Grails Community Rock Star Award

The Grails Rock Star Award recognizes a member of the Grails Community for his or her outstanding contributions to the success of the Framework.

Rock stars in the Grails community make a difference by:

  • Evangelizing Grails
  • Helping other users on Stack Overflow
  • Contributing ideas to the mailing lists
  • Reporting issues in our bug tracker
  • Contributing bug fixes or new features
  • Developing and maintaining Grails plugins
  • Documenting various aspects of the framework or its APIs
  • Improving Grails Documentation on the website 

Congratulations to our 2018 Award Winner!

Ken Kousen

Ken Kousen was awarded the Grails Rock Star Award during the 2018 GR8Conf US conference in Minneapolis, MN. Ken is a teacher, author, consultant, and speaker with expertise in a variety of technologies, including Java, Oracle, and XML, as well as open source projects like Groovy, Grails, Spring, and Hibernate.

Ken has authored three books and dozens of video courses (available on Safari Books Online). He co-hosts the Groovy Podcast, regularly appears as a speaker on the No Fluff, Just Stuff conference tour, and has given keynotes at conferences around the world.

Congratulations, Ken! Keep up the great work!

Jeff Scott Brown and Ken Kousen: 2018 Grails Rock Star Award
Eric Helgeson, Ken Kousen, and Jeff Scott Brown at GR8Conf US 2018

2017 Grails Rock Star, Eric Helgeson, Ken Kousen, and Jeff Scott Brown at GR8Conf US 2018

2018 Grails Community Rock Star, Ken Kousen

2018 Grails Rock Star, Ken Kousen

Grails Community Rock Star trophy 2018

2018 Grails Rock Star trophy

Interview with Ken Kousen

Q: How long have you been involved with Groovy and Grails?

A: I started with both in 2007 and have used them ever since. I wrote a book called "Making Java Groovy," published by Manning, about Java/Groovy integration. I later wrote a book called "Gradle Recipes for Android," published by O'Reilly, which leads to your next question. My most recent book is "Modern Java Recipes," from O'Reilly last August, but that doesn't involve Groovy.

Q: How many Groovy, Grails, and Gradle classes have you taught?

A: Too many to count, to be honest, both onsite and online. I've been teaching all three topics fairly regularly since at least 2010.

Q: How many years have you been teaching? Do you know roughly how many students you've taught?

A: I became a full-time technical trainer in May 2000 and have taught classes ever since. I worked for a training company until 2005, at which point I went out on my own. I'm sure the number of students is in the thousands at this point.

Q: How many Groovy podcasts have you done?

A: I've been the co-host of the Groovy Podcast for about the last three years. We've done around 50 broadcasts during that time. Jeff [Brown] has been a guest more than once. 

The Groovy Podcast home page has links to about the last dozen or so. They're also on a dedicated YouTube channel, the audio versions are hosted on PodBean, and the podcast is available on both iTunes and Google Podcasts.

Q: When is the Grails 3 book coming out?

A: When it's done. :) It will be on Grails 4 by then.

Congratulations to our 2017 Award Winner!

Eric Helgeson

Eric Helgeson was awarded the Grails Rock Star Award during the G3 Summit 2017 conference. Eric is the author of the book, Practical Grails 3, and he is often seen in the Grails Slack Community answering questions and helping other users. Moreover, Eric contributes to the Grails Community with code, plugin development, issues reporting, etc.

Congratulations, Eric! Keep up the great work!

Eric Helgeson: Winner of the 2017 Grails Community Rock Star award
Eric Helgeson and Jeff Scott Brown

Eric Helgeson and Jeff Scott Brown

Eric Helgeson and OCI founder, Dr. Ebrahim Moshiri

Eric Helgeson and OCI founder, Dr. Ebrahim Moshiri

Interview with Eric Helgeson

Q: How long have you been involved with Groovy and Grails?

A: I started using Grails around 2014. We started using Grails to build API services for a large corporation and were really impressed by the simplicity of creating APIs with the framework.

Q: Have you contributed to any open source Grails plugins?

A: Any time I run into an issue, I try to [share the fix with the community]. I've had contributions to Spring-Security-Core, Spring-Session, and Sentry, among others.

Q: Have you contributed to Grails, GORM, or any other pieces of the core Grails ecosystem?

A: Yes, I have provided minor bug fixes and upgrades of dependencies to Grails Core, as well as documentation updates.

Q: What has your role been in the Grails Community Slack channel?

A: I'm an administrator on the Grails Community Slack, and I'm always available to help anyone who has a question or issue with Grails, Groovy, or the JVM in general. It's a great, active community resource to get help and learn from others.

Q: Have you written Grails-related articles or other publications for the community?

A: I wrote the first Grails 3 book, Practical Grails 3, and I have received amazing feedback from the community on it.

I also have a Grails-specific blog at where I write up and share tidbits on what I learn as I use Grails day to day.