Presentation: Is Boilerplate Code Really So Bad?

Track: Evolving Java and the JVM: Mobile, Micro and Modular

Location: Mountbatten, 6th flr.

Duration: 4:10pm - 5:00pm

Day of week: Wednesday

Level: Intermediate

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Many JVM languages promote "less boilerplate code" as one of their selling points. Even updates to Java in recent years have removed unnecessary syntax. While this is clearly meant to be a Good Thing, many of us - particularly if we've been writing Java for a long time - think "so what?". Our IDEs can generate code, and our brains get used to ignoring the stuff that doesn't matter. 

Is the removal of extraneous code from the syntax of a language necessary, or just a gimmick? How does it impact our ability to write and read code? 

In this talk, Trisha will explore common coding scenarios using Java and Kotlin. We'll see what a language designed for developer productivity looks like: what's important for developers to write (and, more importantly, read) and what can be removed. We'll also see how Java has evolved to improve our productivity as producers and consumers of code, and why staying up to date with the features of a language like Java can ultimately make your life easier.


How you you describe the persona and level of the target audience?


Main target is developers who code every day. Primarily targeting Java developers, particularly those who are busy getting on with actual work and may not have had time to stay up to date on what's happened with recent versions of Java (8, 9) and what may be coming soon (Java 10, 11). Also relevant for tech leads and other people who lead developers and/or make technology decisions in an organisation.


What do you want “that” persona to walk away from your talk knowing that they might not have known 50 minutes before?


I want developers to see that modern development will save them effort in writing code, and, more importantly, make it easier to read code when they come back to it later (even if they weren't the ones to write it). I want leaders to see they can enable this increased productivity by adopting the latest versions of Java, or considering alternative JVM languages like Kotlin where appropriate.


What trend in the next 12 months would you recommend an early adopter/early majority SWE to pay particular attention to?


In terms of the topics covered in this talk, I think it's important that organisations that develop with Java understand that the release cadence is changing to support two releases of Java a year.  This is great, as we'll be getting new features much more frequently.   But it does mean developers should understand what's coming in new versions, and organisations need to know the support model of each version, since not all versions will be supported in the longer term.

Speaker: Trisha Gee

Java Champion, Engineer and Evangelist

Trisha has developed Java applications for a range of industries, including finance, manufacturing, software and non-profit, for companies of all sizes. She has expertise in Java high performance systems, is passionate about enabling developer productivity, and dabbles with Open Source development. Trisha is a leader of the Sevilla Java User Group and a Java Champion, she believes healthy communities and sharing ideas help us to learn from mistakes and build on successes. As a Developer Advocate for JetBrains, she gets to share all the interesting things she’s constantly discovering.

Find Trisha Gee at

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