Liferay Dev. Sessions

Yesterday,  Andy, James and I – representing the MADE’s developers team – were sent to London to attend DEV.Live Sessions hosted by Liferay. 

We’ve used Liferay’s digital experience platform on multiple projects, namely the collaborations with University of East Anglia therefore we always appreciate an opportunity to learn new tricks and techniques to help us to better utilise the platform. Also, a day out in London in a fancy hotel setting with unlimited supply of coffee and biscuits? It’s a perfect environment for programmers, we just couldn’t pass it up.

After fuelling our slightly groggy post-train brains with the heavenly complementary brew and forming a Norwich representation posse with the UEA devs we were ready to tackle the upcoming talks. 

The first one – ‘Getting Used to the API’ – was a user-friendly introduction to the intricacies and quirks of the Liferay’s API. Turns out, bypassing the UI when setting up features isn’t as scary as it looks.

Separating the business logic when dealing with web forms was the topic of the second talk. Digirati’s approached the problem of flexibility and scalability of complex NHS forms with elegance and clarity.

Considering the amount of mental work required to process those ideas, a bell announcing lunch was a godsend. Of course, as a fresh graduate, still set in a student mindset I wasn’t prepared for free food. Suffice to say, I shouldn’t have spent the previous night filling the backpack with sandwiches…

The next two talks revolved around the OSGi – from the introduction to the idea of extreme modularisation to the actual realisation of this concept in the form of custom Audience Targeting modules. It’s a neat way to make sure the content is relevant to the user.

Another coffee break had us stocking up on cheesecakes and chocolates to make sure our sugar levels matched the caffeine levels. We made for a very happy and twitchy audience for the remaining two talks.

We were introduced to WeDeploy – a genuinely impressive cloud deployment solution which makes creating and setting up development environments a breeze.

The last presentation wrapped up the whole conference by pointing out all the things Liferay still needs to work on. It was refreshing to see a company that openly acknowledges its shortcomings and is eager to work on improving the product.

At this point, the only thing left to do was to switch our brains from the ‘development’ mode to the ’networking’ mode as we approached the generously stocked open bar at a nearby restaurant.  

All in all, the day was a great opportunity to get to know the latest functionality of Liferay and discuss any potential applications that we may have with it. The Liferay community is very active and events like these are a great opportunity to get out of the studio and discover what others are building with the platform.