Despite how busy I have become, I still get an hour or two to review what's new in the Java programming world. I've recently decided to adopt the NetBeans development environement (now as beta version 5.5), especially after they have made a version available that's integrated with the JBoss application server (version 4.0.4 GA) and supports the latest Java enterprise edition, JEE5.
The trick is how I'll actually get to learn this new material: since I virtually no longer have free time outside of work these days, I'll cheat a couple of hours at work for 'skills/technology improvement'. I mean, my pet project Jaspora would greatly benefit from advances in these technologies, so I have no qualms about how well I'm using my time at work. I'm especially attracted to the ease of programming data access, enterprise java beans, and annotations. I expect that with the latest tools for Java development available, I should cut development time by about half! What's more, I take this as an excuse to learn how to test my code using JUnit. Believe it or not, all code I've written to this day has never seen unit tested such as JUnit does. It'd be a great time to incorporate code profiling and other optimization tools.
It's an exciting world out there. Now if I could add an hour to my day, I'd totally sell out to it.