Tales from the jar side: Welcome jarheads, More silly marketing ideas, and GIDS Live 2021

No tech stuff this week, but I did find a reason to include the best scene from Rush Hour, so there's that

Welcome to Tales from the jar side, the Kousen IT newsletter, for the week of April 18 - 25, 2021. This week I taught a Spring MVC course, but mostly spent time completing the last chapter in Help Your Boss Help You and preparing for the GIDS Live 2021 conference this week.

After publishing last week’s newsletter, this happened on LinkedIn:

Each week in addition to sending this newsletter via email, I also post a copy to my personal Facebook account and to LinkedIn. That just paid off in a totally unexpected way.

Let’s make this A Thing: all the brilliant, good-looking, sophisticated people who read this newsletter are now officially known as jarheads, unless for any reason they prefer not to be. We are the few, the proud, the clever people who get most of my highly dated pop culture references. Like that one.

I have no plans to actually use the term jarhead for anything in particular, but it was too clever a gag not to support. I should note that the term jarhead has to be written in lowercase, since the Java jar command is also lowercase.

For those who don’t know:

  • jar is a Java archive, i.e., a zip file containing compiled Java code.

  • war mean a web archive, which always triggers the joke “war? Huh! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing! (Say it again)” because these days Java microservices are normally delivered as executable jar files.

  • ear stands for Enterprise archive, which would be managed by a librarian on a starship (probably Uhura, for no extra salary or benefits, of course. Data would be his own librarian. Brad Boimler (Star Trek: Lower Decks) would do all the work without being asked and somehow someone else would get all the credit.)

  • aar is an Android archive, best said in a long, drawn out way every September 19: International Talk Like A Pirate Day.

Incidentally, the jarhead comment appeared on my LinkedIn page. I don’t use LinkedIn a lot, but I have been there a while. I post there mostly because Substack makes it easy for me to do so, but I’ve been surprised how many views I get that way. Also, some Java users groups where I speak advertise their meetings that way, like the London Java Community, so that encouraged me to support that approach.

My policy on LinkedIn invitations is that I check the profile of the person trying to contact, and if they’re not obviously a salesperson I just say yes, whether I know them personally or not. The downside is I’ve been getting a lot of spam from LinkedIn connections trying to sell me remote contracting services, but so be it. I may have to become more selective in the future. Of course, if you mention you’re a jarhead, I’ll definitely say yes.

Marketing Plan for HYBHY, v2.0

Last week I presented my marketing plan for Help Your Boss Help You, which only had one step. I’ve added another step to it.

  1. Convince Lin-Manuel Miranda to base his next Broadway musical on my book.

  2. Collect celebrity endorsements.

Since nobody last week responded with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s email address, I’m putting that step on hold. Since then I’ve been trying to think about which celebrities to approach.

Obviously, as a celebrity business person, Elon Musk is an obvious choice.

Hey Bro,

I hear you’re going to host Saturday Night Live on May 8. Whoa, sweet gig! You know what would be really funny? You should buy a copy of my new book, Help Your Boss Help You, for every employee of Tesla and SpaceX. That would be a riot. I, for one, would be laughing … all the way to the bank.

Sorry, bitcoin not accepted at this time.

Also, consider becoming a jarhead by subscribing to my free weekly newsletter, Tales from the jar side.

Your friend …

Or maybe this one to Jeff Bezos:

Yo Jeff,

According to the Washington Post (which you own, so you know it’s good), you made over $80 billion during the pandemic. Also, Amazon (which you also own — I’m sensing a theme here) added 427,300 employees in the last 10 months, bringing your total workforce to over 1.2 million.

You know what would make all those employees happy enough stop trying to form a union? Buy each of them a copy of my new book, Help Your Boss Help You. It’s available on Amazon, so I’ll bet you can arrange for a pretty good discount.

You might also want to consider becoming a jarhead by subscribing to my free weekly newsletter, Tales from the jar side.

Your obedient servant …

I might also try Bill Gates:

What up, Billy G?

Now that I’ve had both of my vaccinations, I’m good with the COVID stuff but I’m sorry to say I still haven’t become a super soldier. I assume the implanted microchip(s) is/are already letting you know the status of my bodily functions, for which I deeply apologize. I promise to exercise more, especially if you would kindly purchase a copy of my new book, Help Your Boss Help You, for every person helped by the Wayne Foundation — oops, I mean the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Wait, let me stop right there. You’re doing an awful lot of good work, and I don’t want to make your job any harder, especially given all the times I’ve taken your name in vain when working on Windows-based machines.

So don’t worry about me. You might, however, consider becoming a jarhead by subscribing to my free weekly newsletter …

What do you think? Am I on the right track? Am I forgetting anybody obvious?

(And before anyone suggests it, I started a letter to Donald Tr*** that began “Hey, Loser! You know why you lost? Because everybody hates you, that’s why! For lots of good reasons starting with, but not limited to, treason! Enjoy jail!” Nothing after that was printable. And if he actually becomes a jarhead by subscribing here, I’m nuking this entire newsletter from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.)

GIDS 2021 This Week

This week I’m speaking at one of my favorite conferences, GIDS Live 2021. GIDS used to stand for the Great Indian Developer Conference, but I think now it’s the Great International Developer Conference, because last year instead of just Bangalore, the conference was also supposed to be held in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia. I had tickets for my flights and everything.

I guess you know how that turned out. Still, the conference went forward online, and is doing so again this year.

Here’s a link to my page on the conference site, which includes links to all five (!) of my talks. It also includes an old picture of me with more hair than I have now, so I’m going with it.

My talks are:

  • Kotlin Features Guaranteed to Surprise Java Developers

  • Help Your Boss Help You

  • Modern Android Development

  • Spring and Kotlin: A Winning Combination

  • Functional Programming in Java, Groovy, and Kotlin

The only problem is the time zone issue. Indian Standard Time (IST) is UTC+5:30, or 9 1/2 hours offset from my time zone, Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-4:00. All of my talks are scheduled for either 10:30 pm or 11:30 pm. I promise not to yawn on camera, but the following mornings when I have classes will be fun.

GIDS is very good at Twitter.

That will be the first time I’m giving a talk with the new book title. That ought to be fun.

Next year in Jerusalem. Err, Bangalore, Australia, etc.

Tweets And Such

My wife and I finished The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Without spoilers, let me just share my tweet after it was over:

This one is real:

I tried that, and it actually works. You might have to scroll a bit to find a good bot account, but they are there.

This one stretches your geek muscles:

For those who can’t automatically follow all those geek references, let me connect the dots for you:

  • Christopher Lloyd played Doc Brown in Back to the Future. He’s currently 82 years old, but still with us, thank goodness :)

  • Lloyd also played Kruge, a Klingon commander, in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

  • As summarized in the wikipedia page for the movie: “Promising the secret of Genesis, Kirk lures Kruge to the planet and has Kruge beam Kirk's crew to the Klingon vessel. As the Genesis planet disintegrates, Kirk and Kruge engage in a fistfight; Kirk emerges victorious after kicking Kruge off a cliff into a lava flow. Kirk and his officers take control of the Klingon ship and head to Vulcan.”

  • In Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Kirk, McCoy, the resurrected Spock, et al use the slingshot effect (good luck with that) to travel back in time to the year 1986 in order to steal some humpback whales. They need the whales to answer the call of an alien machine that’s going to destroy the Earth in 2286, which is necessary because whales are extinct by then. Directed by Leonard Nimoy.

  • So yeah, the Klingon ship (renamed The Bounty in ST:IV) was stolen from the Klingon version of Doc Brown, and the circle is complete.

Long way to go for that gag, but it works. I also can’t believe I didn’t realize it until I saw that tweet.

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As a reminder, you can see all my upcoming training courses on the O’Reilly Learning Platform here and all the upcoming NFJS Virtual Workshops here.

Last week:

  • Spring MVC, on the O’Reilly Learning Platform

  • Completed the last chapter of Help Your Boss Help You

This week:

  • Mockito and the Hamcrest Matchers, on the O’Reilly Learning Platform

  • Kotlin Fundamentals, ditto

  • Java Testing with JUnit 5, an NFJS Virtual Workshop

  • Latest Features in Java, ditto

  • All those talks listed above at GIDS Live 2021