Community Spotlight - April 2016

Alejandro Duarte
Alejandro Duarte
On Apr 28, 2016 6:17:00 AM

For this month’s Community Spotlight, I interviewed Godfrey D. Beray.

Godfrey D. Beray is a Senior Development Consultant at Cubeworks Technology Consulting & Solutions and IT Consultant for the F&C Group of Companies and Society Agri-Venture Enterprise in the Philippines. He's also a co-founder and event head at Developers Connect (Iloilo Chapter), and Finance & Admin for Philippine Institute of Cyber Security Professionals (Panay Chapter). During his free time, he spends most of his time with his family, especially with his daughters, Yza and Gab.

Hi Godfrey, it’s great to have you with us for this interview. You have been doing a lot of web development with Vaadin. How did you come upon Vaadin and why did you decide to use it?

I started my career as a Java Developer way back in 2011, but since I'm not good in web design, I had difficulties in creating good Web-UIs for my project. I started searching for a good Web-UI framework and I happened to come across and read the blog For the Love of Vaadin: RIAs Done Right. It's like a light from the end of the tunnel as I have tried several java frameworks but designing the front-end with HTML + CSS + JavaScript has always been my weakness.
Vaadin comes with a decent default theme so I could focus more on coding and less on the styles. When I started with Vaadin, the default version of the unofficial plugin for Netbeans was v6.2. I started working on a prototype project and slowly moved up from one version to another.

For the Love of Vaadin! That was a pretty popular blog post. How have you seen the evolution of Vaadin since then, considering we are now deep into Vaadin 7 series?

There was no Grid component back then, you needed to work a lot with the Table component to get a nice functionality, and Calendar was just an add-on, not yet part of the Vaadin core. The reason why I have kept using Vaadin until now is because of the dedication that the Vaadin team has put into it. I can't think of any requirements that will force me not to use Vaadin in most of my projects.

What do you consider to be the top features of Vaadin?

Plain server-side Java coding is the top feature for me. You build up user interfaces just like you do with Swing, so you can focus more on your coding and worry less about the layout. I was able to build a simple employee directory just by trying some available components from the demo, and exploring and reading some documentation about the framework.

So, how does Vaadin work? Could you briefly explain it for anyone with no previous experience?

It just works out of the box without getting yourself into HTML/CSS/JavaScript. If you're a desktop developer, then Vaadin Framework is for you.

What other technologies or libraries are you often using in your Vaadin projects?

Since most of my projects are business applications, common libraries that can be found in my project dependencies are POI, JFreeChart and JasperReports.

What are the top features you’d like to see in the upcoming versions of Vaadin Framework?

As of now, I'm currently satisfied with the feature set Vaadin provides to finish all my projects, and there’s still a lot of room for me to explore and learn about Vaadin. I was just lucky enough that I was able to get a copy of the book Vaadin 7 UI Design By Example from Packt Publishing when I migrated from Vaadin v6 to v7. And with the introduction of the Valo theme in v7.3, the look and feel was brought to a new level (great work and good job!). 

Thanks Godfrey for sharing your thoughts about Vaadin and best wishes with your future projects!

Alejandro Duarte
Alejandro Duarte
Software Engineer and Developer Advocate at MariaDB Corporation. Author of Practical Vaadin (Apress), Data-Centric Applications with Vaadin 8 (Packt), and Vaadin 7 UI Design by Example (Packt). Passionate about software development with Java and open-source technologies. Contact him on Twitter @alejandro_du or through his personal blog at
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