A Return to India
By edort on Feb 26, 2008
It's been said that once a visitor goes to India he or she can hardly wait to get out, but that once out, can hardly wait to get back. In just such a return to India (he was there last year), Sun Executive Vice President for Software, Rich Green gave the opening keynote at Sun Tech Days in Hyderabad.
Of note is the fact that Green also made a return to Sun after a foray into the startup world. "I rejoined Sun about a year and a half ago. It was a really deeply personal decision to come back to Sun after working for Sun for 14 years." Green went on to say that "being invited back by Jonathan [Schwartz] to run the largest open source software company in the world meant that we would have to induce some very significant changes to our fundamental culture and attitude at Sun Microsystems." Oh, you didn't realize that Sun is the biggest open source software company in the world? Well I didn't either until Green mentioned it. In fact, Sun had attained that distinction even before the acquisition of the open source MySQL product.
And what of those fundamental culture and attitude changes? Green explains "we [Sun] sat back about a year and half ago and said you know we have been focusing for the past four or five years on providing world class tools for all the platforms that we have invented, whether it's Java or Solaris or other platforms like that. We were very proud of the fact that the number of users of those platforms was enormous. And the acceptance of the tools that we have provided was enormous as well -- commensurately large with the distribution of those platforms."
Green went on "But we also realized that the world is a lot bigger than that which we have invented, and one of the great things that we can do for the developer community is to partner with them and assist them in developing and evolving the technology regardless of whether or not Sun has invented it. Because it's all about choice. Your goal as developers is to bring new innovations and features to the market as quickly as possible. And we know you don't care where it comes from. We wish it was all Sun all the time, but you need the right tool, and the right platform, at the right moment, in the right ecosystem to bring that technology to market. So we sat back and said what can we do to help? Whether it's a technology that we have built or its a technology that exists in the world of Ruby, Python, PHP,etc., we are changing our position . We have some great proof points to say that we will help you with everything that you need. And certainly we'll continue to innovate on the core platforms and create new platforms that we think are going to be relevant." Green followed, "our strategy is all about providing the expertise and catalyst and acceleration to help you get your innovation done more quickly. So it's all about your choice not ours.
This was only part of a wide-ranging and expansive talk by Green that covered many of the new and innovative things happening at Sun. In fact, Green apologized up front for the length of the presentation, but he said that it's length was due to the tremendous rate of innovation engendered by Sun's partnership with the community. "This last year marked the fastest rate of growth of all software activities in the history of Sun Microsystems. And as that largest open source software company in the world we have larger and closer relationships with the software developer community than any company in the world. As a result, the rate of change, the amount of innovation is the sum of the work we do and the sum of the work we think you do. That innovation is occuring at a rate never seen before. You are making my job so hard because it's impossible to keep up with all the innovation." But Green made it clear that it's a problem he's happy to have.
Some other items of note:
- Approximately 4000 people are attending Sun Tech Days in Hyderabad and another 2000 are listening in at satellite locations in Bangalore and Chenai.
- Green said that yesterday's announcement of the completion of the deal to join MySQL and Sun was really big news. 66% of all the enterprises in the world either use or are planning to use MySQL. In addition, MySQL is the first database system that was built in the Web age and as a result is optimized for the Web.
- Green called up Sathish Vaidyanathan, a Sun Employee from Bangalore India, to demonstrate some virtualization capabilities offered by VirtualBox, a product that Sun acquired when it acquired Innotek. The virtualization capabilties will now go into OpenxVM. The demo showed how a developer could build an application on one operating system and then simulate a deployment of that application on other operating systems, all of those systems running on one machine.
There was much much more in this talk -- everything from discussions of India as a remarkable growth area for developers - to some tantalizing look aheads regarding the JavaFX Mobile platform for handsets - to GlassFish - to NetBeans - to Blu-ray Disc Java - to the Campus Ambassador program. Clearly, there's a lot of interesting stuff going on at Sun, a lot to learn about, and a lot to leverage. And so Green ended his talk with the following call to action to the developer community: "participate, learn, thrive."
Learn more about Sun Tech Days.