After the Spring 3 Core Training

At the end of march 2012 I was attending a Spring 3 Core Training in Cracow which was organised by the SpringSource. Because I am more of a pure Java EE world type and mainly develop in this area, I wanted to improve my knowledge about Spring. Sure, I’ve used Spring, worked with it but never felt really comfortable with it. I was missing the big picture and so that’s why I decided to go to this training.

The training lasted 4 days and it was really a full-day training: we started at 9.00 and finished at 17.00 with a few short, coffee, breaks and one longer – for a lunch. You can view the syllabus on this site, but mainly, the course focused on the core of Spring Framework, so we’ve spent a lot of time discovering the dependency injection intricacies, bean factories, bean post processors, AOP (and how it is applied to the transactions, security and other cross-cutting concerns.) We’ve just scratched the surface of the Spring MVC, RMI, JMS and JMX.

All this material was presented in a form of an active lecture where the questions were widely accepted during the talk. We were provided with printed version of the slides, so it was easy to make notes directly on the slides.

After each of the sections, there was a lab exercise / exercises – a hands-on session with Spring Tool Suite. For those labs, we were also provided with the printed version of the appropriate tutorial. The tasks were pretty easy, as they based on just presented material. All the source code used in this sessions was provided on a SpringSource 4GB pen-drive that every attendant was given.

The class itself was rather small, as it consists of 6 attendants: 5 Poles and 1 Englishman (cheers Tom!) The lecturer, Tomas Lukosius put a lot of effort into passing the knowledge in easy and simple way – just as all good lecturers should do. The whole training was like “look how simple it is” or “it just another bean post processor” or things like that. It really showed how some complicated stuff like runtime aspects weaving, transactions or security constraints are organised under the hood. Not rarely it seemed quite simple and uncomplicated!

At the beginning of each day there was a revision, a sum-up of all the topics discussed day before. It helped to refresh your memory as well as organise the knowledge better.

My overall opinion about this training is very good. I can see a major improvement of my knowledge about how the core of the Spring Framework works. I’m sure that if you’d put some more effort, read a decent book like “Spring in Action” by Craig Walls and supplement your knowledge with Spring documentation, you’ll earn the same knowledge as in this training.

This will, however, take a lot more time and you’d need a lot of self-discipline. Nevertheless, it’s achievable as the knowledge passed during the training wasn’t any kind of black or secret magic.

One of the nice things about the training is that after it you earn a voucher for Spring Certified Professional exam. Although the passing score is fairly high (in comparison to the Oracle exams) I’ve heard that it’s enough just to re-read all the slides, notes and do once again all the labs. Hope to find some time to attempt to pass the exam soon!

PS. The beverages, snacks and lunch was provided by the company which held the training (Altkom Akademia.) Beverages and snacks were really nice but the lunches… well… just let’s say that I’ve eaten a lot of better things in my life ;-)