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dev.life Community Developer Sessions

General Blogs July 15, 2014 By James Falkner

I'm not sure if I've said it enough -- our community is awesome! Each of us comes from different geographic places, cultural backgrounds, and Liferay experiences and we bring that collective story together through software by developing contributions, cool apps, and ultimately learning through sharing. And in that spirit I'm happy to announce a new initiative for our developer community: dev.life Community Developer Sessions!

2 weeks from today will begin a regular series of online hangouts designed for you, the Liferay Developer. Don't worry, these won't be boring slide presentations, but instead will each be unique and interactive hands-on coding sessions with a small, focused goal that each of us can achieve during the session and can then take home for later. Think of it like a mini-"workshop/hacking session" with a small, well-defined goal, led by your fellow developers from around the community. You won't find intro to portlets or here's my fully baked project - good luck kinds of sessions here. You will however learn something new every 2 weeks.

Specifically, these will be 60-90 minute hangouts every 2 weeks using Google+ Hangouts and YouTube, along with interactive features like a dedicated IRC chat room for Q&A, online collaborative coding whiteboards, Q&A and more. Simply show up with your mind (and your development environment) and start hacking! We are all stuck behind a monitor and keyboard most of the day, so this gives us all a chance to “get out there” and get more personal with our community and meet and engage with others in the world of Liferay and teach small things that can lead to larger things later on. And best of all, it's totally free (as in beer).

To give you a taste of what's coming, here are some example sessions (some of which are already on the calendar):

  • Calling a Liferay service from a mobile app
  • Sending out mass emails using Liferay's SubscriptionSender
  • OSGi and Gogo Shell interface examples
  • Extending AlloyUI's FormBuilder 
  • How to use other Databases/data sources in your app 
  • Creating a service using ServiceBuilder
  • Integrating custom assets into Recycle Bin
  • Creating a custom JSON Web Service that's anonymously accessible -
  • Defining a custom resource and permissions
  • Lucene/Solr integration for custom apps
  • Creating a simple Spring MVC Portlet
  • Converting an out-of-box Bootstrap theme to Liferay
  • Using Application Display Templates in your app
  • Creating power macros for FreeMarker
  • Integrating custom assets into ADT
  • Using Liferay JavaScript to call a service
  • Configuring a simple cluster
  • Integrating Liferay with an external CMIS repository
  • Turning on and using Social Activities features in custom apps
  • (And my personal favorite) Answering random posts from the community forums!

It's a big experiment that I hope you will enjoy and participate in. The first session is on July 29 at 1400 GMT (that's 0400 HAST, 0700 PDT, 1000 EDT, 1600 CEST, 1700 EEST, 1930 IST, 2200 CST, 2300 JST, 0000 AEST, and so on...) where we'll go over the typical dev environment one might use, how to use the collab tools, and introduce the upcoming sessions. As we go along we might change the tools, but the spirit of the sessions will remain the same. Following the first session, we'll do one every 2 weeks at about the same time of day. We have about 10 sessions in the pipeline so far (the next 3 sessions are on the upcoming sessions page).

How to Participate

To participate, check out http://liferay.com/community/dev.life and join us on July 29. On the site you'll also find a list of upcoming sessions (along with any prerequisites for each session), a calendar to which you can subscribe, and more information about the sessions. Each session will be broadcasted via Google+ and YouTube, but you need only visit the home page to join the session (there is an embedded YouTube stream and IRC chat on the page). You should also join IRC (specifically, the #liferay-dev-life channel for use during the session, and #liferay for general community chat) to join in the online chat in parallel to the hangout, as useful links and other information will be given, and you can directly interact with others. 

These sessions are geared toward Liferay Developers, and so you should also have your preferred development environment set up and ready to go if you intend to participate (and I highly recommend you do - you'll learn quite a bit more when forced to do things vs. passively watching!)

Calling all Developers

This is an ambitious effort to undertake, and your fellow community members would be super-appreciative to see what you're working on or what you've achieved with Liferay. Why not lead your own session? If you're interested, email me at james.falkner@liferay.com with your ideas - everything development-related is welcome, but please no sales pitches or theoretical physics papers :) These are real world tasks with real results, buddy! And you'll get a small gift in return for your efforts!

So get fired up for dev.life, be sure to read the prerequisites for each session and get your toolbox ready to rock. It should be fun!