Here is an interesting article for those of should who have been following remotely the JavaOne 2012 conference. A recent interview with the Java Champion Heinz Kabutz was brought to my attention; including his Java memory puzzle program which was quite instructive from a Java memory management perspective.
One particular section of the interview captured my attention: things Java developers should know and currently do not. Heinz made some really good points in his interview.
This article will revisit and expand a few of those today.
Heinz is also sharing his concerns regarding the removal of the HotSpot VM PermGen space which is now targeted more for the Java 8 release.
Java concurrency principles: should you care or not?
As Heinz pointed out, this is often a topic that some Java developers prefer to avoid. Unless you are developing a single thread main program, you do have to worry about thread concurrency and all the associated problems. As a Java EE developer, your code will be running within a high concurrent threads environment. Simple Java coding mistakes can expose your code to severe thread race conditions, stability and performance problems. Lack of key thread knowledge can also prevent you to properly fine tune the Java EE container thread pool layer.
From my perspective, every Java developer should try to understand the basic Java concurrency principles from both a development and troubleshooting perspective such as JVM Thread Dump analysis.
Raise your IDE skills to the next level: learn shortcut keys
Next Heinz’s recommendation is to acquire deeper knowledge of your Java IDE environment. This tip may sound obvious for some but you would actually be surprised how many Java developers can quickly “plateau” with their IDE usage and productivity. Such “plateau” is often due to a lack of deeper exploration of your IDE shortcut keys and capabilities.
This article from DZone is a nice starting point to learn useful shortcuts if using the Eclipse IDE.
Java memory management: learn how to read GC logs
Last but not the least: learn how to read GC logs. This is my favorite of all Hein’s recommendations.
As you saw from my previous tutorial, JVM GC logs contain some crucial information on your Java VM memory footprint and garbage collection health. This data is especially critical when performing tuning of your JVM or troubleshooting OutOfMemoryError: Java Heap Space related problems.
Let's be honest here, It will take time before you can acquire about just half the knowledge of Java Champions such as Kirk Pepperdine but starting to analyze and understand your application GC logs and the Java memory management fundamentals is a perfect place to start.