Day 1 of Gr8Conf IN 2017 – A Groovy Start to the Year

13 / Jan / 2017 by Aseem Bansal 0 comments

GR8Conf IN 2017, the second Indian edition of the GR8Conf was held on the first week of January in New Delhi. GR8Conf is an independent series of conferences in India, Denmark and the US that are dedicated to the Groovy and Grails community.

The 2-day conference was attended by over 200 Groovy and Grails enthusiasts and technocrats from various technology companies all over the world. The conference featured distinguished speakers from the Grails and Groovy ecosystem who shared their knowledge and experience on Groovy, Grails, Gradle and the related technologies.

Here’s a quick rundown of the conference.

The conference started with the keynote by Ken Kousen, renowned author of the Manning book ‘Making Java Groovy’ and the O’Reilly book ‘Gradle Recipes for Android’ and co-host of the Groovy Podcast who spoke about “Feeling Groovy: Experiences of a Groovy Developer in the Java World“.


Here are some key points from his talk:

  1. The perception problem around Groovy
  2. Java 8 does not make Groovy redundant, both can work together and infact can make it stronger.
  3. Community has been the biggest asset for the Groovy language

Don’t forget to check out Ken’s github for the demos he presented during his Keynote.

After the keynote, the conference had 2 parallel tracks with thought-provoking sessions for awesome learning and key takeaways. Both the tracks had interactive sessions which covered the latest technologies of GR8 ecosystem.

Track 1

Track 1 was started by Naresha K, Chief Technologist at Channel Bridge Software Labs, who shared how the concepts of RxJava can be taken and applied to Groovy.

The session session was on “HasMany considered harmful” by Burt Beckwith, renowned Grails Thought Leader, Author of Programming Grails and a former Grails core committer and Plugin developer who shared the implementation pitfalls of hasMany by taking a problem solution approach.


Pulkit Pushkarna, Software Engineer at TO THE NEW, presented his talk on Groovy Bean Configuration in Spring 4. He explained the topic with an example and live coding. He demonstrated how you can make you Spring Beans more “Groovy” 🙂


The last talk of this track was about  “Unit Testing using Spock” by Mir Imran, Software engineer at TO THE NEW, who shared various examples and explained how easy unit testing can be when done with the verbosity of Groovy and simplicity of Spock.

Track 2

The track 2 started with its first session on Getting to know Grails by Søren Berg Glasius, co-founder of GR8Conf and the organizer of GR8Conf Europe, who briefly introduced the various artefacts of Grails along with a demo. Within the demo session he explained how to use various features of Grails and why Grails is known as a great a RAD framework.

Puneet Behl, Software engineer at TO THE NEW took over the stage for a session on Dockerize it all, the session was about the shipping problem in the infrastructure. The session was quite informative and covered the following agenda:

  1. How to use Docker to solve infrastructure problems?
  2. Benefits of using Docker: Scalability, Portability, Deployment, Efficient resource utilization
  3. The core components of Docker

The third session of Track 2 featured Ken Kousen on Groovy and Java 8. He gave insights on how the two languages work together to provide a good functional solution for the developers. He also shared the new features that have been introduced in Java 8 already exists in Groovy; Through few examples he even explained how a feature like lazy streams in Java 8 can be used by a Groovy developers and how to leverage Groovy to the fullest which has new features like meta programming that are not yet available in Java 8.

The last session of this track  was “Think Beyond Frameworks, The Real Gems are in the Languages” by Naresha K, which was well received by the audience. It was an interactive session that covered the following points:

  1. Why we love frameworks?
  2. Why we should care for languages?
  3. How choice of languages affects our frameworks

Both the tracks were combined again for a session on “Grails Monolith to Microservice to FaaS” by Michael Wyszinski, Principal Architect at Westcon Group. He shared interested concepts and knowledge such as:

  1. What is Serverless/FaaS?
  2. Iaas vs. Saas vs. PaaS vs. FaaS
  3. FaaS Caveats and Costs
  4. Considerations for migrating from Grails Monoliths to Microservices and FaaS


After this session, the audience saw the great minds of the Groovy and Grails ecosystem together on the stage for a panel discussion which featured Burt Beckwith, Naresha K, Soren Berg Glasius and Ken Kousen. The panel discussed on the following points:

  1. Grails being tied with specific version of Groovy and Spring
  2. What was the biggest event for Groovy ecosystem in 2016?
  3. What to expect from Groovy and Grails in 2017?
  4. Perception vs. Reality in Groovy Ecosystem

The conference concluded with a live Groovy podcast that featured Burt Beckwith, Puneet Behl, Ken Kousen and Søren Berg Glasius.

Watch out this space for links to videos and pictures of the event.


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