Well, yesterday was my last day at Thomson West in Eagan. Good 6 month gig. Went in, built some new functionality for a new product that Thomson West is coming out with, and got out. The middle part of the summer was a bit hairy (I worked a couple of 45-52 hour weeks), but for the most part, it was a very straightforward project.
I think the big take away for me on this project was how well Spring Framework worked We had one, I said one, EJB...a message-driven bean. The rest of the system was built using normal Java objects configured in Spring application context files. This allowed us to concentrate on building business logic and not worry about EJB/J2EE issues. We also did all of our testing outside the J2EE container (in this case, the J2EE container was IBM WebSphere Application Server 5.1.2). A nice side effect of all this was that myself and another senior developer could use our Java IDE of choice--JetBrains' most excellent IntelliJ IDEA.
Spring was a big differentiator for that project--it allowed us to build value and deliver value to the client, thus building confidence in the client with regard to our abilities and skill levels. The group that I consulted with are super happy with how well Spring worked on this project and will be integrating Spring into more of their applications and ridding themselves of EJB cruftiness over time. I don't get the sense that they're interested in any of the EJB 3.0 stuff coming out and will stick with Spring and best of breed tools and frameworks in the future. The way it should be. Thoroughly enjoyable!
Next up is UnitedHealth Group's Ovations division. Big change here--.NET Framework, ASP.NET, AJAX. Looking forward to the challenges this new opportunity will present.