Given at TechMaine's Java Users Group on Feb 26 2008
Why do we need another build tool when we already have Ant? By focusing on convention over configuration, Maven allows you to declaratively define how your project is built, which reduces a lot of the procedural code that you'd need to implement in every build file if you were using Ant. This, along with Maven's built-in management of repositories for project dependencies, allows you to streamline your build process. Ultimately Maven can reduce the amount of time that would otherwise be wasted hunting down jar files and fiddling with boilerplate build scripts.
This presentation covers Maven's core concepts. It introduces the Plugin architecture, and explain how the most popular plugins are used. It also covers the POM concept and how it relates to dependency tracking and repositories.