10 years of App Engine with a Groovy twist

The venerable Google App Engine platform celebrated its 10th anniversary

Back in 2008, it started with Python, as its first runtime, but I got way more interested in App Engine when the Java runtime would launch the following year. It's a bit of a special story for me, as I've always been a fan of App Engine, since the beginning.

Over the years, I've built several apps running on App Engine. For instance, this blog you're reading now is running on App Engine, as well as my personal picture / video sharing app, some Github post-commit webhook for the Apache Groovy project, or the Groovy Web Console to share / edit / run Groovy scripts in the cloud.

App Engine is my go-to platform for deploying and running my ideas in the cloud!

I like to focus on the idea I want to implement, rather than thinking upfront about infrastructure, provisioning, ops, etc. App Engine was the pioneer in PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) and the new trendy Serverless approach

Although I've ranted back in the day about the pricing changes (once and twice), it lead me to optimize my own apps and code. But ultimately, most of my apps run within the free tier of App Engine. The "pay-as-you-go" approach is appealing: for my apps, it's been pretty much free for my use, except on those few occasions where I had big peaks of traffic and users, and then, i only had to spend a few dollars to cope with the load, but I didn't even have to think about dealing with infrastructure, as App Engine was transparently scaling my apps itself, without any intervention on my part.

But let's step back a little and let me tell you more about my story with App Engine. In 2009, thanks to my friend Dick Wall, I was contacted by Google, signed an NDA, and worked with the engineering team who was responsible for the upcoming Java runtime. As the engineering team was working on its launch, they wanted to ensure that alternative languages like Apache Groovy would run well on the platform. So we worked hand in hand, patching Groovy to be more compliant with App Engine's sandboxing mechanism (which is now lifted, as past limitations are now gone in the newer runtimes.)

Thanks to this work on the Groovy and App Engine integration, I got the chance to present at Google I/O 2009 about running Groovy and Grails on App Engine!

And as I worked on the integration, I quickly found nice handy shortcuts thanks to the flexible nature of Groovy, and I arranged those shortcuts into a reusable library: the Gaelyk framework.

Max Ross, Toby Reyelts, Don Scwhartz, Dick Wall, Patrick Chanezon, Christian Schalk, and later on, Ludovic Champenois, Éamonn McManus, Roberto Chinnici, and many others, I'd like to say thank you, congratulations, and happy anniversary for this lovely platform!

It's an honor for me today to work for Google Cloud Platform (almost 2 years already!), and to use the awesome serverless products available, and I'm looking forward to covering the serverless area even more!

Qu'apprend-on de millions de fichiers dans Github, version BreizhCamp

La semaine prochaine s'ouvre la conférence BreizhCamp ! Bien que cette année, mes sujets n'aient pas été retenus (snif !), l'année passée, j'avais parlé des millions de fichiers que l'on trouve sur Github, et comment les analyser avec BigQuery. Je n'avais pas eu l'occasion de mentionner la vidéo qui avait été mise en ligne, alors la voici !

Vous pourrez retrouver les slides ici également :

Keynote: IT Holy Wars, in English and French

A few months ago, I had some fun doing the keynote of Voxxed Days Singapore and JUG Summer Camp, and I realized I didn't get a chance to share my deck. Furthermore, the videos of both events are actually available online: one in English, one in French!

I spoke about the so-called IT Holy Wars, you know, like Vi vs Emacs, Tabs & Spaces, or other funny things of that kind. How developers circle from client-side to server-side, how we are polarized across strong positions on certain frameworks or practices, on clean vs ugly code, on tooling (build, front, back), dark / light background themes for your IDE, how do you format dates, and more.

I had lots of fun preparing and delivering this talk, both in English and French.

Let's start with English deck & video:
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And now "en français dans le texte" : 
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Thanks a lot to both the organizers of Voxxed Days Singapore and JUG Summer Camp!

Build apps for voice, chat, web and mobile

ServerlessConf Paris is in full swing this week, and I had the chance yesterday to participate in a workshop with my colleagues Bret and Frank, to cover building apps for voice, chat, web and mobile, using Google's serverless solutions. In particular, for voice & chat, I spoke about Dialogflow and Google Assistant / Actions on Google, using Cloud Functions for my business logic, while in the afternoon we covered Firebase un more depth.

If you want to have a quick look at the deck, here are the slides that I presented:

I'm a Java Champion!

The Java Champions recently nominated me to become a Java Champion!

There's also a post on the Java Champions' blog, and InfoQ also echoed the new nominees recently.

I'm super happy and proud of this nomination, and I'm looking forward to continuing being involved in the Java ecosystem, present at Java-friendly conferences, contribute to Open Source projects using Java and Apache Groovy, and write articles here and there using my favorite languages.
© 2012 Guillaume Laforge | The views and opinions expressed here are mine and don't reflect the ones from my employer.