These are the few user groups that I go to or keep track of regularly to see if they are discussing a topic that is of specific interest to me.


New England Java User group. It has been there almost for ever. They have some excellent speaker line up and its a very active user group. If you are new to Java or a veteran- you will always find something useful here.

Grails User group

Boston area Grails User Group. This is the only grails groovy user group I found in and around Boston. Haven’t attended any of their meetings yet , but seems to be fairly active group.


Boston Area Scala enthusiasts. This group was started by my friend Nermin and couple more Scala enthusiasts. They have had only couple of meetings so far- but the group is well….quite enthusiastic . At this point they do not have scheduled meetings on a particular day of a particular week. But I am sure they will get there soon. Currently, they meet once a month in Cambridge at Google office.

Agile Boston

This is perhaps the biggest Agile user group n the Boston area – very active . They also hosted a major event recently ,featuring speakers Jeff Sutherland , Ken Schwaber and Amr Elssamadisy , Sanjiv Augustine and Dan Mezick.
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Today I wrote my first meaningful program in Groovy-

It was a small script to extract some information from a XML

It took me the same time to learn Groovy and code this script- the same time it would have taken me to do it in Java.

The brevity of the program was breathtaking. Few lines of code- and I was on the way slurping away the XML.

Another first…

Being an OOP nut- its been ages since I have written a single line of code- outside a class. So today- I broke another barrier.


Last night I downloaded and got my first sample program running on grails.

I had been reading about grails for a while- so decided to check on the hype myself

And I was…fairly surprised- pleasantly to see what it had to offer

The time between downloading grails and having it up and running with a small program, not a hello word program – but an actual program which would list and add objects,  was somewhere between 10-15 minutes.

Doing the same thing in Java from scratch would have taken me- well ages.

I know Grails has a strong integration with Spring- so I guess it should be able to deliver lots if not all the advantages that Spring has to offer.

Grails is built on top of Groovy- which is in turn built on top of Java.

I for one do not want to retire Java – just because it has outlived its life and its time for more snappy languages to move in. The romance of somewhat new syntax while still have the familiarity of Java  doesn’t excite me too much

The luxury of not adding semi-colons at the end of line-may excite some people- but it doesn’t tickle me to death that I wont have to worry about any more. Years ago when i would struggled with compilation errors- yes at that time- it would have been a help- but personally its too late for me to benefit from this

The one thing that bothers me is the speed- since Groovy is  built on top of Java- it will be  factor slower than Java. That factor can be reduced but not eliminated.

What remains to see if does the advantages of Groovy outweigh this factor?

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