February Update - ConFoo, freeCodeCamp, YouTube and Upcoming Talks

Happy Monday and welcome to another edition of the newsletter. February was an amazing month and I’m excited to tell you what I have been up to. I also want to look ahead to a busy month of March and talk about some of my upcoming talks.

But first I want to start with the fact that we are into the month of March. This is one of my favorite times of the year because January and February are tough to get through around here. It’s freezing outside combined with gray skies and the fact that it gets dark out early makes it the dog days of winter.

When we get into March around here it starts to get warmer out and we know the short depressing days are behind us. One of the days I look forward to the most will happen this weekend when we Spring our clocks forward for Daylight Savings. This means that it will stay lighter out longer, and we can enjoy being outside.


I was lucky enough to be invited to speak at this year's ConFoo conference in Montreal Canada. I have never been to this conference or to Montreal, so I was particularly excited about the unknown and visiting a new location. I checked in to the hotel only to be greeted by a rooftop pool that was heated 🤩

Hot Pool

The conference kicked off with a Java User Group Meeting at the Hotel where the conference was being held. Free food and drinks is always a great way to invite me to your parties. I also decided to get checked into the conference at this point because I heard from Yann (The conference organizer) that it would be pretty busy the next morning. After the user group meeting I got to bed knowing that the first day of the conference was going to be a busy one.

I woke up ready to go knowing that there was going to be a keynote and I had 2 talks to give. My first talk was right after the keynote, and it was in a pretty big room. No time or need to get nervous though, this talk was on GraphQL and a variation of one that I have given a lot. During the talk the projector decided to keep going out, and we ended up figuring out that it was the USB cable. Technical difficulties are never fun especially when they throw off your timing, but it is part of the deal and you need to learn to deal with them. I thought I did a good job and I thought the presentation went really well. I especially appreciated the feedback I got where people pointed out that I handled the technical issues well and I promise you that made me really happy.

My 2nd talk came later in the day and it was on Spring Boot 3 and beyond. I decided that in this talk I was going to show slides for half of the presentation and live code for the other half. All the rooms that I was in that morning had tables, so I thought I was going to luck out and have a nice environment to live code in. I got to my room though and realized I only had a podium, and I’m not a big fan of live coding on thos, but I made it work.

I thought both talks went really well, but I learned something at this conference, and it’s something I will use to improve on going forward. I try to pack way too much information into a talk. I need to get a little more specific with my talks and try not to pack so much into them, so I can slow down and explain things better.

I want to thank Yann and everyone at ConFoo for inviting me to this conference. The food was some of the best I have ever had at a conference, the speaker dinner was top-notch and the sessions were amazing. I had a great time in Montreal and I really hope to make it back one day.



I have been a big fan of freeCodeCamp for a long time now. When I was doing curriculum development at a coding bootcamp we use to refer some of the students to their materials as prerequisites for day 1, and I think it really helped give them a good foundation.

I noticed that there wasn’t a ton of Java / Spring content on the channel and nothing with a lot of the recent updates in Spring Boot 3.2, so I thought it would be great to publish a course there. I reached out to a few people I knew and even asked on Twitter if anyone could me in touch with the right people. Thanks to a couple of people they were able to put me in touch with the right people in charge.

After talking to them they decided that I would be a good instructor for the platform so I pitched them my idea, and they gave me their blessing. With an initial outline for a course I decided to flush it out a little bit more and figure out exactly what was in scope and more inmportantly what was going to be out of scope.

I wanted to make this course, but I realized that I don’t have time to put together a 15-hour course which is probably where I would be If I put everything in that I wanted to. I also can’t speak for everyone but these really long courses are a little bit intimidating as a student. I don’t want to learn every possible feature, I just want to learn what I need to know to perform certain tasks.

With the code and the readme ready to go I sat down this past week to record and edit the course. I ended up with somehwere around 4 hours of content that I trimmed down to 3.5 for the final product. I did this all in about 3 days which I was really proud of. I am really happy with how this turned out and I can’t wait for this to get published on freeCodeCamp’s YouTube channel, so I can share it with you.


I only produced 3 videos over the last month because of everything else I was working on with the conference and freeCodeCamp course but I thought they were good ones and based on the numbers and comments you really enjoyed them.

Spring Boot Starter

In this tutorial you will learn how to create your own custom Spring Boot Starter. Spring Boot has a number of pre-built starters that are great for bootstrapping your applications but how can you create your own? We will walk through the process of building a starter from scratch and talk about some of the processes for doing so.

Common Mistakes

In this tutorial we will look at 5 common mistakes we make as Spring Developers and how we can improve on them. This isn't in any specific order but just 5 mistakes that I notice often when looking at the code of Spring Boot applications.

Http Interfaces in Spring MVC

In this tutorial you will learn how to use Http Interfaces in Spring MVC. In Spring Boot 3.2 Http Interfaces will use the new Rest Client allowing you take advantage of Http Interfaces without having to pull in any other dependencies.

Upcoming Talks

Conference season has officially begun and this is going to be a busy few months for me. I was bummed out that I didn’t get accepted to any of the Devoxx conferences I submitted to (UK, Greece and Paris) because I still haven’t been to any of those conferences but hopefully I will make it there one day.

Atlanta Java User Group

Instead of dwelling on that I am going to focus on the positives. This month I am honored to be speaking at the Atlanta Java Users Group on Spring Boot 3. I love visiting my friends in Atlanta, and I am really looking forward to hanging out there.

IntelliJ Live Stream

Later this month I will be sitting down with my good friends at IntelliJ, and we will be talking about Spring AI. I’m really looking forward to talking about generative AI and how Spring can help you write intelligent applications.

KCDC Conference

I am so excited to say that I had one of my talks accepted to KCDC and this will be my 3rd year in a row presenting at this amazing conference. I’m really looking forward to catching up with friends, having some amazing BBQ and attending all the great sessions.

dev2Next Conference

Last but not least I had a couple of my sessions accepted to the inaugural dev2Next conference in Colorado. This conference is put on by Venkat and it looks like its going to be an amazing lineup of speakers.

Customer Talks

I have a few talks this month with customers around GraphQL, Spring Boot 3 and Spring AI. If you would like to have me and our team speak at your company please feel free to reach out about a SpringOne Tour stop at your place.

Until Next Week

I hope you enjoyed this newsletter installment, and I will talk to you in the next one. If you have any links you would like me to include please contact me and I might add them to a future newsletter. I hope you have a great week and as always friends...

Happy Coding
Dan Vega