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Oracle Java Technology Evangelist Simon Ritter discusses Lambdas and Raspberry Pi

Can you sum up your JAXConf sessions in 140 characters?

Project Lambda: Functional Programming Constructs in Java

Lambda expressions and the new APIs in the Collections classes are going to have the biggest impact on Java since generics. Find out how.

Do you like coffee with your dessert? Java and the Raspberry Pi

Find out some of the cool things you can do with the £25 Raspberry Pi computer using Java. There’ll be mind-controlled LEGO and more!

Why is the theme of your session important to developers right now? What issues does it tackle?

Project Lambda: Functional Programming Constructs in Java

Java SE 8 is scheduled for release early next year. Get a start on learning the new features so you can hit the ground running. Lambda expressions simplify the syntax of Java for many common situations using single abstract method types; combining this with new APIs in the Collections classes is going to help remove the distinction between developing inherently serial code, or code that could be serial or parallel. More cores and processors means we have to learn how to write reliable parallel code. Let the libraries take the strain.

Do you like coffee with your dessert? Java and the Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi is a cheap computer that uses an ARM based processor. This is an ideal platform to start experimenting with developing embedded application code using either Java SE Embedded or Java ME Embedded. The Internet of Things promises to be the next wave of the internet; using Java to program embedded devices makes things simple and allows you to use your existing Java skills.

What are you most looking forward to at JAX London?

Meeting lots of developers and having discussions about all things Java.

How did you get into coding and how old were you when you first started?

My Dad bought us a TRS-80 (with 16Kb RAM) way back in 1980 and I started learning BASIC and assembler. I would have been 12.

Which area, or specific projects, within the industry are catching your eye at the moment?

The Internet of Things is changing the way we gather data, and how much we generate. Turning data into useful information is the big challenge.

What does the future hold for Java and the JVM? 

The future is bright. I see the language, libraries and JVM continuing to evolve to make developers lives easier, adapting to the new types of applications being created and the platforms they’re being deployed to.

What’s the soundtrack to your work?

Depends on how the coding is going. If I’m on a roll, probably Nickelback; for more thoughtful work, Pink Floyd and for bug fixing Beethoven works well for me.

And finally, would you rather fight one horse-sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses? Explain your reasoning.

I guess 100 duck-sized horses, since I would be bigger than them. I don’t like the idea of a horse-sized duck going at me with a bill that’s scaled to that size.


Simon Ritter is a Java Technology Evangelist at Oracle Corporation. Simon has been in the IT business since 1984 and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from Brunel University in the U.K.Originally working in the area of UNIX development for AT&T UNIX System Labs and then Novell, Simon moved to Sun in 1996. At this time he started working with Java technology and has spent time working both in Java technology development and consultancy. Having moved to Oracle as part of the Sun acquisition he now focuses on the core Java platform, Java for client applications and embedded Java. He also continues to develop demonstrations that push the boundaries of Java for applications like gestural interfaces and embedded robot controllers.Follow him on Twitter, @speakjava and his blog at

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