Learning any new language isn't easy but Romin may have an advantage. First of all, Romin is a pretty decent Java developer... and by "pretty decent" I mean #awesome. According to his website, he's written 5 books, a ton of apps, and numerous tutorials on Google App Engine, APIs, mobile and other cloud technologies. I think it would be fair to say that Romin loves software like a fat kid loves cake.
Romin has won a number of CloudSpokes challenges but has never participated in anything for Salesforce.com. We've been running a lot of challenges lately for the new Apex REST services for Force.com and I guess they piqued his interest. Not only did he enter the CloudSpokes Participant Service but he blew it out of the water and won $500.
If you'd like to get participate in some of our Apex REST challenges, take a peak at this blog post to get started. My guess is that Romin visited this article a couple of times.