OCPJP, Talks and the Spring Boot Buch

A studio report
January 31, 2017 by Michael

January was an intense month, even if it started with a week off. I didn’t have vacation during the seasons like my wife. Sad thing: We couldn’t really spend the vacation together, but that seems to be the standard when both parents are working and the number of holiday days doesn’t fit the number of free days the kids have.

In the last year quarter of 2016 I decided that I should finally upgrade my good, old Sun certificate from SCJP 5.0 to a shiny, new Oracle OCPJP 8.0. The incentive came from Tim. I didn’t know before that there was an upgrade path and I didn’t to pay for both associate and professional. But that upgrade paths exists and last week, I scored 93%. It was actually fun (yes, I enjoy those things). As preparation I read both OCA and OCP Java 8 Study Guide by Jeanne Boyarsky and Scott Selikoff. The quality varies, but overall, the books are ok. If you do prep exams, I’ll really recommend enthuware. Much cheaper than the Oracle recommend sell from selftestsoftware.com. The buying process of the later is frustrating and they contain a lot of plain wrong questions.

I did my my talk database centric applications with Spring Boot and jOOQ based on that series at the Spring Meetup Munich. It was real good fun and I like the results very much. But preparing for the talks stresses me a lot. I want to give my best and I’m not yet relaxed. But, I’m gonna train this. I’ll be at JUG Essen on April 26th and in June in Cluj with Vlad at the Transylvania Java User Group who have probably the coolest of all Dukes. Vlad and I are gonna speak about getting the most of your persistence layer.

As early as November 2016 I started looking for a publisher for my idea writing a German Spring Boot Buch. I’m really happy that dpunkt.verlag took my offer. I have been working on the manuscript since mid December and it starts to take shape.

It’s an interesting process. The first book I contributed to is arc42 by example (by the way, version 7 of arc42 was just released this month). Basically, I had written everything at this point and we did proofread and everything ourself.

Having a lector does help a lot so far and it feels very different than just scribbling down whatever is in ones head.

For me personally it was a good thing to “pitch” the book idea. Helps getting structure into the content.

This is a screenshot of how I’m working at the moment: I’m writing LaTeX inside Texpad on a Mac. Next to it is Safari. Click on it for a larger view.



My first draft was indeed an Asciidoctor version and I already had setup a continuous compilation pipeline that worked quite well. The syntax is ok, too and what is really nice is including examples, like a did here. But dpunkt.verlag takes either LaTeX or Word and I didn’t want to cross-translate stuff. I used to write a lot of LaTex during university and it came back instantly.

Texpad is a good piece of software for writing LaTex. It supports includes and inserts, makes it really easy to cross reference stuff, draws a good outline and has a simple todo feature, basically everything I need. The sources are of course versioned in a private repo so I can write from everywhere. Sometimes I have to write some paragraphs in plain text in Pages or Word to get the flow right while not being disturbed by LaTeX commands, but that is fine for me.

If you want to read about writing a book in Asciidoctor, have a look at Thoughts on Java: Thorben has just switch to Asciidoctor away from the Leanpub Markdown dialect for his first book.

So far I’m following my outline rather closely and the first milestone was just done in time today. Even I know many things by heart now, I do a lot of research, too. I’ll keep my notes in a separate file inside the project with todos on them. Really easy to get back to. While working myself through the documentation, I took the time to file some PR over at Spring Boot itself, fixing stuff in the documentation (and, by the way, got my first bigger PR into Spring Boot 1.5, the @DataMongoTest).

And I actually bought a Duden on paper. It’s slower, but doesn’t distract me. Have a look at Judiths page to see how other writer work.

Apart from that, I’m doing a lot of examples. They are already only at the official Spring Boot Buch repo: github.com/springbootbuch.

What I don’t do is writing Mind Maps of any kind. They just don’t work for me.

The book will appear closely to Spring Boot 2.0 by the end of the year.

At the end of February, I’m gonna publish the outline. Bye then it shouldn’t change much anymore.

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