Monday, June 17, 2013

Driving the Singapore JBoss Community

Hello all -

It's been a while since the previous blog, so my apologies for that. There is important news from our front in Singapore. We have already held not one, but two JBoss User Groups at The Hub in Singapore. The first event was held on the 18th of April this year and the second on the 22nd of May. It's a great idea that has a lot of potential in a region where the interest in technology is on the upswing. Free beer, pizza, t-shirts and lots of hacking. What can go wrong?

Free T-Shirts lead to a happy audience
What did we do?

Bruno Georges (a Director of JBoss Engineering) inaugurated the first Singapore JBoss User Group by discussing the JBoss Way and introducing a new audience to what we do as a Community. It was an important way to start our first event as it slowly gave people a little bit more insight to who we are and how we go about things.

I went up next and instead of running the same demo that I had done previously (as I have blogged about), I decided to actually make the audience build and run the demo as a workshop. It was a better idea to have a hands-on workshop since that way people wouldn't get bored and fall asleep. I think the workshop paid off as people seemed quite interested in what they had to do. As Red Hat employees it turned out to be quite fun since we gave out a bunch of freebies for people who managed to complete the workshop.

Cool venue, that's for sure

For the second event, Bruno provided a State of the Union of JBoss. He also explained the reasons behind the renaming of the JBoss Application Server to WildFly. He ran a workshop showing people how to use  JBoss Forge to build and deploy applications to the application server which most people seemed to get the hang of eventually. Finally, there was even a little snippet of time for him to demonstrate how to build a clustered application using JBoss, but running on Rasperry Pis - which was pretty cool in my opinion.

No, not the dessert kind of Raspberry Pi.

BRMS (or Drools) evangelist Eric Schabell was also present and ran his BRMS primer for our audience. Eric ran a workshop to get people some basic hands-on experience with using the rules engine to put together their business processes. We were all very grateful that Eric took the time out of his trip to Singapore in order to help us out at the event.

Eric getting warmed up
My personal thoughts ...

For the most part, I am pretty pleased with how the first couple of events went. It's very easy to sit down and expect all of the demos and workshops and the like to work for all of the attendees. In reality, that's almost never the case though because people will run into issues. Part of the challenge and fun for us is to find a way to deal with them on the fly at the event itself. I'm also really happy that Red Hatters from our Singapore office (of varying roles) attended the event to support it. While there is a big technical focus on the content, I believe that it's important that people in non-technical roles can build up relationships with other people within the community.

One aspect which I was really happy to see during these workshops was that the attendees were very helpful towards each other. The interactions which we want to build should not be restricted to Red Hat -> Community. We want people to get to grips with our technology and be interested in it as a whole. I believe that there are good signs of this happening.

Many thanks go out to everyone who did attend the events, and congratulations to those who managed to win prizes as well. Thanks should also go out to the local Red Hat team, from all divisions, who helped to organise the events along with troubleshoot at the workshops and generally be good fun at the events as well. Last, but not least, it was great that Bruno and Eric could take time out of their schedules to provide and deliver content at the user groups - many thanks to you guys as well!

Signing off - until next time!

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