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

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.

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...


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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