my time at Sun is coming to an end

Many have been laid off at Sun over the past few years, and we are in a new round now in France: it looks like it may be my turn next.

I am lucky to be working from Europe where these things take quite some time to be processed. There may be even some way I can extend my pay for 3 months, if I volunteer to depart, and don't take some time to find another job inside of Sun. In France people don't get fired, unless they did something really bad - their jobs are terminated.

I have known this was on the cards for the past 6 months, and so I had really hoped that the Social Web Camp in Santa Clara would help me demonstrate the value of what I had been doing to a larger cross section of people in the Bay Area. Sadly that was messed up by the decision by the SFO Homeland Security bureaucrats to send me to jail instead; a very interesting experience with hindsight, that has triggered a number of new interests, that could well guide me to a radical departure of my career as writer, sociologist, psychologist, political scientist. So many interesting things to do in life...

My time at Sun has certainly been the best experience of work I have ever had. I learned so much here. Certainly, I would have preferred it if we could have launched a large and successful semantic web project while I was here, but somehow that just seemed to be a very elusive task. My hope was to simplify the Semantic Web down to a core, and to show how there is a tremendous opportunity in distributed Social Networks. But Sun's current financial difficulties and the uncertainties of the takeover by Oracle, have meant that the company had to focus more on its core business. Much bigger projects have failed, and many much better engineers have lost their job here.

Still this means that I am a bit in limbo now. I will certainly continue to work on Decentralized Social Networks (esp, foaf+ssl), as I believe these have a huge potential. But even more so that over the past few months, I will be doing this under my own steam.


Since you will be leaving your current position, please drop me a line when you have a chance. I'd like to talk to you about a possible project.

Posted by Jason Mark Anderman on November 24, 2009 at 12:23 PM CET #

Hi Henry, I hope it isn't so! I certainly have found your work (and writings) at Sun an inspiration, and they have influenced greatly my tech development.

However, things turn out I wish you the best of luck. I'm sure we'll keep in touch, and I hope I can offer any support I can.

Posted by Melvin Carvalho on November 24, 2009 at 02:46 PM CET #

Bonjour Henry,
Si vous souhaitez rester à Paris, nous lançons actuellement un gros projet avec d'énormes besoins d'utilisation des technos sémantiques.
Contactez-moi rapidement.

Hello Henry,
You would like to stay in Paris ? We are launching a large project with huge needs of semantics R&D. Contact me.

Posted by Cyrille Vincey on November 24, 2009 at 04:44 PM CET #

If you've failed to change a big corporation from within, well, you are part of a noble lineage :-) You've certainly made an impact in the larger world, and I'm sure you'll land on your feet.

Good luck Henry.

Posted by Damian on November 24, 2009 at 04:50 PM CET #

You're very lucky to have been given the opportunity to work there and do what you're good at - writing.

Posted by drywall contractors calgary on November 24, 2009 at 09:57 PM CET #

If you want somewhere to hang out in academia for a bit (and if the DHS will let you back in the US) give us a yell, but I suspect I can't compete w/some of the others. But best of luck and of course keep us all informed where you end up (and where bblfish blog gets moved to)
p.s. hmm, where did I put my calculator, I used to know how to answer those simple math questions to prove I was human :-)

Posted by Jim Hendler on November 24, 2009 at 10:10 PM CET #

henry -

you will most assuredly land on your feet, of that i have no doubt. i have always enjoyed your writings and our chats. you are a noble soul! keep dreaming large and living larger compadre!


- james

Posted by James Todd on November 24, 2009 at 10:19 PM CET #

[Trackback] This post was mentioned on Identica by bblfish: My time at Sun is coming to an end -

Posted by uberVU - social comments on November 24, 2009 at 10:19 PM CET #

Hi Henry, I'm glad I had opportunity to meat you personally during my being at SUN. I attended all your Prague presentations about Semantic web and I was so excited and motivated by. SUN was great life experience for me too!
I met group of people and before my contract termination we organized 1st edition of GeeCON 2009 conference with motto:"Let's move the Java world!" It crossed all ours expectations and also dreams and people love it so much.

It would be nice to stay in touch with you ... I'm crossing fingers for you!

Posted by Miroslav Kopecky on November 25, 2009 at 07:05 AM CET #

Hi Henry, I'm sorry now that I've remained a "lurker" on your blog, but I've always found your contributions to be both insightful and useful. Good luck for the future.
Best regards

Posted by Peter Black on November 26, 2009 at 08:18 AM CET #

Good Luck Henry !
Continue the good work ...its been inspirational.

Posted by rahul patil on December 29, 2009 at 11:38 PM CET #

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