When I first starting learning Groovy in a serious way, one tool I enjoyed was listening to the Grails Podcast. Glen Smith and Sven Haiges led a discussion about Grails-related issues on a regular basis. Of course, since they talked about new developments in Grails, they also had to cover new developments in Groovy, so the podcast was a valuable resource for both.
At the beginning of each podcast, Glen would say that he was podcasting from Canberra, Australia, and Sven was podcasting from San Jose, California. Of course, Sven might have been in CA, but Sven is actually a European and eventually moved back to Munich. That led me to contact Glen and ask to be the third person in the booth, arguing (a) that they needed an American, too, and (b) together we’d be Glen, Sven, and Ken, and how cool was that?
(To be honest, I didn’t care whether the podcast included an American or not. It just seemed a stronger argument than the fact that our names rhymed.)
The Grails Podcast went on for several years, but underwent significant changes over time and became far less frequent. Eventually Peter Ledbrook (inimitable co-author, with Glen, of Grails in Action) took over, and a year ago he renamed it the Groovy Podcast.
Meanwhile, whenever I saw Peter at a conference, I casually mentioned that I wanted to be involved in the new podcast. Finally, last year at the SpringOne2GX conference, Peter finally broke down and said he’d be willing to let me work with him.
Okay, that’s perhaps a bit too self-deprecating, but when you want something like that you have to keep prodding until they say yes. I often tell my son that in order to be at the right place at the right time, you have to be at the wrong place at the wrong time a lot.
So, in the end, I’m very happy to announce that I’m now the co-host of the Groovy Podcast. Peter uses Google Hangouts to record the podcast, so anyone can join in real time. The results are published in the Groovy Podcast YouTube channel in video form and on PodBean for those who just want the audio feed.
I participated in episode 6 back on Feb 5, and we just recorded and published episode 7 on Feb 20. The goal is to get the podcast back on a regular, two-week schedule, which should make it easier to build a following again. Episode 5, from January, included a discussion with Groovy project lead Guillaume Laforge and Grails project lead Graeme Rocher about the change in Pivotal support for the projects, so that one is worth watching regardless.
Here’s an embedded version of episode 7, assuming that works correctly:
I should also mention that the show notes for the last couple of podcasts are available on GitHub. That’s now a public repo, so anyone can see them and potentially suggest topics for future discussions.
So far I’ve written this post assuming you know me already, but it’s possible that you found this from the podcast itself and are wondering who I am and why I would have anything productive to say about the Groovy ecosystem. Let me present a short bio here.
My name is Ken Kousen. The last name is pronounced as though it were spelled cousin, like the relative, for reasons unknown but probably having something to do with my grandfather’s very heavy eastern European accent. I’ve been working with Groovy since late 2006, but much more as a user than as a contributor. Eventually I started writing about the language, and my book on adding Groovy to Java projects to make development easier, entitled Making Java Groovy, was published by Manning in the Fall of 2013. I’m currently working on another book, this time from O’Reilly, entitled Gradle for Android, covering the new Gradle build system for Android projects. That book will be available in early access mode Real Soon Now(TM).
I run a one-person company called Kousen IT, Inc., where my day job is teaching technical training courses on all areas related to Java, specializing in open source projects like Spring, Hibernate, Android, and naturally Groovy, Grails, Gradle, and more. I do some consulting and mentoring as well, but my schedule tends to fill with training classes so quickly that it’s hard to arrange for other activities.
I’m also a regular speaker on the No Fluff, Just Stuff conference tour, which meets on roughly 20 to 25 weekends a year at various cities throughout the U.S. On the tour I mostly speak about Groovy-related projects, but I also discuss Android, Java 8, and a few other areas like Bayesian statistics and even “Managing Your Manager”.
In fact, my “Managing Your Manager” talk has been sufficiently well received at previous conferences that it will be the opening day keynote at the DevNexus conference in Atlanta the week of March 9, 2015. I’ve also spoken at the U.S. version of the Gr8 conference several times, and (spoiler alert!) will be giving a keynote there in July discussing The Mobile World and Groovy’s role in it.
Please feel free to contact me with questions, comments, or any good IT-related jokes, which I’ll freely reuse and even give you credit/blame if you want. If you and/or your company are interested in training classes, you should definitely contact me sooner rather than later, because as the Groovy Podcast explodes in popularity and my reputation skyrockets as a result, my prices will no doubt also become appropriately astronomical. So get your requests in now, while I’m still a relative nobody, at least compared to Peter.
Years ago I used to joke to my wife about having a 10-year plan to becoming an overnight sensation (btw, I’m currently in year 15…). I thought that winning a JavaOne Rock Star award in 2013 was the amazing accomplishment of a lifelong dream, but being a part of this podcast is so beyond epic —
Okay, I’ll stop now. Let’s just say I’m really happy to be here, and if you’re at all interested in the Groovy world you should enjoy the podcast. We’re certainly having fun making it.