New Java Champions in 2017

Vincent Mayers
Senior Manager Developer Community Programs

2017 has been a great year for new Java Champions. It has been a year of awesome activity with over 40 new Java Champions accepted into the program. Java Champions have been busy recording video interviews, Reddit AMAs, Blog posts, speaking at JavaOne, speaking at Code events worldwide, speaking at third-party development conferences, participating in User Group meetings and Meetups and participating in Oracle Code Online. 

New Java Champions in 2017

  • Aleksey Shipilev
  • Alex Soto
  • Alexis Lopex
  • Antoine Sabot-Durand
  • Bauke Scholtz
  • Bert Jan Schrijver
  • Bob Paulin
  • Cagatay Civici
  • Christopher Judd
  • Chris Newland
  • David Heffelfinger 
  • Dmitry Aleksandrov
  • Eder Ignatowicz
  • Emmanuel Bernard
  • Fernando Babadopulos
  • Gail Anderson
  • Gil Tene
  • Guillaume Laforge
  • Holly Cummins
  • Ix-chel Ruiz
  • Jose Pereda
  • Josh Juneau
  • Ken Kousen
  • Kito Mann
  • Konrad Malawski
  • Leonardo de Moura Rocha Lima
  • Michael Heinrichs
  • Monica Beckwith
  • Neil Griffin
  • Oleg Shelajev
  • Oliver Gierke
  • Paul Anderson
  • Paul Bakker
  • Rabea Gransberger
  • Raoul-Gabriel Urma
  • Rick Hightower
  • Roman Kennke
  • Rustam Mehmandarov
  • Sander Mak
  • Sean M. Phillips
  • Vlad Mihalcea


Aleksey Shipilev

Aleksey Shipilev is a principal software engineer at Redhat. He is the author of the Java Microbenchmarking Harness (JMH), a project to examine the performance of Java coding constructs.  Prior to JMH, programmers wrote their benchmarking harnesses fraught with errors.  He wrote JCStress, a toolkit for testing concurrency code. He also developed a Java-Object-Layout, JOL, which uses Unsafe, JVMTI, and Serviceability Agent (SA) heavily to decode the actual object layout, footprint, and references. 

Aleksey is now a committer to the new GC project Shenandoah. He is very active on mailing lists like Java Concurrency Interest, JMH, and OpenJDK projects. Follow him on Twitter @shipilev

Alex Soto

Alex Soto (Spain) is a software engineer at Red Hat. He is a passionate about Java world, software automation and he believes and has contributed to several open source software model projects.

Alex is the creator of the NoSQLUnit project and member of JSR374 (Java API for JSON Processing) Expert Group. Currently, Alex is a co-author of Testing Java Microservices book for Manning and international speaker talking about Java ecosystem.

Alexis Lopez

Mr. Lopez is an independent consultant. He has been a university Java professor and speaker at several conferences including Oracle Open World, JavaOne, Campus Party and OTN/ODT Tour. He earned a B.S. in Computer Systems Engineering and holds the following certifications and recognitions: Oracle Ace, Java Champion, Duke Choice Award, OCP Java 8, OCPJMAD, OCPWCD and Oracle ADF Implementation Specialist. He is leader of the Cali Java Users Group (www.clojug.org), member of the JEspañol (www.jespanol.org) steering committee and an active blogger at www.acelopez.com. In recent years, Mr. Lopez has been architecting Web applications for his clients and has helped them to adopt good development practices, such as continuous integration.

Antoine Sabot-Durand

Antoine Sabot-Durand lives in France where he had been running his own consulting company for twelve years before joining Ippon a famous french IT company. During his consulting years, he learned a lot about programming and architecture with various customers (Startups, Bank, Insurance, Pension funds or Automotive), mainly on the Java and Java EE platform. He joined Red Hat in 2013 to take the role of CDI specification lead. He started to work on CDI 1.2 MR in 2014, and then took the lead on the CDI 2.0 expert group and released it early 2017. Now he is focused on the Microprofile and EE4J specifications.

Bauke Scholtz

Bauke Scholtz is a member of JSF 2.3 Expert Group and the co-founder of the JSF helper library OmniFaces. In 2015, OmniFaces won the Duke's Choice award. The source for OmniFaces is available under his GitHub handle: github.com/BalusC.

Bauke is also the co-founder of zeef.com, a popular new social search engine built with Java EE 7. Zeef's content relies on contributors' expertise and their status in the community. Bauke’s page has links to the most relevant JSF information jsf.zeef.com/bauke.scholtz. Adam Bien wrote a detailed blog about the inner workings of Zeef.

Known as BalusC,  Bauke ranks third in the user reputation ranking of Stackoverflow with nearly 17,000 answers. Bauke blogs about JSF, Java EE, and Java EE frameworks at balusc.omnifaces.org. He was one of the heroes of Java in Markus Eisele’s series and was interviewed in 2012. Follow him on Twitter @OmniFaces

Bert Jan Schrijver

Bert Jan Schrijver is a senior developer at JPoint. A tireless community organizer, he organizes J-Fall, the biggest Java conference in the Netherlands as well as the IoT Tech Days, a one-day conference on smart technologies. He is the chief editor of Java Magazine in the Netherlands, which has 4,000 subscribers. 

Bert Jan worked with the JCP to have NLJUG join the Adopt-a-JSR program. The NLJUG was nominated as ‘outstanding adopt-a-jar participant’ for the JCP awards this year. Just in the past year, Bert Jan helped the Utrecht and Amsterdam JUGs start up their user groups. Bert Jan is always eager to share experiences with other JUG leaders and he helps out at Devoxx4Kids workshop to teach kids how to code

Bob Paulin

Bob Paulin is an independent consultant working for different IT firms. He has 15 years of experience as a developer and has contributed to open source software for the past 10 years.

Bob is currently an ASF member and actively contributes to Apache Tikka, Apache Felix, and Apache Sling. He was nominated as JCP Outstanding Adopt-a-JSR participant for his involvement with Java EE 8. He has run numerous JDK 9 workshops in the Chicago area. 

Bob is the co-host the JavaPubHouse.com, a podcast on a range of Java topics, standards, tools, and techniques. He also participates regularly in the Java Off-Heap, a podcast about Java technology news. 

Bob has run the Devoxx4Kids and GotoJr conferences in Chicago allowing kids to hack in Minecraft, play with Lego robots, and use conductive play-doh. These efforts have enriched the lives of students and are helping inspire students to pursue technical careers. Follow him on Twitter @bobpaulin

Cagatay Civici

Çağatay Çivici is a member of JavaServer Faces Expert Group, the founder and project lead of popular PrimeFaces Component Suite and PMC member of open source JSF implementation Apache MyFaces. He’s a recognized speaker at international conferences such as JavaOne, SpringOne, JAX, Jazoon, Confess, JSFSummit and many local events such as JUGs. Cagatay is also an author and technical reviewer of a couple of books regarding web application development with Java and JSF. As an experienced trainer, he has trained over 300 developers on Java EE technologies mainly JSF, Spring, EJB 3.x and JPA. Cagatay is currently working as a consultant, mentor, and instructor for Prime Teknoloji in Turkey.

Christopher Judd

Christopher Judd is CTO and partner at Manifest Solutions (http://www.manifestcorp.com), an international speaker, an open source evangelist, and the Central Ohio Java Users Group (http://www.cojug.org) leader.  He is an accomplished writer having co-authored Beginning Groovy and Grails (Apress, 2008), Enterprise Java Development on a Budget (Apress, 2003) and Pro Eclipse JST (Apress, 2005) as well as the author of the children’s book “Bearable Moments”.  Based in Columbus Ohio USA, he has spent over 20 years architecting and developing software for organizations ranging from Fortune 500 to start-ups across various industries including insurance, healthcare, education, retail, government, manufacturing, service, and transportation.  Mr. Judd spends most of his time consulting while continuing to focus on mentoring and training in Java, mobile, and related technologies.

Chris Newland

Chris Newland is a senior developer and team lead at ADVFN using Java to process stock market data feeds in real time. In his spare time, he invented and still leads developers on the JITWatch project, an open source log analyzer to visualize and inspect Just-In-Time compilation decisions made by the HotSpot JVM.

Chris is also a JavaFX developer and built a performance benchmark called DemoFX.  He set up a community OpenJFX backend at http://chriswhocodes.com/ for cross-platform builds so that OpenJFX can be used with ARM JDKs and OpenJDK-based builds from other vendors such as Azul Systems' Zulu JDK.

David Heffelfinger

David Heffelfinger is an independent consultant based in the Washington, DC area. He is a member of the NetBeans Dream Team and is part of the JavaOne content committee. 

David has written 7 books on Java EE, application servers, NetBeans, JasperReports, and Wicket. His titles include Java EE 7 Development with NetBeans 8, Java EE 7 with GlassFish 4 Application Server, and JasperReports 3.5 For Java Developers. 

David has been speaking at JavaOne every year since 2012. He is a frequent speaker at NetBeans Day in San Francisco, showcasing NetBeans features that greatly enhance the development of Java EE applications. Follow him on Twitter @ensode

Dmitry Aleksandrov

Dmitry is a principal expert developer living in Sofia, Bulgaria. He has more than a decade experience mainly in Java Enterprise in banking/telecom, but interested in dynamic languages on JVM and features like massive computations on GPUs. He is a frequent contributor to open source and community-driven initiatives. He is a co-lead of the Bulgarian Java User Group and co-organizer of jPrime Conf. – one of the biggest community-driven conferences in the Balkans region. Dmitry is a blogger and also a conference speaker at local events as well as conferences like JavaOne, Devoxx/Voxxed, and Joker. He is doing his best to support disabled people to become industry professionals. Available on twitter - https://twitter.com/bercut2000.

Eder Ignatowicz

Eder Ignatowicz is Senior Software Engineer at JBoss by Red Hat, a proud member of Drools/jBPM team.  Since joining Red Hat he has been focusing on web-enabled of the Drools&jBPM platforms.
Eder is a frequent Java speaker at Brazilian national events (QCon São Paulo and Rio, JavaOne, DevCamp, JustJava, The Developers Conference) and international conferences such as JavaOne. He is also the Program Committee Chair of QCon's in Brazil.

Emmanuel Bernard

Emmanuel Bernard is a data platform architect at JBoss. He has been a contributor and lead of open source projects for over 15 years and has led the Hibernate portfolio since 2008. He also contributed to JPA specs as JCP EG member and the Bean Validation spec as JSR Spec Lead. 

He is the author of Hibernate Search in Action, a reference guide for Hibernate Search. Aside from speaking at Java conferences around the world, he runs two podcasts, JBoss Community Asylum, and the French podcast, “Les Cast Codeurs”.

Fernando Babadopulos

Fernando Babadopulos is a Brazilian software architect, entrepreneur, and enthusiast of new technologies; he was responsible for developing some of the most popular web applications in Brazil and abroad. With more than 15 years of experience with the internet, Babadopulos specializes in the creation and design of high-performance systems. He was a pioneer in using Java for Big Data applications and He is a frequent speaker and participant in developer conferences worldwide. He holds a master's degree in information engineering from the Federal University of ABC and a BS in computer science from the University Center of FEI.

Gail Anderson

Gail Anderson is the Director of Research and founding member of the Anderson Software Group, a leading provider of training courses in Java 8, JavaFX, and other programming languages.

Gail enjoys researching and writing about leading-edge Java technologies. She is the co-author of eight textbooks on software programming, including JavaFX Rich Client Programming on the NetBeans Platform.

Gail has conducted technical sessions and hands-on labs at JavaOne and NetBeans Day conferences in San Francisco, Europe, and Latin America. Gail is a member of the NetBeans Dream Team.
For more information about Gail, visit asgteach.com, the Anderson Software Group on Facebook, and @gail_asgteach on Twitter.

Gil Tene

Gil Tene is CTO and co-founder of Azul Systems. He has been involved with virtual machine and runtime technologies for the past 25 years. His pet focus areas include system responsiveness and latency behavior. Gil is a frequent speaker at technology conferences worldwide, and an official JavaOne Rock Star. He pioneered the Continuously Concurrent Compacting Collector (C4) that powers Azul's continuously reactive Java platforms. In past lives, he also designed and built operating systems, network switches, firewalls, and laser-based mosquito interception systems.

Guillaume Laforge

At Google, Guillaume Laforge is Developer Advocate for the Google Cloud Platform, where he spread the word about the rich set of products and services offered for developers wishing to take advantage of the cloud for their projects and businesses. Before joining Google, at Restlet, Guillaume was taking care of the Product Leadership around the APISpark API management platform, the Restlet Studio for crafting Web APIs and the Restlet Framework for authoring restful applications. He is also leading the Developer Advocacy team, to interact with developers using those projects.

Since 2003, Guillaume has been involved in the Apache Groovy programming language project, leading the project since about 2004, and working on it under the umbrella of G2One (our Groovy/Grails startup), then SpringSource, VMware, and the Pivotal spin-off. Guillaume accompanied the move of the project to the Apache Software Foundation, where he has the role of Chair of the Apache Groovy Project Management Committee (PMC).

He initiated the creation of the Grails web application framework and founded the Gaelyk project, a lightweight toolkit for developing applications in Groovy for Google App Engine. 

He is also a frequent conference speaker presenting Serverless technologies, Machine Learning APIs, conversational interfaces, Google Cloud projects & services, Apache Groovy, Grails, Gaelyk, Domain-Specific Languages, Web API design, at JavaOne, JAX, GR8Conf, Greach, DevTernity, SpringOne2GX, QCon, Cloud Next, Voxxed Days and Devoxx, among others. 

Guillaume also co-authored Groovy in Action along with Dierk König and Paul King, two famous Apache Groovy committers.

Before founding G2One, which was acquired by SpringSource in late 2008, and taking the role of VP Technology, Guillaume worked for OCTO Technology, a consultancy focusing on architecture and agile methodologies. While at OCTO, Guillaume developed new offerings around Groovy and Grails for its customers.

Guillaume is also one of the founding members of the French Java/OSS/IT podcast Les Cast Codeurs.

Holly Cummins

Holly Cummins has been a Java engineer since 2001. She was one of the core engineers on the IBM J9 JVM working on Garbage Collection (GC) and Just in Time (JIT) compilation. She is currently a technical lead for IBM BlueMix Garage.   

Holly is also a committer and PMC member on the Apache Aries project, which melds the OSGi and Java EE programming models. She created several wearable projects connected to a backend server to demonstrate the low power requirements of modern application servers, and the suitability of Java for embedded application servers.

Holly is the co-author of Enterprise OSGi in Action (Manning). She has published on a range of subjects, from performance myths, garbage collection tuning principles, enterprise OSGi, Java on Raspberry PIs, microservices, automation, and the importance of fun in a development culture. She is a frequent speaker at conferences including Devoxx and JavaOne. Follow her on Twitter @holly_cummins

Ix-chel Ruiz

Ixchel has developed software application & tools since 2000. Her research interests include dynamic languages, testing, and client-side technologies. Systems Administration (*nix on the top), Data Modeling and AI are among her career passions. She is a believer in open source and has participated in open source projects (Json-lib, EZMorph). Ix-chel is an active member of the Hackergarten and Groovy communities, helping developers throughout the world getting into Open Source and Java/Groovy technologies. She has also been teacher of Computer Science courses in the most prestigious education institute in Mexico

Jose Pereda

José Pereda, Ph.D. in Structural Engineering, works as a software engineer at Gluon Software. Java Champion and Oracle Developer Champion, JavaOne RockStar and NetBeans Dream Team member. Being on Java since 1999, he is a JavaFX advocate, developing Java applications for mobile and embedded platforms connected to the cloud and enterprise systems, while he also works on open source projects (JFXtras, FXyz3D, https://github.com/jperedadnr), co-authoring JavaFX books (JavaFX 8 Introduction by Example, JavaFX 9 by Example), blogging (http://jperedadnr.blogspot.com.es/), tweeting (@JPeredaDnr) or speaking at JUGs and conferences (JavaOne, Devoxx, JAX, Jfokus, JavaLand, JCrete, JBCNConf,…). José lives with his wife and kids in Valladolid, Spain, and in his spare time he plays basketball, goes for a walk or rides his bike with his family.

Josh Juneau

Josh Juneau is an application developer and system analyst at Fermilab. He has written numerous books on JSF, Java 8 Recipes, Java EE 7, and Jython. He is the project lead for DJango-Jython and Jython. He is also involved in JSR-371/JSR-366

Josh has been very active in the Chicago Java Users Group for years. Under his leadership, CJUG got involved with Adopt-A-JSR; he received the JCP's Outstanding Adopt-a-JSR participant award. He has been a fervent advocate for Java EE in his blog (http://jj-blogger.blogspot.in/2016/04/java-ee-8-what-is-current-status-case.html). 

Josh is a technical writer for Java Magazine and OTN Content. He is a frequent JavaOne speaker and has published more than five books under Apress. He is also a regular in the Java OffHeap podcast, in which he and three others discuss current Java Technology news, trends, and risks. Follow him on Twitter @javajuneau

Ken Kousen

Ken Kousen is the author of the books Modern Java Recipes (O'Reilly), Gradle Recipes for Android (O’Reilly) and Making Java Groovy (Manning), as well as O’Reilly video courses in Android, Groovy, Gradle, Advanced Java, and Spring, all available through Safari Books Online. He is a regular speaker on the No Fluff, Just Stuff conference tour and a 2013 and 2016 JavaOne Rock Star, and has spoken at conferences all over the world. Through his company, Kousen I.T., Inc., he has taught software development training courses to thousands of students. He also has far too many academic degrees, including a BS in Mathematics and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from M.I.T., an MA and a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from Princeton, and an MS in Computer Science from R.P.I, but despite all that he still believes he can code.

Kito Mann

Kito D. Mann is the Principal Consultant at Virtua, Inc. (http://virtua.tech), specializing in enterprise application architecture, training, development, and mentoring with PrimeFaces, JavaServer Faces, Java EE, and front-end technologies (Web Components, Polymer, Angular). He is also founder and editor-in-chief of JSFCentral.com(www.jsfcentral.com), co-host of the Enterprise Java Newscast (http://www.enterprisejavanews.com), and the author of JavaServer Faces in Action (Manning). Mann has participated in several Java Community Process expert groups (including CDI, JSF, MVC, and Portlets) and is also an internationally recognized speaker. He holds a BA in Computer Science from Johns Hopkins University and lives in Glen Allen, VA, USA with his wife, son, and daughter.
Konrad Malawski

Konrad has focused his career on high performance and clustered systems. He is experienced in navigating corporate structures (e.g. eBay) as well as small agile startups (e.g. Softwaremill). Currently focused on making developing distributed applications accessible and simpler thanks to the Akka toolkit and Scala language, at Typesafe, the company behind those.

Notable community/conference work:

  • Program committee member of Java One San Francisco for the JVM Languages track.
  • Part of the leadership team of the annual GeeCON conference along (also helping with the Prague and Tricity editions).
  • Frequent and high rated speaker at well-known conferences such as JavaOne, JFokus, Devoxx and various other smaller conferences.

Founded and led (still leading) various user groups, including the GDG Kraków, Kraków Scala User Group, Software Craftsmanship Kraków (the computer science whitepaper reading club) well as the Polish Java User Group. Actively giving back to the community by contributing to various open source projects (also before my time in an open source team) and other activities - including founding and helping hands on in teaching activities for younger ones (founded and run Geecon 4 Kids 2 years).

Leonardo de Moura Rocha Lima

Leonardo Lima, CTO of V2COM, has been working with Java solutions since 2005, architecting and building V2COM solutions for Industrial Internet of Things. For its extensive use of Java, V2COM’s platform received the Oracle Excellence Award in 2013. Leonardo is also V2COM’s representative at the Java Community Process Executive Committee, where he led a JSR (JSR 363, Units of Measurement) and fosters the usage of Java usage on both embedded and server environments. Leonardo is from Campinas, Brazil, and currently lives in Austin, TX and is actively contributing to JNoSQL and Eclipse Collection projects.

Michael Heinrichs

Michael is a user interface creator by passion. He is convinced: no matter which technology and which device if it has a screen, one can build a truly amazing experience. And pure magic. He works at the Canoo Engineering AG as a software engineer on next-generation user interfaces. Prior to that, he worked on a low latency trading platform at Barclays Capital. Before that, Michael was responsible for performance optimizations in JavaFX Mobile at Sun Microsystems and later became the technical lead of the JavaFX core components at Oracle. 

Michael loves to spend time with his family and cooking. He lives in Freiburg, in the south-west of Germany. You can find him on Twitter @net0pyr and occasionally he blogs at https://netopyr.com.

Monica Beckwith

Monica Beckwith (USA) has a Master's in Electrical and Computer Engineering and is a Java performance engineer specializing in OpenJDK/OracleJDK HotSpot. She has made various contributions to HotSpot's Virtual Machine (Java VM) and Garbage Collectors (GCs). Monica provides consultancy through Code Karam LLC and has co-authored the 'Java Performance Companion' book. She is currently working on 'Inside Java 9' to be released in early 2018 by Addison Wesley. She is also the author of 'Advanced Java Performance: Hotspot GC Tuning LiveLessons'. Monica, a JavaOne RockStar, is a regular speaker at various universities, institutions, conferences, and podcasts. She also frequently publishes articles related to the field of Java and Java VM/GC internals. Monica is passionate about STEM and loves volunteering her time in coaching kids in the field of (Java) programming and more recently, Lego Robotics.

Neil Griffin

Neil Griffin is a Software Architect for Liferay in the US and is the project lead for Liferay Faces. Neil has over 20 years of experience in software engineering and represents the company as the Specification Lead on JSR 378 (Portlet 3.0 Bridge for JSF 2.2). He also represents Liferay on JSR 362 (Portlet 3.0) and JSR 372 (JSF 2.3). Neil is a contributing author to the JSF 2.0 Complete Reference, published by McGraw-Hill.

Oleg Shelajev

Oleg Šelajev is a software engineer, author, and developer advocate at ZeroTurnaround. He's helping to lead VirtualJUG, co-founded a GDG chapter in Tartu, Estonia, and maintains ZeroTurnaround's blog RebelLabs. In his spare time, he is "pursuing" a Ph.D. in dynamic system updates and code evolution. Once upon a time, Oleg was a part-time lecturer at the University of Tartu and now enjoys speaking, teaching, and participating in Java conferences all over the world. In his other free time, Oleg plays chess, loves puzzles and solving all kinds of problems. 

Oliver Gierke

Oliver Gierke is leading the Spring Data project at Pivotal. He is an active member of the JCP expert group on JPA 2.1 and one of the main organizers of the JUG Saxony Day, OOP, JAX and WJAX conferences.

Oliver coined the Spring Data repository programming model which is a widely used Java abstraction to develop data access layers for relational and non-relational databases. This simplifies the way Java developers interact with persistence technologies as Spring Data provides an abstraction over APIs such as JPA. He is one of the leading experts on JPA and other persistence technologies. With Spring Data REST, he helped Java developers implement REST APIs. He also coined the Spring HATEOAS module and helped Java developers use hypermedia elements in REST APIs when using Spring MVC or JAX-RS.

Oliver is a consulting lecturer at the Chair of Software Engineering at TU Dresden helping students to get started with application development in Java. All of his material is available online: http://static.olivergierke.de/lectures/ This makes it easy for student developers to experiment with Java and receive a professional introduction to the language and Java development practices. 

Oliver contributes almost daily to diverse Open Source frameworks on Github, see https://github.com/olivergierke.  He is a frequent speaker at many conferences including BEDcon, OOP, JavaZone, Devoxx, SpringOne, JavaOne, JFokus, Øredev to name a few. Follow him at @olivergierke

Paul Anderson

Paul Anderson is the Director of Training and founding member of the Anderson Software Group, a leading provider of training courses in Java 8, JavaFX, and other programming languages. 

He is an experienced speaker and specializes in making the technical aspects of software engineering fun and understandable. He is the co-author of eight textbooks on software programming, including JavaFX Rich Client Programming on the NetBeans Platform.

Paul is a frequent speaker at JavaOne and NetBeans Day conferences in San Francisco, Europe, and Latin America. Paul is a member of the NetBeans Dream Team and the author of LiveLesson videos on JavaFX Programming and Java Reflection.
For more information about Paul, visit asgteach.com, the Anderson Software Group on Facebook, and @paul_asgteach on Twitter.

Paul Bakker

Paul started his Java career building Applets while still in high school in the Netherlands. 15 years or so later he lives in the Bay Area working for Netflix. He has published two books, "Modular Cloud Apps with OSGi" and "Java 9 Modularity" and has given countless talks at Java conferences around the world.

Rabea Gransberger

Rabea studied computer science and got a diploma in 2008. She is co-leading the software development department and is working as a software engineer on various Eclipse RCP based projects at MEKOS in Bremen, Germany. Her main focus is on keeping the code base clean and educating the team on how to write better code. Rabea is a well-known speaker at conferences and user groups around the world. She started the Java user group Bremen in 2012 and is part of the organization team ever since. Besides software development, she likes to watch football games in the local Weserstadium.

Raoul-Gabriel Urma

Raoul-Gabriel Urma is CEO and co-founder of Cambridge Spark, a leading learning community for data scientists and developers in UK. In addition, he is also Chairman and co-founder of Cambridge Coding Academy, a growing community of young coders and pre-university students. Raoul is the author of the bestselling programming book “Java 8 in Action” which sold over 20,000 copies globally. Raoul completed a Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of Cambridge. In addition, he holds a MEng in Computer Science from Imperial College London and graduated with first-class honors having won several prizes for technical innovation. Raoul has delivered over 100 technical talks at international conferences. He has worked for Google, eBay, Oracle, and Goldman Sachs. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Rick Hightower

Rick consults and does contract development for high-speed computing, Java-based uServices, Apache Spark, Apache Kafka, and Apache Cassandra. He also writes about microservice development and reactive streaming. Rick is a frequent speaker regarding high-speed, reactive microservice development and has spoken recently at JavaOne as well at FinTech at scale in SF.  He specializes in high-speed, in-memory, non-blocking, microservices development which often includes Java EE, QBit, Reakt, Akka, Vert.x, Cassandra, Kafka, and cloud deployments. He has architected and implemented 100 million-users, in-memory content preference engines using Java reactive, streaming, and actor-based system as well as architected and implemented OAuth rate limiter (API gateway) for streaming music service to rate limit all backend services per partner/vendor/mobile app. Rick also contributed to the reference implementations enterprise caches as well as being a member of several spec. committees (JSR-347, JSR-107, etc.). He also is the author of the Boon JSON parser and parsing utilities which ships with Groovy. 

Roman Kennke

Roman Kennke is a long time free Java (and Software) activist from Freiburg, Germany. He was originally involved in GNU Classpath since 2004, later participated in opening OpenJDK and since then is a regular contributor to several parts of OpenJDK (AWT/Swing, general class library, lately Hotspot). After finishing Diploma in 2007 he was employed by aicas, who are building a hard real-time capable Java VM. During 2009 and 2010 worked for Sun Microsystems on Java Webstart. After a short interlude as a contractor for JP Morgan, he's now a Principal Software Engineer at Red Hat, where he works on OpenJDK and several related projects, including Thermostat, the Zero and Shark ports of OpenJDK, and currently on the Shenandoah GC.

Rustam Mehmandarov

Rustam lives and works in Oslo, Norway. He is a principal engineer, a senior consultant specializing in Java platform, and a competency network coordinator at work. He has been heavily involved in the Norwegian Java User Group – javaBin, being the leader, second-in-command, and a board member, as well as the organizer of JavaZone conference, which he is currently leading. Rustam is passionate about open source and sharing his knowledge with others. He is a frequent speaker at both national and international conferences and events. You can find Rustam on Twitter as @rmehmandarov

Sander Mak

Sander is a Fellow at Luminis in The Netherlands, where he crafts modular and scalable software, most often on the JVM, but with a touch of TypeScript when needed. He is the author of the O'Reilly book 'Java 9 Modularity' (see https://javamodularity.com) and an avid conference speaker. Sander loves sharing knowledge, through his blog at http://branchandbound.net, and also as a Pluralsight instructor. 

Sean M. Phillips

Sean M Phillips is a software engineer living near Washington D.C. USA, specializing in data analysis and visualization, currently supporting multiple deep space NASA missions. Co-authored JavaFX 9 by Example and co-founded the FXyz3D.org open source JavaFX 3D library.

Vlad Mihalcea

Vlad Mihalcea is a Java developer from Romania, CEO of Hypersistence, and Developer Advocate for the Hibernate project. He is passionate about enterprise systems, data access frameworks, and distributed systems. He wrote hundreds of articles about JPA, Hibernate, SQL, and database systems on [his blog](vladmihalcea.com), and he has a gold badge for the Java, JPA, and Hibernate tags on StackOverflow. He's also the author of [High-Performance Java Persistence](https://leanpub.com/high-performance-java-persistence).

About Java Champions

The Java Champions are an exclusive group of passionate Java technology and community leaders who are community-nominated and selected under a project sponsored by Oracle. Java Champions get the opportunity to provide feedback, ideas, and direction that will help Oracle grow the Java Platform. This interchange may be in the form of technical discussions and/or community-building activities with Oracle's Java Development and Developer Program teams. Members come from a broad cross-section of the Java community:

  • Java luminaries, senior developers, architects, and consultants
  • Academics
  • Authors of Java-related content (online & print) and industry conference speakers
  • Java User Group (JUG) leaders and the managers of Java-related portals

You can find out more about the Java Champions by clicking here 

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