IT slowdown and emerging technologies dominate conversations at 3rd Conference On Java Technology

The 3rd Conference On Java Technology was held at the Hotel Sun n Sand in Pune, India from 25-27 November 08.

The conference began with an inaugural address by Dr. Ganesh Natarajan, Chairman of NASSCOM and the Global CEO of Zensar Technologies where he talked of “How the Indian IT-BPO industry is facing the current global uncertainties”. He shared his thoughts on the slowdown and said that it can be handled by belt tightening, salary moderation, expanding to 2/3 tier cities, creating new products and tackling new verticals,. Dr. Natarajan also talked of the scarcity of skilled talent in the market and how India needs to focus on imparting the right skills to its youth. Dr. Natarajan felt that the current economic crisis will lead to a slowdown in growth and salary hikes and he did not expect any major layoffs to happen in Indian IT companies.

Dr. Anand Deshpande, the founder and chairman of Persistent Systems delivered the keynote address. He highlighted that software needs to be built such that it makes best use of the new multi core processors and caching. He pointed out that most people today are using mobile devices to access the Internet and software needs to deliver features and performance while making optimum use of the battery and hardware on the mobile device. He also touched on the growing importance of virtualization and cloud computing and the yet untapped market in India of gaming and entertainment software.

Talking of the economic crisis and its impact on India, Dr Deshpande felt that the next 6 to 9 months will be tough and we are likely to see companies laying off people and in some cases even closing down. He however added that this was a temporary phase and was the time for software professionals to hunker down, work hard and keep learning. He said that if someone wants to succeed in IT he has to be great at at least one of the following – 1. Managing people 2. Technology 3. Getting new business. Both Dr. Natarajan and Dr. Deshpande were critical of how our systems are nurturing mediocrity.

Later on Day 1, Sidda Eraiah, from Kaazing Inc. spoke of HTML5 and WebSockets and how bi-directional communication would change the way real time applications are developed. Nik Jones’ sessions highlighted the new features in the popular and open source Spring framework. Ramesh Loganathan, MD Progress Software India talked of the changing trends in Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) software development.

The highlight of Day 2 were the discussions and code labs on building social networking software. The Google Developer Relations team consisting of Rajdeep Dua, Anash Oommen and Vijaya Machavolu showed how one could use OpenSocial API to build software that runs on top of popular social networks like Orkut and LinkedIn. DJ Patil, Chief Scientist at LinkedIn talked of how LinkedIn was using the OpenSocial APIs to run feature-rich software on LinkedIn. Experts at the sessions felt that social networking based software will see great demand and growth in the near future and OpenSocial provided a great framework to build such applications.

The panel discussion on Day 2 looked at “Is Java the language for the future?” The panelists felt that that the choice of programming language depended primarily on what the context and domain for a software was. They agreed that having a vibrant community driving the language was more important that just the language features. Java’s robust performance and ability to scale made the panelists feel that Java will continue to be a major player at least in the near future. However it was felt that the long development time for Java applications will lead to Java losing out in many segments to more rapid development languages.

Paulo Caroli’s sessions on Extreme Programming and Mock Objects showed how bug free applications can be developed using shorter iterative development cycles and using the revolutionary technique of extreme programming. Madhav Sathe talked of the techniques for diagnosing Java applications and making them perform optimally in a production scenario. Harshad Oak talked of the Grails framework for rapid web application development. Atul Kahate’s session “Challenges In Ajax” looked at solutions for the security and performance issues that have emerged since the use of Ajax techniques in web applications.

Excitement about emerging technologies in the Java space and uncertainty about the impact of the economic slowdown, dominated conversations at the 3rd annual Conference On Java Technology. Presentations and videos from the conference are available at

* Details of the Speakers & Sessions at the 3rd Conference On Java Technology