Tuesday Feb 16, 2016

Top 10 Ways to Conference

This week I hosted a Ladies Who Java session and reception at DevNexus in Atlanta, Georgia.  One of the cool things about this conference is that they have a scholarship program for women with the Atlanta Women Who Code group.  This reception was an opportunity for the women to get together and since many were new to attending technology conferences, I put together a brief Top 10 Ways to Conference talk.  We also did some introductions and networking activities. This was a fun and productive event.  I would like to see more conferences organize this type of activity.

The attendees requested I publish it, so see below for the list.  

1. Introduce yourself to others – this is the best way to get something out of the experience. Be yourself – in personality and appearance. Remember to follow up!

2. Review the schedule – pick sessions to attend in advance. Pair with someone you just met.

3. Attend the sessions. As many as possible. Think of topics or methods you can present next year or at other conferences.Share what you have learned on Twitter., blogs, etc.

4. Voice your opinions confidently and introduce yourself to speakers.

5. Go to informal social events. This is not the time to chill in your room – you can sleep later!

6. Attend the keynotes and closing sessions.

7. Attend the evening sessions also.

8. Hangout in the informal spaces – hallway track, nighthacking stage, hacker areas, etc.

9. Have fun :). Any issues or requests, talk to conference organizers.

10. Remember YOU ROCK and the organizers want you to have an awesome experience!

Wednesday Oct 21, 2015

International Day of the Girl at Oracle

Summary of events at Oracle on October 13 and 14, 2015 co-written with Kim Levin.

International Day of the Girl was introduced in 2011 as a result of the United Nations (UN) attempt to raise awareness about all issues concerning gender inequality around the world. It's a day when activist groups come together under the same goal to highlight, discuss, and take action to advance rights and opportunities for girls everywhere.

Oracle sponsored two events in 2015, one by Oracle Women's Leadership (OWL) Santa Clara, and one by OWL Pleasanton. The events were open to the community and Oracle employees as a Community Outreach and Leadership event to grow and inspire the local STEM community.

We find ourselves in a tale of empowerment, leadership, and confidence.

The main characters are strong, resilient leaders, and they are women. It’s International Day of the Girl 2015, and Oracle Women Leadership (OWL) leaders, Heather VanCura and Cynthia Chin-Lee, have planned a story-book afternoon for middle school girls and Oracle families.

“Did you know the first computer was programmed by a woman?” VanCura asks the audience of 100 girls and nearly 100 women. She explains that everyone creates their own story, and as the girls look ahead to writing the chapters of their lives, they can look to role models they will meet today at Oracle. 

As if a room full of young girls eager to learn more about a future in technology isn’t reason enough to celebrate, we are introduced to shining individuals and their accomplishments. Sonali Ranaweera, a mere 15 years old, is the founder of Recycling for Smiles, a non-profit providing dentistry for disadvantaged children. Her story is one of responsibility and compassion that began when she received $100 from her parents (Oracle Hardware Engineer, Jeewika Ranaweera and husband) with the stipulation that it must be used to make a difference in the world. Sonali chose to pay for a cleft palate surgery for a child in need, but she didn’t have enough money. Not to be deterred, she raised the remaining funds through recycling, and her first donation to Smile Train blazed her path. With donations totaling $48,000, her examples of compassion for others, balance in life, and time management skills that are part of her daily routine, are priceless.

The next inspirational narrative introduces activist, Pavi Bhatter, a charismatic 15 year old junior in high school who created a circuitry workshop for elementary school children. Squishy Circuits sparks the imagination of 2nd-4th graders with a blending of art and science to create workable circuits. Pavi has toured the Bay Area enriching the future technology sector by putting young creative minds to work. Pavi offers her classes through Devoxx4kids.org and other venues.

The momentum of the day continues as we hear from Eric Coly, Founder & CEO of Le Dessein. With a mission of Fashion for Freedom, he is driven to raise money for the education of girls in Liberia by incorporating their talents into fashionable items. The industrious African girls sketch pictures and the images are embroidered on Le Dessein's clothing. 25% of the proceeds return to the girls to help pay for their education. 

Following Coly’s powerful presentation, the International Day of the Girl participants are treated to an introduction of the documentary, Miss Representation, where we see a glimpse of the power of media images we see in America today. VanCura wraps up the presentations with her very own personal journey of climbing the ranks in her organization to a Director while also being an involved mother, volunteer, athletic enthusiast, loyal friend, and international speaker.

Moving to the second part of the afternoon, OWL volunteers take on supporting roles managing stations and offering words of empowerment to our female future leaders. The girls rotate through each table, hearing different stories. They learn about IEEE, Women in Engineering, how to author a book, and media stereotypes. They have a chance to make cards for Second Harvest Food Bank, dabble in henna tattoo art with seventeen year old artist, Taaylor Williams, meditate with Monika Goyal and Joy Lee. The girls are given the chance to try out Squishy Circuits and have an up-close look at Le Dessein's jewelry & clothing. They are led through Oracle Campus tours with Nancy Moreno, Sue Young, and Ramya R. Ramesh, and have the unique chance to see the Hardware Usability Lab with Denise Silversan.

Finally students are given time to interview Oracle women leaders, and present back to the group.

The girls from Buchser and TechBridge Middle Schools enthusiastically take part in each of the stations, learning as they go, and time passes much too quickly.

As a student named Vanessa shares, “technology is everywhere and it was great meeting good and smart people.” OWL leaders at Oracle are working hard to make sure these girls, and women everywhere, have happy endings.

OWL looks forward to many more events that encourage young women to get involved in STEM.

Slideshare with slides: http://www.slideshare.net/heathervc/international-day-of-the-girl-slides-2015

Tuesday Mar 31, 2015

JavaLand populated by Early Adopters

The JCP was a sponsor of the Early Adopter area at JavaLand in Germany last week. This is a summary by guest blogger, Andreas Badelt - DOAG (@sigjava).

The second edition of JavaLand again lived up to the motto "From the Community for the Community". The "Early Adopters' Area" was one of the central initiatives in this. Its focus is mainly on the two activities where the Community gets involved to bring core Java forward: Adopt-a-JSR to support the Specification Requests which define the language and platform standards, and Adopt-OpenJDK to support the development of the JVM and JDK.

Over the two days of JavaLand, around 100 people joined us in the area - JSR Expert group leads and OpenJDK evangelists discussing the latest features and standards with conference attendees. They shared their knowledge and encouraged attendees to contribute to the future of Java, while at the same time taking home a lot of valuable feedback for their work.

The Early Adopters' Area is not designed as a mass event - it very much lives from the intense discussions and from the balance between scheduled mini-workshops, hacking, and spontaneous sessions and group discussions. That way, it offers more for people to connect with each other, and also dive much deeper into the core of Java.

The "lineup" this year was even better than 2014, there was something in for everybody:
- Heather vanCura gave insight how to get involved with the Java Community Process as such and the Adopt-a-JSR initiative.
- Ed Burns discussed JavaServer Faces and HTTP/2 in Java SE 9.
- Anatole Tresch presented the Money&Currency specification, as well as Apache Tamaya, the intended start for a Java Configuration JSR.
- Mani Sarkar and Daniel Bryant talked about the OpenJDK and showed people how to compile their own version of upcoming JDK9 using the new modularisation.
- Alex Snaps and Peter Lawrey provided tipps & tricks on JCache and also talked about the (erstwhile withdrawn) Data Grids JSR.
- Roland Huß gave insight into the just started Java EE Management JSR and the Jolokia project which may be a starting point for the reference implementation.
- Ivar Grimstad brought details and practical examples of the new MVC JSR.
- Andres Almiray took the new Desktop|Embedded Application API to JavaLand, and also showed the Asciidoctor project together with Dan Allen, as well as "useful gradle plugins".
- Yara and Vinicius Senger demonstrated their pre-assembled IoT computer Surfboard and different usage scenarios.
- Bruno Borges talked about WebFX: JavaFX plus Nashorn Javascript.
- Mark Struberg, Bruno Borges, Arun Gupta and others started a deep dive discussion on CDI.
- Also, there were two combined vJUG/Nighthacking live sessions on Adopt-a-JSR and Adopt-OpenJDK with Heather, Ed, Andres, Anatole, Mani, Daniel which were broadcast from JavaLand.

And probably some of the ad-hoc sessions and group discussions that took place are missing in the list, as it was just too much too keep track of everything.

A big thank you to everyone who participated in this vibrant event, take your enthusiasm on to help shaping the future of Java. And hopefully see you again next March at JavaLand 2016!

Thursday Apr 14, 2011

JCP Program 2011 EC Special Election!

This week marks the beginning of the 2011 JCP Executive Committee (EC) Special Election!

There are 4 open EC seats that will be filled during this Special Election. There are 3 seats on the SE/EE EC (2 ratified, 1 elected) and 1 seat on the ME EC (elected). See below for more details.

The nominations phase of the election began on Tuesday--the PMO accepts nominations from the Community for a period of 2 weeks.

The nomination phase for this special election, where every eligible JCP member can self-nominate for the 2 open elected seats (1 on SE/EE EC, 1 on ME EC) is open until Monday, 25 April. You must use your election login credentials that were sent to the primary contact of every eligible JCP member via email. Following the nomination period, the ballot will be open for voting by the JCP program membership from 26 April - 9 May. Results will be published on Tuesday, 10 May.

Summary of Special Election seats:

Doug Lea's ratified seat (term ends 2013)
Apache's ratified seat (term ends 2013)
Tim Peierls' elected seat (term ends 2012)

Sony-Ericsson's elected seat (term ends 2011)

Special Election Timeline:

Nominations open: 12-25 April
Ballot open: 26 April - 9 May
Results published/new EC member effective date: 10 May

See the JCP election page for more details: http://jcp.org/en/whatsnew/elections

Friday Jul 16, 2010

JCP Group blog

It has been a while since I blogged here. I am now posting all JCP related information and thoughts on blogs.oracle.com/jcp. I started doing this so there is one stop for the news from the JCP program office. I hope you will visit us there!

Monday May 04, 2009

JCP Program JSR Transparency Case Studies

A new Case Study series on Transparency was recently published on jcp.org, with a focus on collaboration.

Collaboration: Developing the JSR Components on a Hosted Website (Part 3 of 3)

The JSRs featured include JSR 113 (conversations.com), JSR 231 (JOGL Forum), JSR 241 (codehaus.org), JSR 243 (apache.org), JSR 303 (hibernate.org).

The first edition of case studies on transparency stressed the need for frequent drafts to the public.  The JSRs featured in this case study describe ways of making drafts of the specification available for download, and include JSR 170 & 283, JSR 308, JSR 310, JSR 321.

Wednesday Apr 08, 2009

Welcome Aplix to the JCP Executive Committee!

The results are in and the new Java ME Executive Committee (EC) member is "Aplix Corporation". Congratulations are welcome to Aplix Corporation, which will be represented primarily by John Rizzo.

The special election for the open Java ME EC was closed in March 2009 and Aplix attended their first EC meeting yesterday.

91 or 8.93% of the eligible JCP members voted for the four candidates as follows:

Candidate Votes Percentage
Aplix 40 43.96%
Shawn Fitzgerald 25 27.47%
Marlon Luz 13 14.29%
Cox Communications 11 12.09%
Void ballots 2 2.20%

Watch for changes to the next annual JCP EC Elections in the Fall of 2009; you can also follow the JSR 215, JCP version 2.6, Maintenance Review for a preview (for advance notice, subscribe to the JSR 215 Observer Alias).

Monday Mar 09, 2009

Spec Leads: Are you Active?

In February I presented to the JCP Executive Committee on the Transparency topic again (I also presented on this topic in "at the December EC meeting"; the updated February slides will be posted shortly. One of the action items was to create a new "Inactive" status label for JSRs for non-final JSRs that have not posted a milestone within the last 18 months.

Currently, there are over 300 JSRs, each of which are either in progress, Rejected, Withdrawn, or Final. To this list is added the status "Inactive".

In the "Spec Lead Guide" we talk a little bit more about this stage. A full list of "Inactive JSRs" is available. To summarize, this is a JSR which has an approved JSR proposal but which has both:
a) not produced a Final Release, and
b) not produced another milestone for the last eighteen months

There are currently 49 Inactive JSRs. We will be contacting those JSR Spec Leads over the next 6 months to encourage them to either submit an update to the JSR or withdraw their JSR.

One of the best ways to be transparent in standards development is to publish a draft of your specification. Some case studies on this topic "Downloads: Making Drafts and Collateral Available" have been published on jcp.org and highlight JSR 283, JSR 308, JSR 310 & JSR 321. What are your thoughts on the Transparency Initiative and in particular, Inactive JSRs?

Invitation for JCP program Specification Leads:
On Wednesday, 11 March 2009 from 8:00-9:00 am. PT the JCP program office will host a conference call meeting for JCP Specification Leads. Periodically the PMO hosts meetings for Spec Leads to both hear from the Program Management Office and to discuss questions and concerns they have about running a JSR with each other. This month's call will have members of the JCP program office to discuss Inactive JSRs. There will be some prepared content/demonstrations, as well as time for you to ask questions and share experiences. Contact the PMO at jcp dot org for more information.

These meetings are recorded and posted on jcp.org; for instance, the December meeting on Running an Expert Group has recently been made available on the jcp.org "multimedia page".

Sunday Mar 08, 2009

Happy International Women's Day!

Today marks International Women's Day --a tradition started almost a century ago. In honor, praise and encouragement to the women of the JCP program and the Java technology community, the program office published a feature story on some of the women involved at every level of Java standards development--Spec Lead, Expert Group member, Executive Committee member, developer, JUG member/leader, technical writer and even the program office.

Are you (or do you know of) a woman involved in Java technology standards development?
Let's hear from you!

Friday Mar 06, 2009

How transparent are you?

As I mentioned earlier,the EC meeting summaries and materials are now available to the public. The program office transparency initiative started in 2008. You can view the slides that were presented to the JCP EC on this topic during the December 2008 EC meeting.

I'll be communicating items that result from that initiative here. The JCP program office asked spec leads what they are doing/have done to meet their transparency obligations in late 2008-almost 50 responded. On review, it was clear that several JSR Expert Groups hadn't made any public progress since January 2007 – and often for years before this.

So one point became clear-the best form of transparency is to publish an update to your spec!

Out of JSRs that were active in 2008, 58% responded; out of the active maintenance JSRs, 33% responded, giving us approximately a 50% response rate. Those who responded but had not made progress (by posting a JSR milestone draft) were excluded from the survey results. One caveat: some Maintenance Leads may have thought that this survey did not apply to them.

Many JSR Spec Leads and Expert Groups (EG) are trying hard, but we have plenty of opportunity to improve. It is safe to assume that those who did not respond are probably not going above and beyond to meet transparency requirements...or they just extremely busy being transparent :-). If this is the case, let us know about it!

Responses were evenly split across platforms: Java ME: 11, Java SE: 12, Java EE: 13.
Below is a summary of the responses and areas surveyed. The most prevalent methods of transparency utilized include collaborative development, open source development, public speaking/promotion activities and public EG communications. The areas utilized least include regular schedule updates,publishing EG member names and light-weight (eg Twitter) updates.

- EG business conducted on a public alias or discussion forum: 30%

- JSR schedule published and regularly updated: 15%

- Regular (eg, monthly) public drafts published: 18%

- Light-weight updates (Twitter, or similar: 0

- Spec lead blog with frequent updates on JSR activity: 28%

- EG member names are published: 10%

- Specification, Reference Implementation (RI), or Technology Compatibility Kit (TCK) developed on a collaboration website: 62%

- Public issue-tracking: 26%

- Discussion forums or Wikis: 36%

- Open-source development processes for RI or TCK: 49%

- Community update or observer alias on jcp.org: 18%

- Other? (primarily speaking at conferences and events): 44%

How transparent are the JSRs you are involved with? What should we encourage and/or require and how can we reward positive (open and transparent) behavior and/or discourage closed behavior?

Tuesday Feb 24, 2009

The JCP Special Election has begun

Voting opened today in the JCP program Executive Committee Special Election. There are 4 candidates: 2 corporations--Aplix and Cox Communications, and 2 individuals--Shawn Fitzgerald and Marlon Luz.

Voting is open until 9 March. The primary contact for all JCP program members operating under the current agreement are eligible to vote. Voting is a very important membership obligation-please remember to cast your vote; instructions were sent to those eligible today via email. You can view the position papers, and participate in an interactive Q&A with the nominees now.

Thursday Feb 12, 2009

Nomination open in JCP Special Election

The JCP program office is in the process of holding its' first ever Executive Committee (EC) Special Election. After nine years of conducting an annual elections process for the EC members, this is a first! Intel recently resigned from the Java ME EC (but remains on the Java SE/EE EC), leaving an empty seat with a 2 year term remaining.

So far we have 4 candidates. 2 corporations--Aplix and Cox Communications, and 2 individuals--Shawn Fitzgerald and Marlon Luz. It is shaping up to be an exciting election indeed. Nominations for the open EC seat are being accepted until midnight PST on 16 February; send to JCP-NOMINATIONS@JCP.ORG.

Elections will be held beginning 24 February. You must be a JCP program member to nominate yourself for an EC seat. If you are interested in getting more involved in the JCP, this is your opportunity. You can follow the nominations, view position papers, and participate in an interactive Q&A.

In December 2008 we welcomed 2 new corporations--SpringSource and Ericsson on the SE/EE EC and 2 new individuals--Sean Sheedy on the ME EC and Werner Keil on the SE/EE EC. If you missed the 2008 EC Election results you can view them here.

In the spirit of transparency and openness, another exciting happening in the latter part of 2008 was the decision to make the EC meeting summaries and materials available to the public--materials available from September 2008 onward. Previously summaries (not the materials) were available to JCP program members. More on the program office transparency initiative later...

Tuesday Feb 10, 2009

Happy Birthday, JCP program!!

The JCP program turned 10 years old in December! The JCP program office hosted a birthday party at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View , to which we invited JCP program participants - Executive Committee members, Spec Leads, and Expert Group members - as well as Sun executives, members of several local Java User Groups, and others who have been influential in the development of Java over the past 10 years. You can see a slide show of photographs from this event here, along with a summary of the evening on jcp.org .

If you did not have an opportunity to celebrate with us in person, you can leave a greeting in our wiki sandbox.

In celebration of our tenth birthday, we are extending a special offer to Java User Groups (JUGs)--join the JCP for free until February 28th 2009!

Welcome to our newest JUG members: JUG-USA, Japan JUG, Polish JUG, and Lunatech Research JUG of France. BeJUG of Belgium and Sou Java of Brazil are our inaugural JUG members.

As always, membership for individuals is also free. Information on how to join is here!

Sunday Apr 27, 2008

You didn't play with any toys?

In the US, Thursday was Take
Our Daughters To Work Day
. I brought my older daughter (6 years
of age) into my "office" this afternoon.

I worked on my blog, had a meeting, and answered some email. I
told her about my job and the parts I enjoy the most. When I asked
her if that sounded like fun she responded with a blank-faced "no".
"Why not?", I asked; she proceeded to explain that I didn't
"play with any toys". I guess my SunRay, PowerBook and
BlackBerry don't qualify as toys to a 6 year old. Anyway, I told her
how actually my job in the JCP program
is more like her teacher at school, helping folks play nice together
on the playground. That seemed to satisfy her, but she was still
somewhat nonplussed. We'll try again next year...

Friday Apr 25, 2008

JCP program training at JavaOne on 5 May

If you're planning to attend the JavaOne Conference in San Francisco (or if you're not planning on attending the conference but will be in San Francisco on 5 May), the JCP program is hosting a day of training to learn more about the JCP program. JCP program membership or JavaOne registration is not required, and there is no charge for the training. There are still a few seats available for the training, but you do need to reserve your spot this week-send email to: pmo@jcp.org.

You can attend all of the sessions or pick and choose the segments
that interest you...there will be:

  • General overview (for anyone)

  • Spec Lead (SL) and Expert Group (EG) training (for JSR SL and
    EG members, but open to all)

  • Technology Compatibility Kit (TCK) training (for SL members
    who are developing a TCK for their JSR, but open to all)

  • Communications & Media Relations (for SL, but open to

Read more about it here: JCP
@ JavaOne

We'll be recording the training, so if you miss it, look for the
replay this summer.


Heather is a Director of the Java Community Process (JCP) program at Oracle and a leader of the Adopt-a-JSR Programs. She is passionate about the power of community and an advocate of girls and women in technology around the globe. JCP Blog is maintained at: blogs.oracle.com/jcp . You can also find her on Twitter @heathervc & @jcp_org .


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