Wednesday Jan 16, 2013

Oracle User Group Leaders' Summit

Several Java User Group (JUG) leaders participated in the Oracle User Group Leaders' Summit this week at Oracle HQ. The International Oracle User Group Community (IOUC) is a community of leaders representing Oracle users groups worldwide. Members include leaders from over 900 Oracle user groups, and leaders from communities focused on Java, MySQL and Solaris. Over 100 User Group leaders came to User Group Leaders' Summit for three days to learn about Oracle products and technologies, provide feedback to product groups, network, share best practices, and enjoy the brisk California weather.

User Group Summit Picture In the dedicated Java track, Oracle Java experts presented the current state and roadmaps for Java SE, JavaFX, Java EE, Java ME, and Java Embedded. Java Evangelist Arun Gupta discussed the features in the upcoming Java EE 7 release. Mike Lehman, Senior Director of Product Management, gave an overview of Oracle's Java Cloud offering and gave a demo.  There were also sessions on Java.net, OTN, and Java Magazine. Throughout the sessions, JUG leaders were encouraged to provide feedback, and they weren't shy! They gave several suggestions about features, processes, and programs.

At the session on the JCP, JCP Executive Committee member and long-time Java community member Bruno Souza spoke about the Adopt a JSR program. "The biggest job in Adopt a JSR is education. Many people say, "I want to help…what's the JCP?"" He said that even small actions can have a big impact, and contributors don't have to be experts. "Just reading a spec can make a difference. The more people who read and comment on a spec, the better it is," Bruno explained. JCP Executive Committee member and leader of the London Java Community (LJC) Ben Evans discussed Adopt OpenJDK [Editor's Note: Stay tuned to this blog for more information about Adopt OpenJDK].

Jim Bethancourt, Houston JUG leader, was at the Summit for the first time. "This has been a great experience," he said, "I've got a lot of good information to take back to my JUG and also my company."  (He has already posted the slides on his JUG's website!) Bert Ertman, leader of the Netherlands JUG, comes to the summit as much for the networking as the sessions. "It's great to spend time with other JUG leaders and share ideas about fostering community growth and participation" he said.

Friday Oct 19, 2012

An Interview with JavaOne Rock Star Martijn Verburg

An interview with JavaOne Rock Star Martijn Verburg, by yours truly, titled “Challenging the Diabolical Developer: A Conversation with JavaOne Rock Star Martijn Verburg,” is now up on otn/java. Verburg, one of the leading movers and shakers in the Java community, is well known for his ‘diabolical developer” talks at JavaOne where he uncovers some of the worst practices that Java developers are prone to.

He mentions a few in the interview:

* “A lack of communication: Software development is far more a social activity than a technical one; most projects fail because of communication issues and social dynamics, not because of a bad technical decision. Sadly, many developers never learn this lesson.
* No source control: Some developers simply store code in local file systems and e-mail the code in order to integrate their changes; yes, this still happens.
* Design-driven design: Some developers are inclined to cram every design pattern from the Gang of Four (GoF) book into their projects. Of course, by that stage, they've actually forgotten why they're building the software in the first place.”

He points to a couple of core assumptions and confusions that lead to trouble:

“One is that developers think that the JVM is a magic box that will clean up their memory and make their code run fast, as well as make them cups of coffee. The JVM does help in a lot of cases, but bad code can and will still lead to terrible results!

The other trend is to try to force Java (the language) to do something it's not very good at, such as rapid Web development. So you get a proliferation of overly complex frameworks, libraries, and techniques trying to get around the fact that Java is a monolithic, statically typed, compiled, OO environment. It's not a Golden Hammer!”

Verburg has many insightful things to say about how to keep a Java User Group (JUG) going, about the “Adopt a JSR” program, bugathons, and much more.

Check out the article here.

Wednesday Oct 10, 2012

The JavaFX Community Site on Java.net

Community activity surrounding JavaFX has been steadily growing, with tweets, blog posts, and projects increasing in number. We are pleased to announce that there is now a JavaFX community site on Java.net at the following URL:

This site is an aggregator of JavaFX information, where you can find links to JavaFX blog posts, tweets, and other resources.  Gerrit Grunwald and Jim Weaver are the community leaders for this site, and they welcome your feedback on how to make the JavaFX Community site more useful to you!

Learn more on Jim Weaver’s Rich-Client Java Blog

Wednesday Aug 01, 2012

Make the Future Java!

Last summer, we worked together to celebrate the release of Java 7 with 250+ local JUG celebrations, in 59 countries, attended by more than 30,000 Java community members. This summer, we're pleased to announce the Make the Future Java 2012 Java Outreach Program that offers learning resources and "Make the Future Java" Tool Kits, which include a DVD and some Java stickers, postcards and a poster, all celebrating your interest in Java. We encourage you to find creative ways to educate a new generation about Java:

  • Invite university students to your next JUG meeting
  • Volunteer in schools
  • Share your enthusiasm and passion for Java
  • Check out (and add to) the Make the Future Java photos on Facebook
  • Tell us about your outreach successes so we can share them
  • Tweet content for newbies with #new2java

Stay tuned for more events throughout the year. Together, we can inspire future technologists to learn about Java and the opportunities it brings.

Monday Jul 16, 2012

Lessons for Open Source Communites

The Community Leadership Summit 2012, a meetup for community managers and leaders from all around the world, happened July 14-15th in Portland. It's open unconference-style event in which everyone who attends is welcome to lead and contribute sessions on any relevant topic. The goal of CLS is to help community managers and leaders to define and refine their work, share knowledge and make connections in a vendor-neutral way. It was, IMO, a rousing success.

The topics were wide-ranging indeed, including Clique Busting, Metrics, Building Community around Open Source vs. Open Data, Can Webinars Die Now?, and Community Management in China (notes are freely available on the wiki). While there were attendees across industries (tech, health care, non-profits), there was large representation from open source communities (Java, Drupal, OSI).

The combination of Jono Bacon's (author of The Art of Community) opening and a lavender latte inspired me to lead a session entitled "Managing" Huge Communities. The great thing about the unconference style is your session is a discussion, not a lecture or presentation. I started the discussion with a few thoughts about working with the Java community, and then the group was off and running, offering ideas, questions and stories. We started with "how do you define the size of your community?' which of course varied (registering, committing code, self identification) and defining community segments (user community, contributor community).  We also discussed how do you scale community "management" (identifying community leaders and empowering them, one staff member managing volunteers, providing support to user groups). Interestingly, though, the discussion went to the issues that are common to most communities, no matter the size: how do you engage members and get them from lurker to engaged? (remove barriers, Adopt a JSR, focus on the newcomer experience), how do you deal with time zones and cultural differences? (rotate meeting times, officially designate people for certain regions and languages), how to recognize leaders (Java Champions!), and how to deal with disruptive/negative people? (Constitution, agreed upon guidelines). It was a great lesson that though communities vary in the details (size, technologies used, goals), the themes and struggles are often similar.

One of the plenary presentations was by Greg Dunlap, Intiative Lead for Drupal, called Project Managing a Community Project. He discussed what he had learned from leading an "Initiative" (a release of a set of features) for Drupal. His goal was to lead community contributors without making it process-heavy. My takeaways:

  • you need to devote as much time to the project as your most active contributor
  • small amounts of predictable contributions are more valuable than larger chunks of random contributions
  • when sending out information to the community, expect or (if you can, prevent) bikeshedding (aka Parkinson's Law of Triviality)
  • define your MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and have that drive decisions
  • Timebox - define a point in time when the discussion ends or you agree to continue the discussion for another defined period of time
  • face-to-face discussions often can solve problems that online discussions cannot

Other sessions were lively and informative. Participants came to participate! They offered their thoughts and experience, and shared ideas and questions. It was a perfect prelude to OSCON.

CLS 2012: We Care About Communities!


Thursday Jul 12, 2012

Duke's Choice Community Choice

The Duke's Choice Awards celebrate extreme innovation in the world of Java technology. For the first time, the Duke's Choice Award program includes a Community Choice winner. Cast your vote today on the java.net poll and decide who wins the first Community Choice distinction.  The poll closes Friday, July 20th.  Vote for an individual, a group or company who show the best in Java innovation.

A 10-year old tradition in the Java community, the Duke's Choice Awards awards are granted to the best and most innovative projects using Java. Winners will be announced in the September/October issue of Java Magazine and showcased at JavaOne, September 30-October 4th. Do your duty and vote!

Tuesday Jun 19, 2012

Victor Grazi, Java Champion!

Congratulations to Victor Grazi, who has been made a Java Champion! He was nominated by his peers and selected as a Java Champion for his experience as a developer, and his work in the Java and Open Source communities.

Grazi is a Java evangelist and serves on the Executive Committee of the Java Community Process, representing Credit Suisse - the first non-technology vendor on the JCP. He also arranges the NY Java SIG meetings at Credit Suisse's New York campus each month, and he says it has been a valuable networking opportunity. He also is the spec lead for JSR 354, the Java Money and Currency API.

Grazi has been building real time financial systems in Java since JDK version 1.02! In 1996, the internet was just starting to happen, Grazi started a dot com called Supermarkets to Go, that provided an on-line shopping presence to supermarkets and grocers. Grazi wrote most of the code, which was a great opportunity for him to learn Java and UI development, as well as database management. Next, he went to work at Bank of NY building a trading system. He studied for Java certification, and he noted that getting his certification was a game changer because it helped him started to learn the nuances of the Java language. He has held other development positions, "You may have noticed that you don't get as much junk mail from Citibank as you used to - that is thanks to one of my projects!" he told us. Grazi joined Credit Suisse in 2005 and is currently Vice President on the central architecture team.

Grazi is proud of his open source project, Java Concurrent Animated, a series of animations that visualize the functionality of the components in the java.util.concurrent library. "It has afforded me the opportunity to speak around the globe" and because of it, has discovered that he really enjoys doing public presentations. He is a fine addition to the Java Champions program.

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. Nominees are named and selected through a peer review process. 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.

Wednesday Jun 13, 2012

Duke's Choice Award Nominations Close Friday!

The Duke's Choice Awards celebrate extreme innovation in the world of Java technology. Nominate an individual, a group or company who show the best in Java innovation. Nominate at www.Java.net/dukeschoice. Nominations are open until this Friday, June 15! Nominate using an easy online form.

What can winning a Duke's Choice Award do for you? Let's find out. Last year, Trish Gee, senior developer, and the LMAX Exchange team won a Duke's Choice Award for the LMAX Disruptor. An innovative, multi-threaded, open-source concurrent programming framework, the LMAX Disruptor is designed for high-performance and low-latency transaction processing. LMAX Exchange wants to build the fastest trading platform in the world. We asked her about the impact of winning a Duke's Choice award.

Oracle Technology Network: What was it like to win a Duke's Choice Award?

Gee: It was a big surprise and a really exciting thing to win the Duke's Choice Award! I submitted our nomination thinking that we were doing something interesting in the Java ecosystem, but I expected that we were a bit niche, and a bit too unknown, to win. It was really cool to win, and even more amazing when Oracle folks I spoke to had actually heard of the Disruptor and understood what it was about. In particularly I really enjoyed the awards ceremony at JavaOne and the chance to meet the other award winners. I've met a few of them since at other conferences so it was great to have that in common and to have been introduced in the past.

Oracle Technology Network: What benefits have you gotten from being a "Duke's Choice Award Winner?"

Gee: Other than putting the "Duke's Choice Winner" logo on all our conference slides?? Personally I think it makes people pay attention a little more - at the start of this year there were still lots of people who had never heard of the Disruptor or of LMAX, but when they see an award like that, some of them sit up and start to listen - it's not just any old open source project that's there to sell something.

The biggest benefit that open sourcing the Disruptor has given LMAX is in the recruitment area - since December we've nearly doubled the number of developers in the team. Previously we always found it hard to attract and retain the right sort of talent - London is a great city to be a Java developer in - and since we started talking about the Disruptor we've found good developers seeking us, and other developers we've approached being open to working for our company. Winning the Duke's Choice Award has definitely been a part of this, it lends credibility to what we've done and given us visibility on a global scale.

Oracle Technology Network: How is LMAX project doing today?

Gee: LMAX is doing better than ever - we're smashing the financial targets we've set for ourselves, we have more users than ever, and as I said we're in the process of growing the technology team so we can scale up to the demands from our users and from our business. We're in an interesting stage at the moment, we're getting big enough and successful enough to be growing out of start-up mode, and we've got some interesting challenges as we scale the company, the teams, and the platform.

Oracle Technology Network: What are you up to these days?

Gee: I'm still at LMAX, still coding away as a Real Life Developer. As well as that, JavaOne gave me the push I needed to start presenting at these conferences, so I've presented at a number of international conferences and obviously quite a few London-based ones, mostly talking about the Disruptor. I'll be at JavaOne again this year presenting my "User's Guide to the Disruptor", and I'm on a panel for the London Java Community's presentation on the JCP. The LJC and associated JCP work keeps me nearly as busy as LMAX, so much so that one thing I've not been doing as much of this year is the blogging that got me to this position in the first place. Oh, and I wrote that Disruptor article for Java Magazine!

Read more about Trish in the "Heroes of Java" series by . Her Twitter handle is @Trisha_Gee. Now go nominate someone for the Duke's Choice Awards!

Thursday May 24, 2012

Judges Selected for Duke's Choice Awards

The 2012 Duke's Choice Awards judges have been selected (or coerced), and it is an impressive list of community members:

  • Yara Senger, SouJava
  • John Yeary, Greenville Java Users Group
  • Glen Peterson, JUG member and CTO PlanBase, Inc.
  • Martijn Verburg, London City JUG
  • Justin Kestelyn, OTN
  • Michelle Kovac, Java Marketing & Operations
  • Arun Gupta, Java Evangelist & Glassfish community member
  • Sharat Chander, Java Evangelist team manager

In addition to the nine winners selected by the judging panel, a Community Choice winner will be selected via the java.net polling tool. The Community Choice vote will go live July 1st at java.net.

 A 10-year old tradition in the Java community, the Duke's Choice Awards awards are granted to the best and most innovative projects using Java. The primary judging criteria for this prestigious award is innovation, putting small developer shops on an equal footing with multinational giants. The ten most innovative submissions will be announced in the September/October issue of Java Magazine and showcased at Java One in San Francisco.

The Duke's Choice Awards celebrate extreme innovation in the world of Java technology. Nominate an individual, a group or company who show the best in Java innovation. There are no predetermined categories--it's all about innovation. Nominate via the easy online form at www.Java.net/dukeschoice. Nominations are open until June 15, 2012.

Wednesday Apr 25, 2012

Java at the Bay Area Maker Faire!

Java will be on display at the Maker Faire Bay Area in San Mateo, California May 19 & 20. The Maker Faire is family-friendly festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement. We'll have a booth that will show you (and your kids) how to build the future with Java. Early bird tickets are on sale now until May 10.

Maker Faire is a gathering of fascinating, curious people who enjoy learning and who love sharing what they can do. It offers the opportunity for us to see ourselves as more than consumers; we are productive; we are creative. Everyone is a maker and our world is what we make it.  Sounds just like the Java Community.

Stay tuned for details!

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