I remember...

As a 29 year old in the fall of 1999,  I was recruited by tech juggernaut and dot com sweetheart Sun Microsystems to come aboard in their Professional Services division focusing on PC NetLink (remember that!!??) and interoperability.  When I officially started in January of 2000 (I had to make sure the Y2K bug didn't bite Bellagio!) "Interoperablity" meant a totally different thing to Sun at the time.  To me, and the team I joined, it meant making Sun hardware work in a Microsoft environment.  Unix and SPARC in a MS Domain?  Impossible?  Nope.  We were wildly successful for PS, a small team raking in millions in billable hours.

Eventually that led me to working with the Sun Ray product and doing the sacrilegious thing of displaying full screen MS Windows on a Sun Ray without ever interacting with Solaris from a user perspective.  That eventually led to a job with Sun Ray Engineering where I've spent (thus far) the best years of my life.  Three of my five daughters were born under the SUNW stock ticker.  10 years, my second job out of college, friends that I consider some of the best I've ever had.

I could dedicate a whole blog entry to the "second half" of my tenure at Sun, where I got involved with Social Media.  I owe a lot to the Blogs.Sun.Com  team, without their vision I wouldn't know half of the people that I know around the world today.  Thin Guy became synonymous with Sun Ray.  (Could you believe I was going to first use "Tall Guy"?).  Talk about social media building a brand.  I'm now introduced as "Thin Guy" rather than my given name of Craig Bender.  There are so many to thank, Linda Skrocki, Rama Roberts, and of course the very early blogging queen Mary Smaragdis (Not to brag, but I was her new favorite blogger once...that was a huge deal).  And the friends I made on those teams...too many to list.  Liz Ditucci, Dave Arguelles, and so many others.  I feel like I know them all personally even though I've only met one of them in real life.

If you're worried about me, don't be.  I'm continuing on at Oracle and more importantly so are the Sun Ray, SGD, VDI, and VirtualBox products.  The blogging policy is a wee bit different at Oracle, so my blog posts will be "on topic" for my job.  I'm contemplating moving the personal topics (recipes, workouts, autism, general humor) to a new non-work related blog, but all the technical posts will continue to live over at Think Thin.

I have so many great memories of Sun.  My colleagues made Sun what it was.  The technology was a side effect of the freedom given to extremely talented people and the eye for hiring exceptional talent.  We may have lacked at execution on bringing the stuff to market, but Sun was an innovator.  Note to hiring companies, if someone has a couple of years at SUNW/JAVA on their resume, that's all you need to know.  They're a keeper.  One last thing about my time at Sun...I used to travel a lot (150K+ airmiles a year).  I saw the world and it was beautiful.  But when my youngest was diagnosed with autism, the travel was becoming harder on our family and had to be reduced and that was OK with Sun.  Their work from home program was not only saving both employees and the company money, the environment, it might also have "saved" a little girl as well.  While I won't say she's recovered, she's a totally different kid because Sun's policies allowed me to be there for her.  For that I am eternally grateful.

With that I bid this "S-Word" blog goodbye.   Catch me on Think Thin and speaking at Oracle events near you.  Thank you so much for your readership.  Let's see if Thin Guy can be synonymous with Oracle VDI.  I know my new boss is finally getting the N|C he always wanted.  GO ORACLE!


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My name is Craig Bender aka ThinGuy. I'm a Principal Software Developer for Oracle's Virtual Desktop Engineering group.

I architect and evangelize the use of Oracle's Desktop technology including Sun Ray, Secure Global Desktop, and Oracle VDI.


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