Day 2 – 2016

Today I actually managed to get some java code committed for the first time in months. To be fair I have been spending all of my time creating RPM’s and STACKS and PARCELS for my latest project.

The rest of the day was spent trying to update some software on a couple of HDP-2.2.0 hadoop clusters hosted on a VM. I was trying to avoid having to rebuild these clusters because that usually takes me a few hours. But in the end I couldn’t get the updates to work. So I did some investigation into the scripts we use to create the clusters to see if I could pull in a new version of the installer and rebuild the clusters. I think I have managed it but to test it I have to rebuild the clusters which take about 40 minutes.

Also today I managed to watch the “Building ‘Bootiful’­ Applications with Spring Boot” by Josh Long vJug session from April 2014.

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Day 1 – 2016

Today’s work mostly involved investigation and changes to gradle build files to correct a dependency problem that was causing runtime errors. A dependent library definition had been moved to solve a compile time issue, which was causing those dependencies to be excluded from the distributed code and therefore causing the runtime error. The solution was quiet simple but it does highlight the benefits of using gradle/groovy for our build scripts.

We have a libraries.gradle file which we use to define collections of dependent libraries used by our project. The format of the collections is:

libraries.hadoop = [

where ${hadoopVersion} is predefined to a particular supported hadoop distribution and version for the build.
What I was able to do was to define a collection that consisted of another collection and a new set of dependencies. i.e

libraries.hadoop_client = [
libraries.distribution = libraries.hadoop_client + [

These collection definitions are then used in the actual build.gradle files to define the dependencies for the various build artifacts and tests as required.

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I have decided that I need  want to keep a more formal journal. This will give me the opportunity to record my thoughts etc each day. And maybe allow me to remember what I have been working on.

As for this first entry for 2016, I would like to record what my aims are for the coming year. SO that I can see if I can get close to achieving any of them.

  • Complete all the online courses I have purchased over the previous 2 years.
  • Watch all the previous vJug sessions and keep up to date with the new sessions.
  • Become familiar with the working of Haddop and Hive in particular.
  • Become a more effective mentor and engineer.
  • Become more active in the open source community.
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A small landmark.

This week I managed a small landmark. I actually completed and passed a Coursera course. Here is my certificate. Now I have started maybe a dozen courses on Coursera and never got to week 2 on most of them never mind completing any assignments. It was with this in mind that I decided to try and work towards the Fundamentals of Computing specialization. This would involve learning some python and mathematics along the way, which is not a bad thing.

The first course was

An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python (Part 1)

This is a fairly basic course and one I thought I could cope with given my current background. It was only a 5 week course, which again appealed as being very achievable.  The lecturers and lecture style appealed to me also and the course was very interesting because it focused on small coding projects using it own coding website called codeskulptor .

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Just started this blog and checking that new posts make it to twitter and Facebook.

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Introduction. Part One

I suppose I should introduce myself properly.

My name is John Paul Chambers. I was born in November 1968 in Durban, South Africa to a mother and father from Liverpool. In 1972 because of the political system at the time in South Africa my parent decided to leave for pastures new. My father was a planner in the Printing trade and had managed to get a job in Mexico City. However for reasons unknown we couldn’t travel directly to Mexico and had to return to England first. Once back in Liverpool my mother put her foot down and so we stayed, and I spend the next 16 years growing up in Liverpool. Now Liverpool in the 70’s and 80’s was not the most affluent part of the country, in fact during the 80’s it was almost abandoned by the Tory government lead by Mrs Thatcher. But this blog isn’t going to be the place for my social and political views.

I left school at 16 with 5 ‘O’ levels. After a year at Liverpool Central College studying 3 ‘A’ levels I decided to leave and start a YTS job at Benross Trading Ltd on Rose Lane, Mossley Hill. For the first 10 years of my working life I was involved in general admin, payroll and pension administration. I was using computers but never in an IT role as such. Then in 1997 whilst working in the payroll department of Arcadia Group Ltd, I spotted an internal vacancy for a trainee programmer in the systems department.

So at the age of 28 I became a trainee RPG programmer. And before you ask RPG didn’t stand for Role Playing Game but rather this. I didn’t care at least I was working as a programmer and it gave me many opertunities to learn. After a couple of years a few of us decided to go and study java at the local university 2 nights a week.

So in 1999 my life as a java delevoper began.

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