojure and Scala communities, and me representing JRuby of course.